Hymn without Country

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June 9th 2008
Published: June 9th 2008
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It is amazing (and amuzing at the same time) how increadibly draining and nerveracking a definition of your own culture can be! Ask us to define German or French culture, we would have an answer on the tip of our tongue - a stereotypical image that is easily recognized by everyone and everywhere. However ask us to define ourselves in a cultural regard, we plunge into the vastness of a blank mind. Or at least that's how I felt while meditating on the subject. Hence, seeing no other solution, I've decided to deduce the matter in the most logical, almost mathematical way.

How do cultures get into existence? Why is one culture different from another? Why are Germans stereotyped for beer, French - for wine, and Russians - for vodka? How does one country 'cultivate' its culture?

Naturally I confused myself even more to the point where I had the most severe head ache and I came to a conclusion that everything that is genius is in fact simple! So I answered to all of those intricate questions in one honest banal fashion - a culture is the prism through which others project an exagerated image of a particular group of people. Thus to narrow it down to myself - the definition of my culture would be the way people see me from an outsider's perspective.

Now that was a scarry thought! It turns out quite frightening to find out what is the stereotypical image people have of you, without embellishments or flattery. So I didn't ask anyone....

Instead I've gathered up all my courage and decided to spill it out myself.

My culture is an organized chaos, when I can find a pin in the hills of memos, essay drafts, coffee cups (at least six!), lecture notes, paint brushes and an entire collection of chocolate raps. With a precision of an astronomer I will be able to tell presicely where everything is and when it was contributed to the pile. My notes are usually written in an erratic manner, scattered all over the page and in various directions, however I always know the exact order I wrote them in.

My culture is beer. A well known champion of beer nights, crowned 'the last man standing' and 'drinking boys under the table during a hockey turnament' - embarassing but what can I do, I'm a female beeroholic. I know almost everything about beer and its culture (!) and I find it the most fascinating drink in the universe, and mind you, my friends, in correct dosages, a very healthy drink as well - cures anything!

My culture is 'geographically challenged'. As my mom always put it - 'Gali, you'll get lost in three pines!' I am probably one of the most disoriented people on earth and known for always going in an exactly opposite direction from the destination point.

My culture is parfum. In exchange for my feable eyes, I've got a gift of acute smell and taste. Among friends I am usually known for being able to pin point the exact brand of the parfum on every girl at the gathering and define the complex notes in the wine being served.

My culture is linguistics and languages. I am usually know for attempting to learn 3 languages at a time, and miserably failing at at least one of them. Normally I would excel at the technicalities of the language and its semantics, however inconsistency and lazyness are my Achiles heel. Nonethless languages are something that I am known to be good at and something that I learn with pleasure, never skipping my French or German lectures and always keeping my eyes on the horizon for a new language to dip my fingers into.

My culture is me - with no prejudice, no regrets and no country!


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