Are cultures more ubiquitous than they seem?

May 5, 2021

I’ve been thinking some about what constitutes a culture, especially with black lives matter movements, Asian movements, and other cultures voicing their rights. Sometimes, I think culture is more than just ethnicity. It’s about different activities (sports even?), the ecosystem movement, eclectic arts groups, schools and their different modes of education, music, celebrity and movie culture, and of course culture in families and their communities.

I’ve tried a variety of activities since high school, so I feel like I kind of had an inside glimpse into this other kind of life(lives). I’ve done a fair amount of thinking about these groups that I’ve been involved with over the years. In some ways, I feel very lucky to be part of all the groups I’ve been a part of, but on the other hand, I think maybe I didn’t pick the right groups, and should have done things that more suited my upbringing.

I actually just saw a PBS program called, “Samantha Brown’s Places to Go” about a woman who loves to travel, but it doesn’t have to be far and she emphasizes talking to strangers. She loves to visit places around the US and explore the neighborhood and people there. It really made me think about my traveling experiences and how I do things around my area and consider some of that a mini vacation. Just watching her show made me think of how there’s so many different cultures all around us and you don’t have to go to Timbuktoo to have a profound travel experience.

I think a lot of my “travel” experiences have been just to see new people. Sometimes I think that people can be so diverse and different, it’s illuminating! My Mom thinks I know a lot of different kinds of people and I think she’s right. I don’t have one big group of girlfriends like I’m sure some women I know do. I have more intimate friendships with many different kinds of women. It may be difficult at times to do this, but I feel I’m not as phony as some of the women I know because of this and that makes me more at ease.

I think about this contra dance that I used to go to a lot. I think part of the attraction for me going there was that it was a legitimate community in a really fascinating area of Philadelphia. I wasn’t really accepted in the long run going there, but I would just love to go to Fairmount Park there and other things going on there to get a taste of a different way of life.

Even in the many classes I’ve taken over the years, or the jobs I’ve had, there seems to be a definite culture in most things I’ve done. I feel like I’m kinda taking a break from my real life and get to experience something new and fun for a change. And that’s what culture is about for me. Experiencing real movements of art, science, food, education, work, and whatever else comes down the line.

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