Diana McPartlin (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sun, 28 Sep 1997 04:45:08 +0100
Gene Kofman wrote:
> Diana wrote:
> >BUT just because we can't give definitions it doesn't mean we can't come
> >to a general agreement on what each of the levels refers to.
> Right on Diana.
> Everybody, who migrated between cultures understands how impossible it is to explain
> a culture. Only after years of living through and experiencing examples of the new
> culture one begins to understand it and belong to it.
I've just realized that this must be the reason I feel this massive
headache coming on when people ask me to talk about Chinese/Hong Kong
culture and language. I can't do it. I know that no matter what I say,
outsiders aren't going to understand. The worst people are the ones who
know all the history and have read all the books. If I meet people like
that I often just agree with all their cliches because I can't be
bothered arguing. But it's pure drivel. That's not to say that there
aren't plenty of serious, intelligent books written on the subject. Of
course there are lots. But these books try to force social values into
intellectual patterns and it simply cannot be done.
On the other hand I talk about cultural differences all the time with
other Western friends who live in HK. It's different with them, they
understand because they've experienced it socially.
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