We are all cultural plagiarists

by , under All categories, Enrique

Those who are in university and write essays or are in the writing business know that there is one very big no-no: plagiarism, which means the close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author as one´s own.

Can plagiarism apply to culture; i.e. the incorporation of  a culture´s customs and thoughts and representing them as one´s own? This is how cultures work: they constantly incorporate new ideas and customs from other ones  without mentioning the source.

Why does cultural plagiarism occur? Probably because cultures want to give the impression to their countrymen and immigrants that their culture is unique. They are obliged to strengthen a myth called national identity.

How many things of our culture have we incorporated from other cultures? I think the answer lies in our physiology:  we have some different traits but  we can still reproduce and forge a new generation.

Even though culture is not music or artwork with a copyright label, it is misleading and outright wrong to steal a custom from another culture and claim it as your own — are simply avoid the topic altogether.

If we stated sourcing where our different cultural traits came from, would that be the first important step in building a world of greater understanding?

If we knew how closely we are actually linked possibly that would help destroy some of the walls we build thanks to cultural plagiarism.

  1. pun

    “A good example is the noodle, which was brought by Marco Polo to Europe in the early 1270s from China. However, everyone thinks that pasta, and the different variations of this tasty dish, was invented in Italy.”

    Actually it’s not a very good example. Even a cursory glance at Wikipedia or passing knowledge of history shows this.

    Pasta is made from wheat and different kinds of pasta were eaten in Italy prior to Marco Polo.

    Chinese noodles are made from rice, unlike italian pasta noodles.

    Polo compared noodles to an existing pasta when he introduced noodles.

    These mistakes in your posts are so common that I sometimes that it’s intentional. I don’t mind, I’m having so much fun pointing these out.

    “If we knew how closely we are actually linked possibly that would help destroy some of the walls we build thanks to cultural plagiarism.”

    Well, good luck there. Personally I don’t think the road to better understanding and harmony lies in telling people they plagiarized their culture from someone else.

    • Enrique

      You are right, Pun. Pasta most likely existed before Marco Polo´s travels. However, there are other examples. Some claim that the hamburger was originally from Hamburg.

      –Well, good luck there. Personally I don’t think the road to better understanding and harmony lies in telling people they plagiarized their culture from someone else.

      If people understood how similar we are and how much we influence each other culturally, especially in a globalized world, possibly then it would help lower the walls of nationalism. That was my point.

  2. Mateus

    Pun, I think what Enrique meant was that people are very often projudiced against certain cultures/groups without even realising how close they are. And I agree that were these aspects of culture clear to everyone, in many cases, there would not be so much hostility.

    I’m still trying to think of a good example, though…

    • Enrique

      Hi Mateus, nice to hear from you. How are things in Santa Catarina? You hit it ride on the dot: people do not know how closely related we are. The role of nationalism is to stress these differences from the social to the economic. Take a look at the two World Wars in the last century and consider how many millions died because of nationalism…

    • Enrique

      Tony, this was very sad what happened to the people the ingested the Destroying Angel mushroom. Do you pick mushrooms? I am sure in Ireland you must have a lot of mushrooms that you can find in Finland.

  3. intternetnetsi

    “Take a look at the two World Wars in the last century and consider how many millions died because of nationalism…”

    Small numbers when compared to communism.

    • Enrique

      –Small numbers when compared to communism.

      Do you even know what the numbers are? Let’s start with 20 million killed in the former Soviet Union… That does not include the purges by Stalin during the 1930s, which saw millions perish. Add to that about 6 million that were exterminated in Nazi death camps…
      And think of all the Finns that died during the Continuation War, when we were a “co-belligerent” of Nazi Germany. Risto Ryti called Hitler a “genius” in some of his speeches. Do you see now how hatred and nationalism blinds people? It can be hazardous to a country’s health and send many young men, women and children to their graves.

  4. Tony Garcia

    “Tony, this was very sad what happened to the people the ingested the Destroying Angel mushroom”

    Yes indeed, but I was talking about the phrase “immigrants of foreign origin”. It just sounds a bit funny to me, and I wonder if it was a grammar mistake from HS.

    I don’t pick mushrooms myself, but my wife does with my children, also barriers. She’s been in scouting for years and love this kind of thing.

    I’m a city boy…

    • Enrique

      Yes, amigo Tony, yes… When two giants clash on the field… If worse comes to worse, I will follow the game on Internet radio. What about you? Do you plan to watch it on TV?

  5. intternetnetsi

    “Do you see now how hatred and nationalism blinds people? It can be hazardous to a country’s health and send many young men, women and children to their graves.”

    So we should have surrender to multicultural russia instead of fighting for our freedom? You see examples what happened in viro.

    Nationalism have brought long peace.

    You couldnt create homo sovieticus and you cant create homo multiculturialismus.

    • Enrique

      –Nationalism have brought long peace.

      Has it? There are two ways of handling this: (1) go to a rally and be blinded by a dictator/charismatic leader and “flow with the crowd” (to the grave); or (2) expose these clowns for what they are – madmen on ego trips.

  6. Tiwaz

    -“Pun, I think what Enrique meant was that people are very often projudiced against certain cultures/groups without even realising how close they are. And I agree that were these aspects of culture clear to everyone, in many cases, there would not be so much hostility.

    I’m still trying to think of a good example, though…”

    You will never find good example.

    What Enrique fails to mention is that cultural exchange only takes place when two cultures are natives to areas close to one another.

    This in turn leads to long history of contact, and cultures which (due to most geographical locations close to one another sharing also conditions which cause culture to be shaped as it is) have much shared values and few conflicting values.

    Problem with your line of thinking is that you concentrate on what is shared. Yes, most cultures share some things. These tend to be things that are in all conditions bad for health of individuals of society and thus for survival of the group and thus culture.

    Like eating feces.

    But reality is that instead of looking similarities, we should look at DIFFERENCES. Why? Because these actually MATTER.

    If difference between two cultures is large and conflicting enough, it does not matter how much they share. This one thing would be enough to put them at odds. And such conflict cannot be sorted unless one group forfeits their cultural identity and gives up their part of conflicting practice.

    I will try to make simple example.

    Think about your average PC and MacIntosh. Both share HUGE amount of things. They are both based on semiconductors, both do same things. But they are incompatible on critical levels leading to huge issues of interoperability. You can’t just take a file built with PC and be sure it works on Mac. Because most often it does not.

    So all the things they share are null and moot, because things they do NOT share make happy co-existence without conflict impossible.

    Also Enrique again fails to notice in his post, most likely on purpose because he does not want to admit how his ideal multiculturalism fails, that cultures never voluntarily incorporate to themselves ideals which are in conflict with existing culture.

    He desperately wants to pretend that cultures are all the same, that they can just click together seamlessly if people wanted. But reality is that it will never happen. Differences between cultures are too diverse.

    While cultures next to each other can indeed sometimes click together like pieces of jigsaw puzzle, it only applies to cultures which already have compatible ground. And if you try to put to that same spot piece from completely opposite end of the jigsaw puzzle we call humanity… You do not get a match. Something has to be broken to make something that even remotely resembles fit.

  7. Tony Garcia

    “What Enrique fails to mention is that cultural exchange only takes place when two cultures are natives to areas close to one another.”

    Sorry Tiwaz but I’ll have to disagree with you about that.

    I don’t think that geography matters in this case. Cultures can coexist even if they come from far away, distance won’t make the difference.

    I’ll give you an example, Latin culture is very well accepted in Finland, you have to admit that. In fact I find more natives enjoying Brazilian culture music/dance/food in Finland than in Ireland. What doesn’t happen with middle east culture, and as far as I understand middle east is closer to Finland than Latin America.

    It’s the culture’s nature and values, and the way that the majority of people behaves that counts when putting different people together, not the distance that they come from.

    Some cultures just fit together some just don’t…

  8. JusticeDemon

    There is nothing odd about the phrase immigrant of foreign origin. Many returnees from Sweden are immigrants of Finnish origin.

    One of the things that I notice consistently about the extreme rightists is a thorough inability or even willingness to learn the most basic terminology of immigration. An immigrant is someone with a certain history of travel and settlement. A foreigner/alien is a person with a certain legal status. Origin is a socio-biological concept. These are not difficult categories to understand.

  9. JusticeDemon

    All culture is plagiarism, in the sense that we learn nearly all of our behaviour patterns from those around us and stick with whatever seems to work or become habitual. Immigrants are a particularly rich source of cultural evolution in this regard, and their influence is always necessarily disproportionate to their number.

    The clearest examples this in the history of modern Finland are the foreign industrialists who brought manufacturing industry to Finland in the 19th century. These businesses flourished and their methods were then copied and developed by ambitious and progressively minded Finns. This process was hugely significant in the evolution of Finland as an industrialised country. If the methods introduced by immigrants like Fazer, Finlayson, Gutzeit, Hackman and Sinebrychoff had not been adopted by domestic copycats, then Finland would have largely remained a society of peasant farmers with a mainly Swedish speaking aristocracy.

    The leading religious (German) and bureacratic (Russian-Swedish) traditions and practice of modern Finland are also of foreign origin. The Finnish legal system largely consists of reforms to the Swedish General Code of 1734 in response to a powerfully perceived need to harmonise legal practice in the Nordic countries and more recently in the European Union.

    At a very basic level we can note that most of the modern Finnish lexicon has come from other languages. In this respect the Finnish-speaking community operates under a huge “trading deficit” with speakers of other languages. Only a handful of concepts of unambiguously Finnish origin have been “exported” to become part of common parlance in languages like English, German or French. In other words, the very tools of modern thought have been plagiarised from elsewhere. This is particularly poignant for the rightists on this blog, who fail to appreciate that their political thinking patterns are about as un-Finnish as it is possible to be. Anally retentive ultra-nationalism is itself a foreign cultural import.

    • Enrique

      –All culture is plagiarism, in the sense that we learn nearly all of our behaviour patterns from those around us and stick with whatever seems to work or become habitual. Immigrants are a particularly rich source of cultural evolution in this regard, and their influence is always necessarily disproportionate to their number.

      You bring some good examples. Thank you for these. Your examples bring an interesting question — probably I am oversimplifying things: All of us have incorporated new things into our culture since the dawn of time. Since culture is more diverse than language since it is difficult to pinpoint in the same way linguists speak of a common root language. Culture is too diverse and near-impossible to classify in the same way.

  10. Tony Garcia

    “Do you plan to watch it on TV?”

    A workmate just gave me this page…

    http://www.justin.tv/

    I found live stream from all majors Brazilian channels. But I wouldn’t advise you to watch this game from a Brazilian channel, you know, you may find the place a little unfriendly 😉

    So I found 2 live broadcasts from Argentina.

    http://www.justin.tv/brujita_deprimera24

    http://www.justin.tv/soccer_online2

    You know, we talk so much about culture, but do you know what I really like about ours? Tomorrow during the 90 mins I’ll shout, swear and call all the names I know, but after the referee’s last whistle, I know we both could sit together and have a nice cold one and no scars would appear in our friendship.

    • Enrique

      Thank you Tony for these links! I don’t unfortunately know enough Portuguese to figure out how unfriendly the commentators would be. But I guess through the sighs and shouts I can get the message. For Argentina, the game is super important. Can you imagine that Chile is in second place?
      I will be watching the game with some interest. However, won’t it be televised late?

    • Enrique

      –If i or tiwaz cant tell what finnish is then who can?

      A country is something you cannot “own.” It is a spiritual sense of home and belonging. In the home there are differences of opinion, conflict and misunderstandings. You speak of Finns being one group because you are pitting another group against it. Even though Finland has a long way to go in its acceptance of other cultures, matters have improved tremendously from 3-4 decades ago. So the “backlash” that you and Tiwaz talk about is less probable today than back then. That is why I hope Finland will create an anti-immigrant party. It will expose those who hide behind the “call and civic need to defend freedom of speech” by bashing immigrants who they really are.

    • Enrique

      Hi Tony, I did not watch the game but read about it in today’s electronic dailies. I would like to be the first to congratulate you but, remember, there will be more games that will be played in the future :). There were two other surprises: Peru beat Uruguay 1-0 and Chile tied with Venezuela. If Argentina loses against Paraguay in its next game, Diego Armando will be in hot water. Since Argentina won the world cup in 1978 for the first time, I have never seen the national team play so unpredictably. I guess it is a reflection of the coach’s personality, maybe.

  11. intternetnetsi

    “s hugely significant in the evolution of Finland as an industrialised country. If the methods introduced by immigrants like Fazer, Finlayson, Gutzeit, Hackman and Sinebrychoff had not been adopted by domestic copycats,”

    Tell me what part of their culture they demanded to be understood?

    • Enrique

      –Tell me what part of their culture they demanded to be understood?

      We do not know. However, they show that if you give a person a chance he can succeed.

  12. JusticeDemon

    The clearest examples this in the history of modern Finland are the foreign industrialists who brought manufacturing industry to Finland in the 19th century. These businesses flourished and their methods were then copied and developed by ambitious and progressively minded Finns. This process was hugely significant in the evolution of Finland as an industrialised country. If the methods introduced by immigrants like Fazer, Finlayson, Gutzeit, Hackman and Sinebrychoff had not been adopted by domestic copycats, then Finland would have largely remained a society of peasant farmers with a mainly Swedish speaking aristocracy.

    Tell me what part of their culture they demanded to be understood?

    Demand is an odd word to use in this context, but those peasant farmers would not have got or kept a job in Finlayson’s textile mill unless they could adjust to the requirements of an industrial worker with a specific and very narrow role in a large and highly organised hierarchy. It may not matter much if you are fifteen minutes late arriving for a day ploughing the fields, but if you are late for factory work then you are out of a job.

    For better or for worse, those foreign industrialists introduced Finland to the entire lifestyle of the industrial working class. The resulting change from agrarian to urban-industrial was the most significant and rapid cultural shift in Finland’s history. Nothing else has affected the everyday lives of ordinary people in this country so rapidly and so profoundly.

    The Finlayson case is particularly interesting. By 1860 (just 40 years after the mill opened!) about half of the population of Tampere, both men and women, was engaged in working up an imported product largely for export. This also involved huge reforms in housing, education, health care and many other areas of life.

    The advertising campaigns introducing Finns to the original imported drink made from Erythroxylum coca and consumer products made from various imported species of Nicotiana are minor tremors compared to the earthquake of industrialisation.

    The remarkable thing in all this is that there can still be anyone in Finland who is dumb enough to claim that their culture is freely chosen (as if all the alternatives were presented, tried and tested) and exclusively Finnish (as if nothing at all is of foreign origin). With the arguable exception of a few members of a remote paliskunta, such lifestyles are extinct in Finland.

    • Enrique

      –The remarkable thing in all this is that there can still be anyone in Finland who is dumb enough to claim that their culture is freely chosen (as if all the alternatives were presented, tried and tested) and exclusively Finnish (as if nothing at all is of foreign origin). With the arguable exception of a few members of a remote paliskunta, such lifestyles are extinct in Finland.

      I totally agree. It is a fairy tale that some of our bloggers actually believe.

  13. Tony Garcia

    Buenos dias Amigo.

    Thanks for your compliments. I have to say that I’m very pleased with the result, as you know win from Argentina has an especial taste. Nevertheless we learned, after loose 2 cups to France, that football is a box full of surprises. There is not better team, we just to plaid better last Saturday.

    I’m sure, though, we will see each other next year in South Africa. And in there, my friend, is where the real fun begins…

    PS. Datolo scored a beautiful goal outside the area. Probably the game’s best goal.

  14. Tony Garcia

    Good morning all.

    I’d like to talk to the Finns reading this blog. In particularly those who have family as I do, and love this country as I also do.

    You probably read a lot about many beautiful terms in here. Tolerance, cultural sensitivity, strength in diversity, enrichment, multiculturalism, and others. But the question remains, what do all this terms means in real life? What changes will we face once all this is reality? It’ll be better or worse? What would happen to Finland in 10 or 20 years if we keep accepting 5000 seekers per year plus 50 family members each?

    To have an snapshot of the future you just can’t walk down the streets of Espoo or east Helsinki. Sorry but that’s not good enough. You have to go a bit further.

    I’d urge you all to spare a few minutes of you lives and read the article below. It’s and scary but realistic experience a journalist called Thomas Landen had on the streets of Molenbeek, an Muslim enclave in Brussels, during Ramadan. This is a must reading for anyone who love their families.

    If after reading it you still think this is the place you want for your children, than just to the usual and call me racist, right-wing, Islamophobic whatever you want…

    However if you, like me, think that your children diverse better. If, like me, you believe that your responsibility is with them, not with those people coming here without invitation and who insist in change everything, you than should consider give your signature to Juha Mäki-Ketelä. He’s stabilising a new party to challenge this reckless immigration policy we’re having today.

    Maybe after another wakeup call this government will start doing its job and look after its people instead somebody else.

    Ladies and Gents… Eurabian Safary

    http://www.hudsonny.org/2009/08/eurabian-safari.php

  15. Tiwaz

    -“A country is something you cannot “own.” It is a spiritual sense of home and belonging. In the home there are differences of opinion, conflict and misunderstandings. You speak of Finns being one group because you are pitting another group against it. Even though Finland has a long way to go in its acceptance of other cultures, matters have improved tremendously from 3-4 decades ago. So the “backlash” that you and Tiwaz talk about is less probable today than back then. That is why I hope Finland will create an anti-immigrant party. It will expose those who hide behind the “call and civic need to defend freedom of speech” by bashing immigrants who they really are.”

    Because this is world where everything is pitted against one another. It is through identification of differences that anything gets done.

    Denial of differences inherent to something/someone is idiotic. Politically correct yes, but idiotic. It is same as trying to say that dog growling and foaming from it’s mouth is same as dog few meters away wagging it’s tail. In name of political correctness we can’t call one rabid even though it clearly shows signs of it.

    Where does this situation lead to? Getting bitten by rabid dog.

    Backlash I speak of is starting to brew as we speak. People all over Europe are getting sick and tired of political correct stupidity and refusal to accept that some immigrant groups as groups just do not fit in and have to be changed. Or denied access.

    This is because people are loosing feeling of safety, comfort and HOME. If you no longer feel at home, no longer feel safe and comfortable in place you called home… You will get angry, and you WILL act against those you see as being reasonable for causing the change.

    It is human nature. You Enrique speak of beautiful ideals, but you have to wake up. Your ideals go flat against human nature and workings human society.

  16. Tiwaz

    And when does this feeling of discomfort surface? When society loses it’s cohesion.

    Human groups can only exist and function if they have sufficient amount of shared values, traditions, principles and, yes indeed, rules.

    Too little common ground and group falls apart. Potentially violently like we see in Yugoslavia, Iraq etc.

    Immigrants refusing to adjust/integrate/assimilate (pick your term, but they have to become “invisible”) cause such situation. Less the native culture and immigrant culture have in common, more radically immigrants refusing to adjust disrupt the cohesion.

    And more immigrants there are, bigger the disruption. This far Finland has been fortunate enough to have very few immigrants, but as time goes and people refuse to accept that there must be more strict rules on who is accepted in this changes.

    And that is when backlash starts seriously.

    There will be no Eurabia in Europe, because there will be ethnic cleansing long before that gets chance to happen.

    Question is, do we want this to take place? If not, only solution is to change what lies between ears of immigrants. Natives will not tolerate demands to force them to appease immigrant culture, and natives are still the main power in European countries.

  17. Tony Garcia

    “There will be no Eurabia in Europe”

    Sorry Twiwaz abut I wish I had your optimism. Don’t forget my friend that Europe today has a very dangerous combination…

    – A Multicultural Gestapo ready 24/7 to label anyone who dares to criticize immigration/multiculturalism.
    – A coward PC media with will sell their soul to the devil before risk the hassle of confronting the Gestapo.
    – Opportunistic yooman rites “lawyers” who believe the figures in their bank account is more important than the security of their children.
    – And last but not least gutless politicians who have no problem causing long term damage to achieve sort term gain.

  18. Tony Garcia

    Just to go a bit further, see what is happening in Sweden after all these years of liberal immigration policies and lots of money and effort spent to create a nice multicultural society.

    Now they are planning to make compulsory for refuges to attend classes about western values. As if they are interested in hear what we have to say… However this is what Nyamko Sabuni, the integration minister, and African herself, said few weeks ago…

    “the reform is needed due to the changing nature of immigration to Sweden. Earlier immigrants were mostly work immigrants. They learned Swedish quickly and were integrated within Swedish society through their work colleagues. But in the last decades a much larger proportion of those who are granted permanent residence have come to Sweden seeking protection.”

    So notice few things on her speech. First she’s advocating integration to the Swedish society, not other way around. Other thing is the difference between working immigrants and welfare buns, the first is an asset the second a burden, and as such they are trying to find ways to deal with the challenge, a multicultural word for trouble.

    The point is, the guys there are just desperate to find a solution. No matter what they try it never works. They are having wide weekends ever now and then, cars getting burned and petrobombs being thrown at the police. No matter what they do the “challenge” only gets bigger.

    Is this what we want to Finland? Really?

    Amigo Enrique, you talk about beautiful concepts, who can deny this? However a nice multicultural society will never exists not because the Fins, or Swedish, or English, or Irish, but because the very nature of the people being accepted here.

    It’s all out there, you can keep on denying and hoping that it’ll get solved by itself, or open the eyes for the reality. The choice is ours…

  19. Tony Garcia

    As you can see Tiwaz the future doesn’t look so bright…

    Chebab calling for paedophilia to be legalized, so it wouldn’t be called paedophilia, was applauded as a step towards modernity.

    Halla-Aho writing that Muslims want to legalize paedophilia is found guilty of defamation.

    So, my friend, before we get rid of double stands, it’ll be difficult to see any nice future for our children.

    • Enrique

      –So, my friend, before we get rid of double stands, it’ll be difficult to see any nice future for our children.

      Tony, you cannot apply your culture as a yardstick to judge others in their own homeland. Isn’t that the first rule that you learned when you left Brazil?

  20. Tony Garcia

    “Tony, you cannot apply your culture as a yardstick to judge others in their own homeland. Isn’t that the first rule that you learned when you left Brazil?”

    Checkmate amigo, I have to admit you caught me…

    Maybe you are right, maybe we both should stop judging the Finn’s attitudes and motives once we are in their homeland, and live by their rules.

    • Enrique

      –Maybe you are right, maybe we both should stop judging the Finn’s attitudes and motives once we are in their homeland, and live by their rules.

      It is highly recommendable for anyone who moves to this country gets the “right” information. However, what is the right information? It is easier to adapt when you know your environment. From my personal standpoint, it took me a few years to begin to understand Finnish idiosyncracies. Possibly effective Finnish culture courses would help. I have thought of starting to teach such courses by looking at stereotypes. As you know, there are many stereotypes that Finns have of foreigners and foreigners of Finns. Such a course, however, should be very careful not to create new stereotypes in the process.

      What do you think?

  21. Tiwaz

    -“It is highly recommendable for anyone who moves to this country gets the “right” information. However, what is the right information? It is easier to adapt when you know your environment. From my personal standpoint, it took me a few years to begin to understand Finnish idiosyncracies. Possibly effective Finnish culture courses would help. I have thought of starting to teach such courses by looking at stereotypes. As you know, there are many stereotypes that Finns have of foreigners and foreigners of Finns. Such a course, however, should be very careful not to create new stereotypes in the process.”

    Problem is, multiculturalism is AGAINST such action. Multiculturalism wants everyone to do their thing as they please. To live anywhere as if they were in their country of origin.

    It fractures the society. People want to be in company of other people they can associate with. Cultural tradition is founding block of that association.

    Something multiculturalism fails to acknowledge. Thus leading to formation of separate cliques which in turn look at other similar cliques with distrust and hatred.

    As for effective Finnish cultural studies. That has limited use. How can you teach culture in classroom? You barely scratch the surface. You can’t really even ask Finn to explain our culture to you in simple terms. Because we cannot. It is us as much as our brain is part of us. We cannot any more tell which neuron in our brain fires up on certain stimuli than tell in great detail and simplicity to someone who has no same background why most of us react to some things in certain ways.

    What would work more efficiently in my view would be that immigrants are not put into same area but rather distributed all over, preventing them from establishing their own cliques to turn to. That way they have no option but to pay attention to their surroundings and try to adjust to it.

    Or perhaps run 3 hour intensive educational session for every wannabe immigrant repeating to them “This is Finland, this is not your native country. Do not presume same values, rules or principles apply here. Learn what are local values, rules and principles, do not assume yours are going to work.”-repeated until it sinks in.

    Many may consider it brutal, but it is far less brutal than results of multiculturalism going haywire and bringing us to civil disorder and violence.
    And before that we have established ethnic ghetto where people try to live as if they were still in their country of origin, failing to adjust to Finnish society and thus effectively shutting themselves out.

    Which leads them to whine about racism when they are not getting a job, due to failure to understand how Finnish interview works, and then we have nice little circle.

  22. Tiwaz

    -“Sorry Tiwaz but I’ll have to disagree with you about that.

    I don’t think that geography matters in this case. Cultures can coexist even if they come from far away, distance won’t make the difference.

    I’ll give you an example, Latin culture is very well accepted in Finland, you have to admit that. In fact I find more natives enjoying Brazilian culture music/dance/food in Finland than in Ireland. What doesn’t happen with middle east culture, and as far as I understand middle east is closer to Finland than Latin America.

    It’s the culture’s nature and values, and the way that the majority of people behaves that counts when putting different people together, not the distance that they come from.

    Some cultures just fit together some just don’t…”

    I just have to get back to this…

    While you are correct that ultimately it is calues of cultures which matter, I think you are overestimating the contact of Latino and Finnish culture.

    Few samba schools, some food and singer or few do not make similar cultural chafing as for example tens of thousands of xxx moving to Finland.

    It is easy to have “matching” cultures if there are very few representatives of other culture present who just try to bring forth the parts of their culture which catch local fancy, like samba schools.

    But whole different case when you have thousands of them wandering around trying to live as if Helsinki was downtown Rio.

    If latter were to become reality, situation would be less friendly. But you are ultimately correct that it is the differences between cultures which matter over their geographical distance.

    It simply is good rule of thumb that cultures residing close to one another will have much more similar tradition.

  23. Tony Garcia

    “But whole different case when you have thousands of them wandering around trying to live as if Helsinki was downtown Rio.”

    Well if that happens I’d be the first to stand and fight against. I thought you knew me by now, pity you don’t.

    However as you said yourself the Latino presence in Finland is very small, but yet we do find the culture very well accepted.

    I’m talking about appreciate some aspects of a different culture, not incorporate it into the main culture. I’ve always been against conquering and again pity you don’t know me already.

    “I think you are overestimating the contact of Latino and Finnish culture.”

    Am I? well if you say so, it may be true than…

    But it’s not the Latinos who is bringing Latino culture to Finland. All the 5 samba schools are run by Finns. I used to go to Roseira in Tampere, I’ve never found a single foreigner in there. Pretty much the same for the other 4. You don’t listen bossa nova from a community radio broadcasting from a basement. You listen from majors Finn radio station like Groove FM. In the 2002 world cup you just had to go to centre of Tampere to see lots of Finn kids wearing Brazilian shirt. I have also seen samba and bossa nova played several times in BumtsiBum, twice even sang in Portuguese.

    My only point here is that some cultures can appreciated and some can’t, independently of their geographic location. I’m not, by any means, advocating that the Latin culture is/should be incorporated into the Finnish or that it’s a massive presence in there.

    I fell a bit disappointed you got my words in that way though…

  24. Tiwaz

    -“Well if that happens I’d be the first to stand and fight against. I thought you knew me by now, pity you don’t.

    However as you said yourself the Latino presence in Finland is very small, but yet we do find the culture very well accepted.

    I’m talking about appreciate some aspects of a different culture, not incorporate it into the main culture. I’ve always been against conquering and again pity you don’t know me already.”

    I know and understand you would oppose such things, I have figured out that much.

    But my point was that we cannot really say that any culture with weak representation can be said to be compatible.

    As long as there is only some aspects of culture introduced, it is far from actual complete interaction.
    None of the aspects you speak of regarding Latin culture do not actually conflict with any existing principle of Finnish culture. Clothes, food, music…

    Let’s take stereotypical Latin cultural concept “Manana” to compare. THAT would go firmly against stereotypical Finnish “punctuality is god”-cultural tradition. And Finns who import Latin styles (or Latinos who immigrate) would either understand or rapidly learn what things would not fit into Finnish society.

    And which could, indeed, be even readily added to Finnish culture. I mean, coffee is as “unFinnish” by it’s roots as possible, but it did not offend any existing cultural habit so it is these days practically part of food circle.

    So Latin culture would clash with Finnish one, but differences would most likely be less significant than in comparison to Middle Eastern one.

    But then we have to remember that Latin culture has roots in Europe, strongly. So it makes sense that such culture would not be so far off it’s roots in this short time it has had to turn unique that it would have become incompatible.

    I think I got your words as you meant them, but I fear I am not quite fluent enough to express my thoughts to you.

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