Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Different View of Culture

For two years I lived in a small local village. Now for my third year I’m living in a city. Naturally differences between the two have arisen and has given me different perspectives on culture. For instance, food is more readily available, the bazaar is closer, more cafes are available and general Kyrgyzstan-style fast food can be easily acquired. Indoor plumbing- toilets and water- are also more accessible, both at work and home, also electricity is generally always on. However, its not just amenities that are different, it's people too.

I've noticed that people in the city work longer hours, and often attend work more regularly than villagers. This is not saying villagers do not work, they just are often distracted by home issues- such as animals, sickness, etc. People in the city have a tendency to come to work more regularly, despite other outside circumstances. Also they seem generally less inviting. I haven't yet been invited to guest at a coworkers. I think this is because they are busy with other things and unlike villagers guesting does not make up a large part of their lives. There's nothing wrong with this, just something I haven't yet gotten used to. Its also very strange not to hear or see farm animals, nor to have people be working with them. I've noticed that in the city their lives do focus more around work than in other aspects. It's nice to have that for a change but still very strange after two years. Families are important but unlike in the village children are given more opportunities to excel. They have different school choices, from schools teaching English, German or Russian, to a specialized music school. Also unlike many villagers most younger children attend a daycare because both parents are working. In the village usually only one person is working- maybe- and many children do not attend daycare.

Therefore, there is much I am still adjusting to regarding a city verses a village. I enjoy being in a city but it is a very different lifestyle from the one I’ve had for two years. Sure, some cultural aspects remain the same, because they are more deeply ingrained within society but there definitely does exist differences between the city and village. I think its the same in America. Any thoughts?

(I apologize for the delay in posting Dawn's latest blog. You should have seen it a few days ago.)

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