Cultural differences or where do you keep your shoes?
I’m interested in your comments on the poem that I referred to yesterday Alex. I think it is a style of poetry that is modern and American and as you say, very different to the European tradition of poetry. William Carlos Williams was part of a school of poetry in the early 20th Century that was radically experimental for its time. The poem may be simple but its not simplistic. I love its emotional intensity but quiet restraint created by the clear and sensory description. Now I’m into my literature teacher mode! I like teaching literature but sadly don’t often get the opportunity to do it these days.
I’ve had some questions about culture clashes and my experience. Well it’s difficult to talk about in some ways because of the sensitivity of the issues involved. What I will say is that the longer we are married and the longer that I live here, the more I realise how deep cultural differences are. I think initially you notice the superficial differences in behaviour, for example I remember that not long after we were married we had a really big row about where you should keep shoes. I thought that they should be kept out of sight, in a wardrobe in the bedroom . Mustapha on the other hand was horrified by this idea which he thought was filthy. He wanted to keep the shoes on a rack just outside our front door. I thought that was horrible too as this would be the first image that visitors saw when they came to the house. Eventually we found a compromise and now keep our shoes in a store room!
Alex you questioned my tongue -in -cheek title ( I married the same man three times). I just enjoy funny titles that might grab a reader's attention! I agree with you that in many situations it’s the norm to have more than one wedding ceremony and that this is just a cultural practice. It’s just that in my own cultural background it is considered odd to have more than one ceremony.
Thanks for all your comments. Pary you are right to quote the saying that in English there are three things that you can’t talk about; a woman’s age, income and religion. Actually this is more related to UK culture than to the language. We are just very uncomfortable discussing these subjects!
Alex I can confirm that there really is a variety of English called International English or Global English. It's interesting that you feel it is easier to understand and communicate with other non- native speakers of English. Research into the future of English actually confirms your feelings and describes this communication as English as a Lingua Franca.
Patterns and Lexis from today;
a school of poetry ( a way of thinking or working that is shared by a group of people)
radically experimental for its time ( extremely experimental at that time)
it's simple but not simplistic (treating difficult subjects in a way that isn't too simple)
emotional intensity (creating very strong emotions)
quiet restraint ( calm and controlled behaviour)
sensory description ( relating to the senses)
a tongue-in cheek-title ( a joke title)
the norm ( the usual situation)
a superficial difference ( on the surface or not important difference)
to have a really big row ( a really big arguement)
filthy ( very dirty)
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