Friday, September 30, 2005

Culturally short-sighted?

My husband has been reading a book (something about economics) called "The World is Flat". His comments have been that it is a very New York City view of the world, and trendy. Well, do people get culturally short-sighted? everyone - not just the people who write books to sell.

I know when I go home to Maine to visit family, I can tell I've adapted to Minnesota. It's common to re-think your priorities when you have kids, for instance, but how about when you move? There's a high emphasis on community service here in Minnesota. It's important for everyone to stick together and work together to make a better community. I know that folks in Maine suport their community, too, but it's a different mindset. Both places have volunteer fire departments, where folks will organize themselves and raise funds. That's similiar. It's the non-essential 'stuff' I notice the differences. When I see a high school marching band in the midwest, it's often a very large proportion of the entire student body. In Maine, a high school marching band will usually be smaller and made of kids who are interested in music for reasons of their own. The idea that you support the band because it's important to do so isn't much of an issue in Maine. Both areas have very good bands, so it's not the quality that differs, or the quality of instruction.

There are plenty of people who don't move from where they grew up. I know people who don't travel far from their homes I didn't expect I'd move so far from where I grew up. It's not that the cultures of Maine and Minnesota are all that different - many folks come to the US from very different cultures around the world and do just fine. Maybe because it's similiar enough I notice the smaller things.


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