Saturday, December 25, 2004

Cultural habits

There is another deep kind of communication that takes place through cultural habit.

In Russia, for example, before you go on a trip, everyone in the house sits down, and is quiet, until someone feels that's enough, and they say good, and everyone gets up.

Every student knows that you must do these sorts of things, to get any understanding of a culture. And you can't understand a literature without experiencing the culture. Even further, you can't read the language ... references to these sort of habits are sometimes in idiomatic language, often derived from literature. But, really, a word can't resonate for you in quite the same way if you haven't certain experiences. Now, there's limits ... many of these habits get lost, and many are unavailable for other reasons. And it really isn't possible to become another person. But it is important to try.


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