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My culture counts too!

8 August, 2010

Why is it that we’re expected to follow someone else’s culture when we’re in their country (or even their household) but we don’t consider it polite to ask them to do the same? I think I’m saying this less as a Westerner and more from my own more personal cultural heritage.

For instance, I would never tell someone they were being rude by not excusing themselves from the table, slurping their soup or sniffing loudly. Yet I’ve been rebuked for not removing my shoes in a Swedish household, and I’ve seen people chastised for talking on their mobiles on Japanese public transport.

I think the problem is not that ‘they’ won’t conform to ‘our’ culture, it’s that it’s in our very culture not to make a fuss; we have just been affronted by certain behaviour but all we can do is express our feeling in disapproving glances without ever addressing the problem.

It could also be that we (as part of the broader Western culture) have no sense of cultural pride. And to be honest, why would we, if it includes eating takeaways in front of the telly, getting drunk off our faces every weekend and being too uncomfortable to show the small kindness of sharing an umbrella with someone in the pouring rain?

Being engaged to someone from a different cultural background had really opened my eyes to things from another person’s perspective, and I hope I can learn enough from this experience to be able to stand up for my own cultural beliefs and be proud of them.

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time vs time

17 July, 2010
tags: ,

Why does it seem that the only time that’s mine isn’t supposed to be, and vice versa?

I can’t look forward to a weekend where my time doesn’t belong to me. Spent doing mindless errands. I would far prefer to be out riding my bike down a country lane, or creating something with my own hands sans computer.

Ironically, the only chunk of time sizeable enough in which to do this is when I’m at work. Endlessly waiting for the next brief, the next approval the next indication that it’s time for me to do something useful.

And so I constantly find myself in this place of feeling guilty for not doing what I’m paid to do, and feeling unfulfilled by not being able to do the things I love (when I’m supposed to have the time for them).

i hear wedding bells

28 January, 2010

It’s almost been a week since Naman and I got engaged! The feeling that I’ve been dreaming has finally worn off, plus my mini-meltdown at the bus stop yesterday worrying about finances, and I finally feel like it’s just time to get down to business.

We had a budget discussion today and worked out how much each family needed to save per week.

Budget meeting..

..and we got distracted a bit..

I tried on Mom’s old wedding dress and found it to be surprisingly good (especially once our secret alterations have been made)

the top of Mom's wedding dress..the rest is a secret

Bridesmaid dresses are already proving an issue. Since we haven’t yet decided on a colour (I still say emerald green or a vintagey blue, he says violet) I can’t seem to visualise anything that would look good on all of them. Apart from that is the 4 extremely different skin tones..

inspired by ged

12 January, 2010

i’ve wanted to try something like this for a long time, inspired by the Finnish fashion label with quirky, creepy stylised shoots. see the giles et dada blog and you’ll know what i mean..

two O one O

4 January, 2010

i usually get all pensive around this time of year, thinking back on the year before and resolving to do a list of things better. but this time i’ve decided it’s not about a set of rules you make for  yourself, it’s about giving yourself the space to dream.

to dream is not to set up expectations, it’s about going into something with expectancy; that raw feeling of taking the plunge with something new and not knowing what’s going to happen. 

i go into this year at the beginning of a new relationship that is so full of honesty and affection and love that it took me a while to accept it was all really happening.

i’ve also 99% decided to take a year off from my college course. with the extra time on my hands, i want to get back to the core of what drives me creatively, find that passion again that would see me scribbling/photoshopping away late into the night. i want to be able to let my mind wander into great and terrible places, where my imagination once again has no limits and i can see more clearly in my head without all the expectations and deadlines and comparisons to other people getting in the way. basically, i want to become more childlike in this aspect.

and by becoming more immature in that part of me, i want to become more mature in others. i want to learn again; proper scholarly learning where you take notes and put your theory into practice. i want to do something beneficial to society, travel somewhere and use my skills to make a difference. i want to do all those things i’ve been putting off since i left school because there was always something of a higher priority in the way. i want to work in a job that teaches me new skills and ways of relating to all different kinds of people.

most of all, i want to build every single relationship that i have. if i were to plot a graph of my relationships this year, as horribly impersonal as that sounds, most of them would have shown a declining trend. i can blame sweden or financial troubles or feelings of not quite meeting the standards i had others set for me in my mind, but in the end it mirrors the most important relationship in my life, and that’s my relationship with God. 

so God, help me out here. i want to be everything that you created me to be this year, and to make real progress in ‘being’ with you.

diary of a sleep-deprived designer on a deadline

19 November, 2009

rather than tweet all my random thoughts, i thought i’d try putting them all on here..starting with this one:

2:22am | love how all the BBers’ status updates over the past few weeks have been solely about manifestos, css, binding and lissa

2:23 | has it been this cold all night or are my legs just slowly dying from lack of use?

2:26 | love writing complete bs and knowing i’m the only one who’ll ever know :)

2:31 | in an effort to keep warm, i’m now wearing an odd assortment of neutral-coloured garments which work surpisringly well together: grey flared trackpants, cream knit dress and grey knit 3/4 swing cardigan.

2:43 | listening to Babylon just made me think of Phoenix and how so far there’s been jealousy on both sides from outside this relationship. werd

2:47 | why does drinking just one cup of tea make me want to pee so bad?

2:48 | I really should print out some sample pages to see if this is actually working..(just tried to cmd + s this page..)

2:53 | is it weird that my manifesto’s gone from obscenely formal to rather casual over the space of a few pages?

2:55 | DROP CAPS!

3:00 | funniest status-comment convos going on right now..we’re such nerds

3:10 | hot chocolate with cream? yuh-hum! (that almost empty jar of nutella was just begging for it, but i resisted in the name of..whatevs, can’t think of anything)

3:14 | dewdrops

3:16 | methinks the Davo formal is over..lots of raucousness to be heard outside. firecrackers even.

3:21 | die itchy sunburn, die!

3:40 | “and the mischief we make”

3:46 | so over it! wonder if i should just make this bald eagle for ruth already..

4:01 | heee..looks more like an old vulture with earmuffs right now

4:17 | facebook, you ruin my life. about to print a test page. *brain tries to work out how to time everything to maximise efficiency tomorrow…starts smoking* i should get larsypoops on it. good ‘ol Mr Efficiency

4:22 | crack back jack lack snack pack dack clack smack rack hack sack tack whack

4:37 | Mr Eames, your DSW chairs were clearly not built for falling asleep in

[insert deep-sounding title here]

6 November, 2009

why am i finding it so hard to write these days when it’s what i need to do most? still have 70% of my manifesto to do and i’m still mulling over some ideas about the gypsy librarian story..

ps. if you’re after a cool mixtape, look no further