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What is your opinion about culture freaks i.e. Anglophiles, Francophiles, Americaphiles etc... in your country?
Do they irritate you or educate you?
I'm all for diversity and I respcet various cultures. But I observe those people have unrealistically high opinions of the countries they love and don't know much about their own counties. Some people live in thier fantacies....what do you think?
It fuels the soul, haha. If they feel as if that is what makes them happy, then it is right. But ofcourse, ignorance is bliss, since they usually overlook the issues of where ever they are fond of.
M_rk_s : this is a cliché, not a surprise coming from you, "Mr Stereotype", since you can probably find as many counter-examples to your example ! I am one of those counter-examples.
@thirstybear: "is Japan one of those countries which you are refering about?"I was just thinking the same :D
I believe that each culture can contribute something interesting. For example, Japan is one of the most ancient cultures. Others like Anglophiles contribute giving us a assortment of cultures a mix of cultures.
The Japan geeks amuse me rather than annoy me, but honestly I feel that everyone needs an interest in life, and if one of a person's interests in life happens to be another country or culture, then that is their choice and I support them. If they are ignorant of their own country or culture though, that is inexcusable.
Thank you all for your posts.
I appreciate your joining this topic. It's been very interesting!
@thirstybearso & flora:
"by speaking so, the implication must be that YOU KNOW MUCH BEETER ABOUT THEIR OWN COUNTRIES THAN THE NATIVES???"
I don't really appreciate your twisting my words. Let me be clear on my position. Although I don't claim to know everything about my own country, I always try to be more knowledeable about Japan because that way, I could better help people learning the language and the culture and so on. They contact me maily because I'm Japanese and I could give some info that's hopefully helpful for them. Likewise, since I'm learning Italian, I sort of expect my Italian friends to teach me more about Italy. (BTW, my Italian friends have been very good at this.) If they didn't know much about their own country, meaning they were not able to explain the culture, society, history, politics, current issues etc. for some reason, the cultural exchange would be futile. For example, if I were asked "What's the legislative system like in Japan?" instead of saying "Well I don't know much about it, but I guess it's all right," I would research a little and answer in the best way I can, even though that's not of my interest.
Bottom line: if one is not willing to learn his/her own culture, why is learning other cultures possible?
On a side note,yes, there are people who are fond of a particular culture because of just one aspect of the country. Of course I never say one shouldn't have this interest or that, but in my opinion, that's not cultural exchange. I supose culture freaks want to have cultural exchange. Anyway, learning other cultures ends up learning your own culture because your culture is your reference point.
Since you creatively came up with an implication I didn't make,let me get back to you with my own understanding of what you're implying.I take it that you're one of those culture freaks who felt offended by my opinion?
@James: you have a very down-to-earth opinion, and I agree with you.
It is not easy to reach the core of exotic culture without living overseas a long time in that country . You might designate it as fancy or illusion what ever you want . The more you get comprehended , the more frustrated you will be , or more enchanted . Needless to say , there is no absolute positive or negative if you take culture as a whole . Everybody is supposed to have his preference , or obsession . However, you cannot deny some exotic culture in some aspects is superior to your own and vise versa , you culture is superior to others in some aspects. I found some culture confined or restricted is easy to plead their people instead of approaching outside culture . People are easy to be brain washed (LIKE NK) .Culture can be nurtured to grow by relentless communication and mindful consideration .
I think there's a difference between enjoying a culture and geniunely trying to learn more about its customs and languages than trying to fetishise certain cultures based on certain aspects of their culture.
When you start to fetishise people that's when it goes too far. Especially if you think everyone acts the same way based on what musicians, cartoons, and TV shows portray.
Good topic, Elanvital! Yes, those people do get on my nerves. I like that phrase "culture vulture" to describe the kind who think that the "other" culture is so wonderful, advanced, and oh so much more meaningful than one's own. Most people either become unquestioning Xphiles, who blindly devote themselves to the new culture, or tourists who "know" another culture after a two-week stay in the country. I think the best are those who can "get into" another culture and its language to be able to learn something meaningful about their own.