Japan and the Japanese public are often portrayed as being admirers of the culture of the United States. But within living memory the two countries were involved in a brutal war, which culminated in conventional and nuclear bombings targeting Japan's citizenry and devastating their country. In Japan's case, how did a societal contempt sufficient to wage and sustain total war turn, in such a short time, into a societal affinity sufficient for some to embrace many parts of the culture of the nation that had dealt them destruction on such a massive scale? [more inside]
What culture throughout history has most closely approximated the Ayn Randian ideal of the libertarian state? [more inside]
When someone says head or latrine for bathroom its likely that they were in the military or around the military. A less common example,when someone says "avoid the near occasion" about something its likely that they are from a Roman Catholic background, I'd even say its use indicates a likelihood that they are or were a priest, seminarian, religious, in a kind of serious catholic family or school etc. Reckon is a common word and its being used once doesn't mean anything but when its use is pretty frequent it might be indicative of someone's having lived in the south east United States. When people say pop instead of soda or coke they likely are from somewhere roughly between Chicago and Denver, Oklahoma and North Dakota. Things like this interest me and I'm sure I know only a infinitesimal fraction of a percent of them. Do you have any like observations to share? [more inside]
I'm getting married in 10 days, and it's stressful for everybody involved, mostly because I have controlling parents who are intricately involved with every part of this. Any tips/advice for coping with this situation? Lots of culture-specific snowflake details inside. [more inside]
As an American woman, I understand we have different expectations regarding sex and dating/new relationships than what generally happens in Sweden. My experiences with Swedish men have been a bit confusing, and I wonder if that may be part of a cultural communication disconnect. [more inside]
Hi, I am considering moving back to London after over a decade in NYC. I have a few questions that I am curious about. But after just typing and erasing them- I am just going to ask how other people have found the differences between living and working in (not visiting!) the two cities. [more inside]
Hi, Please could someone tell me the name of an academic who was interviewed on radio in April 2010? [more inside]
Gross but I must ask -- FOR SCIENCE. What creature IS this in my homemade juice? [more inside]
Someone has joined the Peace Corps and is going to Senegal, working in agro-forestry. Here is what is requested: needs, reads, before and during, what not to miss seeing, what to know, all necessary tips on the Peace Corps, Senegal and the Peace Corps in Senegal, and so on. In a word: advice. In another: experience. Hive mind, please hope me. [more inside]
In the not too distant future I will be relocating to Romania (through work), probably for a few years. Before I go, and while I'm there, I'd like to keep abreast of local current affairs and culture. What well-written and well-informed blogs or news sources *in English* should I keep an eye on? (obviously I am hoping to use this posting as a chance to brush up on my very limited Romanian, but that's going to take a while...) [more inside]
Any tips from Metafiltrati with latin/italian lady experience to make things calmer or more manageable? [more inside]
Quick question for folks who've lived in both Australia and NZ: what cultural and language differences did you notice?
I have no idea how to address my in-laws. Please help. [more inside]
If I were to choose 10 fiction and 10 non-fiction books to read within the next year to make me a better, more well-rounded conversationalist (for argument's sake, let's say within a college-educated professional audience), what books would give me the most bang for my buck? [more inside]
Unemployed, interested in a bunch of things, not sure how they fit together. [more inside]
In a few weeks, I'll be going to Haiti, specifically the Northern region, for a couple months to work for a NGO. While I've worked and lived in other lesser developed countries and have briefly spoken to co-workers living there, I haven't been to Haiti before and I'd like to have a greater, more nuanced understanding of Haitian cultures and recent history before I arrive. I'm looking for short novels, recommended blogs, or articles - pieces on Haiti would be great posts on Metafilter (I've already read past ones on here) that give me a deeper understanding of Haitian cultures and recent political history.
Where do classy, educated, intelligent people work in the (U.S.) Federal Government? Which organizational cultures would welcome me? [more inside]
Have there been studies done on the cultural elements that spur innovative commercial development in particular people, companies/organizations or regions? [more inside]
So people like to name-drop authors and works that those who went to university and/or have a curiosity about the world should know as part of the basic vocabulary of being an educated Westerner. For example, "Kant" or "Dickensian", or "Gertrude Stein". I would like to learn this stuff, please. [more inside]
I'm learning that many of the customs and traditions that I think of as Roman actually originated from the Etruscans instead. Can anyone recommend some good books, videos, or websites about ancient Etruscan culture and history?
I'm interested in Korean pop culture: K-pop, K-drama, K-film. I've seen previous questions about specific recommendations if music and movies. I am checking those out. There is so much material, I'm trying to get a broader perspective. [more inside]
I'm going into the health field and curious about cultural/ethnic health practices that are off the beaten path. For example, can anyone tell me the "what", "how", and "why" of cupping and coining? What other cultural/religious/traditional practices can you share? [more inside]
What was Italian food like before the tomato? When coffee houses started popping up in Europe what establishments lost business as a result? Did Marco Polo really bring noodles to Europe from China? Where can I find the answer to all these questions and more? [more inside]
I'm a boy who wants to make out with other boys. Problem is, I'm bothered by the culture of some of the more popular online options (e.g. Grindr). What are my options? [more inside]
Is a man who pretends to be friends with a woman when he is actually interested in more than friendship doing something shady? Should said woman (myself) drop him as a friend or give him a chance to adjust? He’s a good friend and generally a positive, interesting and charming friend to have (smart, insightful, witty, capable of deep conversation, trustworthy with secrets, understanding…). I’m simply not interested in dating him (for many reasons, the most glaring of which is that he’s sexist in subtle ways that I couldn’t tolerate in a partner), but I value and love his friendship and conversation. I do not want to date him, ever. I don’t know if I should salvage our friendship or let it go, for his sake and mine...I've included the details below but I think this summary captures what I am trying to intellectually and emotionally figure out. [more inside]
Please recommend outstanding recipe books and resources for clueless cooks! [more inside]
Oakland MeFites: What are the most interesting cultural manifestations of Oakland's two-decade-long demographic shift? [more inside]
It's my first time out of the USA, and I don't know what to pack! [more inside]
Why do kittens, bunnies, puppies, and their ilk seem so much cuter than human babies? This is something I've always wondered, and I am surprised that it doesn't seem to have been asked here. I've seen some idle speculations about the reasons in various places around the Web, but nothing resembling evidence. Is there any actual research related to this topic? Or is the question based on flawed assumptions somehow? [more inside]
I want to fill an old i-pod mini with pop music for a 5 year old girl. What kind of music do kids this age like? If the answer is Justin Bieber I'm okay with that. [more inside]
I'm at home ill at the moment, watching lots of films and reading a lot (this week I've watched 14 films and read 2 books). I'd like to find sites (or podcasts/lectures/etc) that intelligently examine media and/or popular culture. I regularly read articles on Popmatters and sometimes the A.V. Club (but not so much). What are your favourite film/media crit resources? Podcasts? Lectures? Thank you in advance for any help!
Can you think of any good sources of information on Polish daily eating habits, dietary trends, frequently used ingredients and dishes etc.? Bonus question: how much overlap is there with other Eastern European countries? [more inside]
My friends went to Germany on a whim and now they are cold and miserable until their flight back in early February. I don't want them to give up hope. What are some truly awesome things that they can do in Berlin and the surrounding areas in the coming weeks? [more inside]
What are some good sources - blogs or books - for learning what everyday life is like in different parts of the world? [more inside]
Some decades ago I heard the term "Ur trait" (can't be sure of the spelling) in relation to a collection of cultural beliefs or possibly culturally driven practices that are universally distributed in humans around the globe, and which are believed to reach back to the early development of humans, so that they might represent bits of a core of human culture. I'm unsure enough of the concept that I don't want to make up examples which might lead respondents on a wrong path. Googling "ur trait" didn't yield any useful answers. The concept sounds similar, but is not identical to Jung's idea of a collective unconscious, which seems to be related a little more to psychology than cultural anthropology. I'm primarily interested in whether the phrase "ur trait" was ever in use, and secondarily in the concept it represents if not what I've described above.
Recommend me some stuff to do in Los Angeles in January! [more inside]
I dragged my kids (ages 13, 11, 9) to see Les Miserables. They loved it. What other works should Mean Dad "drag" them to enjoy so that they become well-rounded adults with perspective and taste when it comes to media choices? [more inside]
Birmingham, England. Christmas Day. Is *anything* open at all? [more inside]
Why does Mircea Eliade get short shrift in Robert N. Bellah's Religion in Human Evolution? [more inside]
If a child is immersed in a particular language on a medium-term basis (say, a year of preschool, or maybe two or three), and becomes fluent in it, but then the exposure is taken away, how much does this language stick? Can the child still understand the basics of the language a decade later? Or does it make the language easier to relearn later in life? ALSO: What does early exposure to a foreign culture do for a child, if anything? Is cultural uprooting and rerooting of this nature disorienting and/or destructive for a child? [more inside]
What is the earliest depiction (not description) of an iceberg in Western Art? [more inside]
What interesting writing has been done on the overlaps between Gene Wolfes "Book of the new sun and Iain M. Banks Culture novels? [more inside]
I have moved to a foreign country and am looking for suggestions as to how to get along in the best way possible until I can return to the US. I am a single woman with a professional background. I came to this country to reconnect with my ancestral roots. I have found the culture and behavior really appalling and irritating on a profound level as well as being sexist at a very deep level. [more inside]
Think of an office or cubicle in the United States around 1999, particularly in tech/IT companies. What kinds of objects would you see there which are less common now? [more inside]
Asking for a friend. A coworkers wife has been diagnosed stage IV brain cancer. They are East Indian. We would like to bring flowers to their home. Does anyone know if certain flowers have special meaning culturally and / or are there flowers to avoid? Thank you.
Korean culture filter: Are you familiar with Korean culture from 30 years ago? Can you tell me if these experiences were normal in terms of the social culture at that time? [more inside]
Looking to find either the author's name or his article. [more inside]
Are there any magazines for anglophiles and francophiles? Google not helpful. [more inside]
Why has there been no new youth subculture since 1998? 1960s had hippies, '70s had disco and punk, '80s had hip hop and goth, '90s had grunge. And yet kids and twenty-somthings have been wearing trucker caps and ironic sunglasses for 15 years now. What happened?
How do I deal with my short-tempered husband? [more inside]