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Old 01-31-2008, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Mesa, Az
21,148 posts, read 36,615,542 times
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Does Mexico have a specific culture?

Why I say that is the lifestyle differences between the poor and the wealthy SOB are like night and day.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:30 PM
 
Location: San Diego North County
4,800 posts, read 7,687,743 times
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I love those who wholeheartedley declare and bemoan the lack of "American Culture." Obviously, some are completely unaware of what culture actually is -- allow me to define that for you from an anthropological point of view.

Culture is defined as an integrated system of beliefs, traditions, and customs that govern or influence a person's behavior. Culture is learned, shared by members of a group, and based on the ability to think in terms of symbols.

American culture has a large influence on the rest of the world, especially the Western world. American music is heard all over the world, and American movies and television shows can be seen almost anywhere. This is in stark contrast to the early days of the American republic, when the country was generally seen as an agricultural backwater with little to offer the culturally advanced world centers of Europe and Asia. Nearing the end of its third century, nearly every major American city offers classical and popular music; historical, scientific and art research centers and museums; dance performances, musicals and plays; outdoor art projects and internationally significant architecture. This development is a result of both contributions by private philanthropists and government funding.

This is the country which produced such literary greats as Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, Toni Morrison, T.S. Eliot, and Maya Angelou.

Most of modern music's roots can be found in the jazz and blues of the 1920's. We are the country of Ella Fitzgerald, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Miles Davis, Etta James, Aerosmith, and Johnny Cash.

We are the country of origin for Levi's blue jeans, the Human Genome project, the Industrial Revolution, the steam engine, the gasoline engine, the light bulb, the telegraph, and laser surgery.

That the trappings of American culture are prized worldwide should provide evidence aplenty that American culture is not the pathetic mish mash of traditions you seem to think it is.

By the way, American pizza is just that--American. Pizza in Italy is a far removed product from the American variety. Hip hop? A descendent of American jazz and blues. Washington Redskins? All that is borrowed there is a now politically incorrect moniker. American Football is original and is viewed by the rest of the world as such. Then again, the number of people in foreign countries who will be turning into the Super Bowl is staggering. Yet another example of the exported American culture you seem to see us as lacking.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:32 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,612,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
I think people who never traveled to another country and stayed for some time in one are the ones most likely to believe the USA doesn't have it's own culture. When you're away for a while and return home -- you really feel the culture.
I think you're absolutely correct. After a long time 'away', an American 'voice', regardless of 'color' or race, can sound very 'nice'. After being in some places, I have few serious complaints about the American culture in comparison with any other. It's a pretty good culture, especially for one that 'doesn't exist"..
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:37 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
I think you're absolutely correct. After a long time 'away', an American 'voice', regardless of 'color' or race, can sound very 'nice'. After being in some places, I have few serious complaints about the American culture in comparison with any other. It's a pretty good culture, especially for one that 'doesn't exist"..
I spent some time in another country -- long enough to start seeing what I really like about American culture.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:39 PM
 
14,206 posts, read 7,402,658 times
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Clue: cinco de mayo is not US culture
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:42 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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In fact -- anyone who would claim the USA does not have a culture has not only not traveled outside the USA much at all but also has not talked with immigrants of any kind.

Immigrants will often point out our cultural differences and make those comparisons. When you talk enough with immigrants you also can get an insight into our culture -- but it's kind of like the air we breathe -- something we don't really see or think about, and like breathing air, you don't always appreciate it until you don't have it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:49 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,612,395 times
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Originally Posted by saltine View Post
Clue: cinco de mayo is not US culture
Actually it's HUGE around here. MUCH bigger than in Mexico. It's not really an "American" holiday, and not the most important "Mexican" one, either. It's mostly in honor of the large corporate breweries. You could say it's a "corporate" holiday. "See's Candy" brought us Valentine's Day...."Hallmark" is responsible for Mother's day.....and "Budweiser" and "Tecate" are who's responsible for bringing us Cinco de Mayo.....
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:52 PM
 
8,973 posts, read 14,612,395 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
In fact -- anyone who would claim the USA does not have a culture has not only not traveled outside the USA much at all but also has not talked with immigrants of any kind.

Immigrants will often point out our cultural differences and make those comparisons. When you talk enough with immigrants you also can get an insight into our culture -- but it's kind of like the air we breathe -- something we don't really see or think about, and like breathing air, you don't always appreciate it until you don't have it.
It's something like speaking about "ethnic" restaurants, or "ethnic" music. That's to differentiate them from "regular" restaurants and music. ("Regular" people, you will recall, HAVE no ethnicity)...
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:57 PM
 
14,206 posts, read 7,402,658 times
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American culture is more easily understood through its direct expression than a dictionary type definition. The love of our country and freedom we fought for. Pledge of allegience, a vet consecrating Memorial day ceremonies, Thanksgiving, it's a spirit that Americans earned.
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Old 01-31-2008, 08:07 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 58,699,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macmeal View Post
It's something like speaking about "ethnic" restaurants, or "ethnic" music. That's to differentiate them from "regular" restaurants and music. ("Regular" people, you will recall, HAVE no ethnicity)...

Yes -- culture is a lot of things -- things we take for granted. Some immigrants here have some trouble raising their children in our culture -- because it's a lot of new concepts and freedoms for them.

One guy was telling me that for he and his wife it was hard because their kids were adamantly American. He said that where he and his wife grew up, children will listen to whatever music the parents listen to -- there is no teen music or age group music, and certainly in his country a child would not be so lacking of respect to choose a type of music the parents didn't like. They had to accept though that in this country it's just different. Kids will play their music loud, they will pick out their own clothes and hair styles. American kids have a certain independence you don't see in many other countries.

And in some countries daughters and even sons live in the family home until they are married and often after they are. So many immigrant parents have to adjust to the idea that their American-culture kids won't follow the ways of the old country.

Culture is many many things. Our whole way of thinking -- what we find funny, the way we are towards political leaders. One guy from Barbados said that his country is more British culturally -- so when he came to the USA he found it very odd how informal we were and how we were so informal that we referred to the presidents by their first names -- leaving off all titles. He said he'd hear people talking about Jimmy and Jerry, Ron, George, and so on -- thinking they were referring to close friends.
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