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callmedan

Learning about cultures

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I think this topic is really interesting, so... let's start the game. Just tell something about your culture, so that I (or maybe we) can know more about the other cultures.

Oh, maybe just tell one thing each time.

Okay, let me do it first.

It's July in lunar calendar now, and in our culture, it's the worst month of a year. They said, in this month, the hell gate will be opened and the spirits of the dead people are allowed to go to the human world to visit their family. And of course, there're also evil spirits. During this month, there're lots of things that you shouldn't do like do not go out at night for example.

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Ooooh, interesting topic! And educational as well.

Hmm, our culture, eh?

I suppose one thing about my culture is how people speak. They add so many strange slangs and alternative words to certain languages, but no matter what weird thing it is, it always makes us feel as if we're at home. For example, we use 'lah' at the end of a sentence to point out something obvious, like this.

"You put it on top lah."

The bad grammar was also intended. :kawaii-music: This, my fellow friends... Is known as Manglish. XD

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Since we're talking about languages, I'll mention that where I live people often speak Spanish and English interchangeably. I myself don't really do it, but I'm very used to hearing it. For example, people will start off sentences "Pero like..." :P

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@moonpeace That's horrible linguistically (the language mixing) but I've caught myself doing it since I and my husband are from different countries and we can speak three languages together. 

As for a culture trait:
Something that may not be common elswhere (from what I've heard) and what people do a lot in my country in this time of the year: going to forests to search for and pick up mushrooms, and then they make various meals from them (I'm not much of a fan personally).

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 Most people where  live are one word: gringo. We have people who aren't that way, but not many. Iactually know a Hispanic gringo. I was born in El Paso, Texas, but that was just because my dad was in the military. Moved when I was 2.

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Can I join in? :o

Language random fact: in my language, the words "theme" and "homework" are the same. Context play. (We have so many silly and senseless sayings and proverbs, if anyone's interested, I'll list some because they are so stupid and hilarious)

Random culture fact: We have this religious tradition that's called "The Saturday of the Dead". I have no idea how it works and how it is calculated since it is, to my knowledge, only marked in the calendar by the Church (they know their own algorithms). It isn't just once, but multiple times a year and it basically is a Saturday where people make little packages with food -usually consisting of rice dish, chicken, and traditional Romanian wheat grain sweet cake (???YA)- and we give them to people. Usually it is desired to hand them out to people close to your family (like neighbours) and those who are not really that financially lucky. And you end up receiving a package too. The point of these givings is to do it in honour of the departed. It is believed that if you give these things away, the dead will, in turn, receive this in heaven. If you drop it, it means the dead were hungry/thirsty. The little part is a silly little something but I consider this concept quite nice. 

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@callmedan @moonpeace sure thing! I'm so glad someone is interested since our culture is kind of obscure and mixed because of our geopolitical history. :kawaii-happy:

I will try my best to explain and translate them because they are so weird even in our language that I don't think some can even be properly translated. 

Sayings/expressions: 

To make it (/sth) of sheep. (A o face de oaie) - To get in deep trouble, to screw up. No idea what the sheep part should symbolise, it's very popular though. 

To beet it (/sth). (A o sfecli) - yes, the actual vegetable, beet, we took a noun and turned it into a verb for some reason. It means the same as above,screw up really bad. 

To search for a knot in the cattail. (Cauta nod în papură) - search for a fault in something just for the sake of criticising that thing, when it's not really possible to nitpick. 

Leave it dead in the cornfield. (Las-o moarta in păpușoi) - give it up. This one is really extra.  

Leave it as a puddle (las-o baltă) - exact same as above, drop it. 

 

Proverbs: (I'll only list a few I promise) 

The shard laughs at the broken pot. (Rade ciob de oală spartă)  -To be hypocritical, but specifically, to make fun of someone when you present exactly the quality you are mocking.

The urn doesn't always float in the river. (Urciorul nu merge de multe ori la apa) - mild allusion to the "the boy who cried wolf". Meaning that if you once got away with something, you shouldn't push your luck. 

Blood doesn't turn to water. (Sângele apă nu se face) - might have similar variations in other cultures. It means that no matter what, family is very important and you'll love them forever. 

Good man with bad clothes, still looks good in them. /Bad man with good clothes, it's like wheat with burnt up coal. ( Omul bun cu haine rele, tot îi stă bine cu ele. / Omul rău cu haine bune, e ca grâul cu tăciune) - personal fave, know it from my grandpa. It is referring that no matter how you dress, your actions and personality will shine through them. It's more of a rhyme really so sorry if it doesn't really make sense in English. 

 

This is all I can bring for now. I hope you found this interesting and amusing ^>^!

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In the Philippines, our local version of monsters are what we call "aswangs". They are winged creatures, human by day (some say they are beautiful) and monster by night. They prey on human beings while some feed on fetuses. The sound they make is louder when they are away and softer when they are near. When they are old, they cannot die even if they are suffering so much unless they pass the "curse" to someone (in the form of a shining orb which comes out of their mouths and passing it on to the mouth of the next aswang). Special coconut concoction is used to ward them away. Aswangs can shapeshift into dogs, cows/goats. They don't eat their neighbors. They choose to look for their prey in far villages.

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I grew up in a farm town in the middle of the US. Beside common holidays such as Christmas, we held a town fair and rodeo at the end of each summer. A carnival would come to town and set up shop at our local fair grounds. We'd start with a parade at the beginning of the week, which was mostly kids on horses, kids on hay on truck beds, and cars from local businesses. People in the parade would throw out candy and kids would run into the street to pick it up. After the parade, everyone would drive (or ride horses) to the fairground. At the fairground, folks would go to the carnival, participate in pie-eating contests, mud wrestling, etc. Kids would show of their prized hogs, calves, goats, sheep, horses, rabbits, chickens, hamsters, etc. Kids would stuff their faces with the things they weren't supposed to eat... Fritos covered in cheese, chili, and sour cream. Sugary shaved ice. Ice cream. Fried dough covered in sugar. During the fair, there was a rodeo. At the end of the week, the best ropers, bull riders, etc would come together in a final showdown to see which of them was the best in a packed arena. There would sometimes be fireworks.

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I'm drooling now. XD

Just going to add in another thing here because I think it's interesting. XD

Okay, so have you guys ever heard of the Mooncake Festival (also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival)? Its official name is 中秋节 (pronounced zhongqiu jie) and it's usually celebrated by ethnic Chinese and Vietnamese people. The festival is most often observed on the fifteenth day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar. This year, it will be held on the fourth of October, and it's said that the festival is supposed to be for thanksgiving (like, for the good harvest) and for praying for longevity, beauty, babies, and things like that. 

Mooncakes taste really good, they usually have a soft outside, carved with lots of patterns and a filling which is usually some form of Chinese sweet filling. At least, that's how they're traditionally made. This year, my mother's making some 'modern' mooncakes, and they taste terrible (at least to me, because there are duck egg yolks in them). Modern mooncakes have a flaky outside, kind of like tau sar peah. Tastes really bad to me. XD

I've not celebrated the Mooncake Festival in a while, so I'm happy that I'll probably get to have a chance to do that this year! 

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1 minute ago, Honey Butter Chloe said:

@jasonsamuel 300+!? Holy cow O.O Has anyone learned them all?

hahaha, no. None does anyone try to. Most people speak english but some dont so you just have to blend in if you are in an area that speaks another language. Like I said because a lot of people speak a different language, it doesnt seem that special, like having different cloths or going to different schools

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