Thursday, October 03, 2013

Culture, kinship and confusion - a note

Nice to see Niar return to blogging with a first post, My Years with ASEAN, after a long break. Niar began blogging back, I think, in September 2008 and quickly became a member of the village. For the last three years she has been working for the ASEAN Secretariat in Singapore. I have kept in touch via Facebook, but blogging is better! 

Over at his place, Neil has had a number of interesting posts. He often digs up things that I haven't seen or wouldn't go looking for. Cinema Asia is a case in point. Loved the shots of the old Chinese women.

From India, meantime, Ramana has also had some interesting posts. In Story 15. One Of The Apples Of My Eyes., I was interested not just in the story but in in the kinship customs that Ramana talked about. I think that I understand, but I'm not sure.  Perhaps Ramana could explain in more detail sometimes.  Staying with Ramana, following my post Sunday Essay - the Turning, Ramana purchased a copy of the Tim Winton book, so I'm waiting for his reaction.

I have always been fascinated by cultural differences, including changing language. In a way, this links back to the point I was further exploring in Monday Forum: marcellous on history. A friend brought up in another country started browsing one of my Mary Grant Bruce books. She found it reasonably incomprehensible. It's not that the English is complicated, but rather that the terms and some of the underlying ideas are alien.

I find something of the same thing in talking and writing. I draw from my my own experience and reading, using a mixture of words and concepts that have become part of my way of thinking over the years. Every so often I am forced to pause because of the blank looks I get; the common cultural base that I took for granted is no longer there even among those that I might have expected to share it.  


Anonymous said...

"reasonably incomprehensible"?

That sounds like a second-cousin to my favourite - "infallibly wrong".


Jim Belshaw said...

Touche, I suspect, kvd! Perhaps I should have surprisingly comprehensible - a surprise to both, in fact.