Saturday, January 29, 2005

Are we all individuals, or are we shaped by culture?

In Panama, she was the first one to come and say hi, of course, when I was chatting with a little cutie, who turned out to be a reader of Finndistan, honoring me.

This is the girl from the story Brainstorming on one lost battle.. We met again at the exit of the bar…

While we are walking to the central square, she comes up with a comment about a friend that almost made me turn around and slap her face with a full blow by the back of my hand…

That did not happen, just for info… Though she deserved it…

Then when things settled, we were talking, and I told her,

“You Finn girls do not see that the foreigners come from a different culture.. You do not see that a different culture exists, and in that culture, behaviour is different. A foreigner acting in a special way, may have a different personality, intention and motivation that a finn… Possibly even uncomparable. And what is considered normal behavior in his culture may be feared or taken as desperate… ”

(By this I do not mean the women running around in chadors, or the irish women with twelve kids, or the german way of arrogance.

For example, a foreigner turning his back to you, is possibly telling you to fuck off, but a finn doing the same, is just playing the desperate “hunt me” game… That’s just one…

And I believe, and I have seen, as well as lived, that a foreigner, after all his lifelong training, if, chooses to play the finnish way, gets immense power. Turning into a fuckmachine running over corpses. )

“You explain everything by culture, that is wrong”

Soon after that we reached the square, and the conversation faded.

I take most of it resulting of culture.

Culture is formed by many factors, the biggest one being humans themselves.

But once culture is formed by these factors, it starts controlling the human behaivor.

Though there is the fact that every human is an individual, understanding the surrounding culture, the society allows you to predict the actions he/she is going to undertake with a high accuracy.

So, when I take the main reason as culture, I give the majority of the people acting in a way they do not like, e.g.: shyness, the power to change this, keeping in mind that the culture is a shy one, and that it is extremely difficult to run out of these boundaries.


If, culture is not the reason.

Then, for finns not being able to accept, tolerate and respect different cultures,… forget that…., simply not even realize the existence of different cultures, it must be an individual thing. And being so closed on individual choice, in fact, allows a person to label Finns as bigots, racists, single minded, and definitely not open minded, not even considering to think about, let alone change, their way of behaviour – which they complain so much about- , selfish and ignorant.

By the way, that is not what I think.

It is what I would think, ignoring the cultural effect.

Though someone wants to change, the surroundings may prevent it.

That is my idea.

Take this as you wish…..

As a flock of people, selfish, ignorant, alcoholics, rabbits, racists,


As a people, on the constant change, slowed down by the culture arisen from the ancestors, climate, geography, but striving for a better life, as slow as it may come.

For me, it’s the latter.

For you?

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