Cultural Perspective

A foreigner’s take on culture is usually one of alienation (cultural confusion), ennui or cultural critique.

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Cultural Perspective

Usually the speaker complains about everything their host culture does incorrectly. Suddenly, the speaker is nostalgic for their home – a place of comfort, constancy and security. Thus, their experience of their ‘host country’ is coloured by criticism. There is very rarely a detached anaylsis of a place that is uncoloured by the eyes of cultural bias. I really enjoyed Walker’s refreshing article for “The Bad American Habits” I kicked in Finland.

The speaker touches on about the importance of silence (in Finland silence is normal and forced conversations are rare), honesty in their promises, finishing all food, enjoying a meal and the normality of nudity. The speaker does not force himself, his practices or his opinions on a foreign culture. He appears to truly experience each quirk! He understands that he is an outsider. It is not his role to recompose the rules of this country.

There is a sense of reflection here. Moreover, in situations of contrasting cultural response, the speaker listens to his internal response. Does he feel happier undertaking the American or the Finnish response? What suits him personally? This deceptively simple article is full of understanding and depth. Elements of Finnish culture are extracted to create a positive and educated perspective of it.