Friday, 28 February 2014

Essays on culture from Denmark

1.    First of all, I am part of the Danish culture, and I feel like I can relate to the Danish peopleregarding norms and value, but at the same time I am part of the Faroese culture, because that is where I descend from. I don’t want to call the Faroese culture a subculture, because I think that my nationality is more the way I’ve been brought up than a choice I’ve made. When it comes to subcultures I would consider myself a part of the alternative youth. I like to wear clothing that does not really follow the trends, but most of the time I do follow the trends a bit, if I like them. I am not a hipster that refuses to look like everyone else; I just like to have something special that characterises me. I can’t say which kind of alternative I am, because my appearance has roots in my interests in all kinds of stuff: I can look like a metal head when I’m wearing band t-shirts because I love metal music,I can look steampunk when wearing a steampunk corset or the like, because I absolutely love the steampunk universe and fashion. But I can’t say that I belong to only one subculture, because I ofcourse have more than one interest. All of my interests characterises me in some way; the way I talk, what music I listen to and what I wear. In my free time I have fenced a lot, and I have some of my best friends from there. People who fence is a neo-tribe, because we gather around the sport of fencing. We have chosen to go to fencing, and we have a lot of similar interests. A lot of my fencing friends enjoy metal music, fantasy books and various tv-series. These are all neo-tribes as well, but also common interests between lots of fencers in Denmark. I too enjoy going to metal concerts. I am not the typical metal head. I am not male, I do not have a beard, I don’t own a lot of band t-shirts but I still love metal. The same goes for video games. I love playing computer, and no, I am not a girl who pretends to be a “gamer girl” for attention. I actually enjoy games, especially first person shooters such as BioShock and Borderlands, but I also really enjoy Assassin’s Creed. I don’t just play the AC games, I have also read a couple of the books based on the games and I sometimes enjoy AC fan art.

2.    We all live in a different societies ,but every society has it's own culture. When we meet a new person, we always : “ He is probably french!”- because of his behavior, habits and, of course, because of the stereotypes. But what is culture? It is a complex of norms, values, traditions and principles, that belong to divergent groups of people, which we call “society”. These points can completely differ from each other, depending on a group. We all are part of different cultures and we all have something in common in our vision of life or behavior. In addition, there some subcultures in every society. It is a group of people that “differentiates themselves from the larger culture”. Of course, they have something in common with people they are live with, but their lifestyle and style might seem unusual. If you ask me what culture I belong to, It will be hard for me to explain. I was born in USA, but have lived almost all my life in Latvia, all my relatives from mother's line are Jewish, but from father's - Russians. I have something a bit of everything from each culture. Because of this mess I passed the test to identify my subculture and it doesn't say anything precisely. How it's says in Internet, I'm a “third culture child”. I think it's the most appropriate term. In the end, the only thing I can say is that no matter who you are, we all are equal. Each person has his own identity and no one has rights to judge him.

3.    I don’t like to label myself, and I’m sure nobody does, because we’re all unique, and we cannot just be placed in a box. If I really have to put myself in a subculture, I guess I’m a nerd. I strive for the best results in school, and in my free time, I usually stay by myself and watch movies, read, or do my homework. I’m subscribed to a number of educational channels on youtube, including numberphile, scishow, and minutephysics. I am also a nerdfighter. I have a small group of close friends, though I have many friends in general. At the same time, I’m in a few different neo-tribes. I am a pc-gamer, and a tumblrian (if you can call it that? That sounds terrible). I am a whovian, a hunter (supernatural), a potterhead, and a sherlockian, but I am also a Homestuck. I listen to Fall Out Boy, Panic! At the Disco, and AC/DC, but I am also a big fan of the Brobecks, and because this is a very little-know band,I don’t know anyone else who likes it. Most of these neo-tribes are actually linked to my subculture, which means that I don’t have clear boundaries between them.

4.    In this essay I will try to describe which culture, subcultures and neo-tribes, which I am a part of.What characterises these groups I am part of, and what it means to me to be a part of the groups. Culture means a common set of rules, norms, values and traditions in a group. In this case, I am Danish. I was born and raised in Denmark, and my family lives here in Denmark. We travel a lot in my family, so that means I get to meet other cultures as well. I think it is important to meet other people, with another cultural background, because it helps to understand others culture and understand one’s own culture, and why we behave as we do. It is hard to describe, what it exactly means to be Danish, but I think we as a people like the feeling of secureness, because we have our welfare state. There are some stereotypes sentences on how others look at Danes, and I will see if I think these sentences are correct: •The weather is really weird and scary! -Yes, the weather in Denmark is horrible and cold. •Babies are left alone in cars and carriages – Yes, we trust each other and feel secure. •Christiania – Yes, in Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, there is a society for itself, Christiania. •Too many bicycles around –True in Denmark we cycle a lot. •Danish sounds really weird –It might seem so. •All Danish girls wear black, only black –Most often it is like that. •You have special roads for bicycles! –We like biking. •It's so cold and Danes wear so little clothes – We are used to the weather. •Danes dislike people from Greenland – This is not true. Sub-culture is culture that differs from the mainstream culture, because it has a bit different norms, values and ways to behave. Subculture could be emos, bikers, hippies and fandom. Fandom is when you are fan of something and share the same interest with other fans, and are really obsessed with the one’s you are fan of e.g. Justin Bieber. I am personally fan of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Who so me and my friend, that are also interested in it, sometimes have some evenings were we watch the episodes and talk about it. I think it’s the only sub-culture I can think of for now. Neo-tribes. An example on neo-ttribe could be football fan, it is someone that goes to events together, want the same are interested in it and have emotions for it. I am a part of something called MUN, which means Model United Nation, and we are a group of people attending conferences together. We have the same interest about global politics, and we all want to achieve the same goal.

5.    In my opinion culture is not only values, habits and norms, shared by a group of people. I think it`s a little bit more than that. It`s also human activity in many different forms, including all forms and methods of human expression and self-discovery and the accumulation of human skills and knowledge. There are many of different cultures in the world. Basically I think that each of us have our own point of view about culture. I think that I`m a part of 3 national cultures and 1 religious culture. I was born in Latvia, but I`m Russian girl inside because my mother-tongue language is Russian, I was studying in Russian School. So I was born, let`s say, multicultural. A clash of two main cultures in my country is a very nice thing because we are different, but at the same time we respect each other. I like that we celebrate 2 new years because of one hour difference between Moscow and Riga. At 23.00 we listen to Russian president, and then in 24.00 to Latvian. Isn`t that funny? The same thing we do with Easter and Christmas. In general we have a different religion with Latvians – that`s the reason. They are Catholics, we are orthodox. But trust me that celebrate the most important events two times a year is much better then only once. The third culture I can say I belong to in some kind is Danish culture. I moved to Denmark 4 months ago and now I eat Danish food, I`m trying to learn Danish language, I know some of Danish jokes and traditions. It`s not my native culture but I`ve noticed, that I started to follow Danish traditions. It`s very interesting. One of the goals of modernsociety is to break the borders between different cultures and make people more multicultural, more open. In this case lots and lots of exchange programs for students all over the world are available nowadays. I participated in one of them and I lived in Istanbul in real Turkish family for two weeks. It was one of the greatest experiences in my life. I learned some of their traditions, religion; I ate real Turkish home food. And believe me that I cannot compare that time to my first trip to Turkey. During the first time I and my family had an ”all-inclusive” mode for 21 day. Yes, we`ve seen different sightings, but in general we were sunbathing, swimming and enjoying food. Now I know, that it`s almost impossible to learn something interesting about culture living in a hotel. Talking about sub-culture I don`t really think, that I`m part of one. May be just something called ”yuppy”. But in general, maybe, I`m ”rapper” cause I love rap and something about fashion because I love it. Neo tubes... I love ice hockey. Once a month I always go to the hockey match, scream and shout for my favorite team. In general I think that culture is inside each of us and we should accept and respect other cultures.

6.    As a Danish teenage boy in the Danish culture, going through education at the moment which basically is the same thing day after day. Without any change this lifestyle would get repetitive really fast that’s why I, as well as others need subcultures and to be a part of them to know you are something. Even though it isn’t always remotely possible to tell by the person’s appearance what sub-cultures he or her belongs to. Me for instance, I am onto heavier music and rock and therefore label myself as a metalhead. I am a metalhead but not in the way that I dress up in full black with long boots and spikes, though I do own band merchandise but on a more casual level. Being able to call myself a metalhead is nice because I believe in the music as other metalheads does and we can be together about it and discuss it. Being a part of an underground subculture which is often seen as something evil and bad is difficult at times because other people have a hard time understanding my interest in this kind of music. To attend to concerts along with others gives a good relationshipbecause we all know that we came to experience the same thing and that is a thing that mostly we can agree on. To be a lot of people revolving around the same thing for a night with power and fun is a good way to sort of “relax” or at least release stress and just have a good time as well as getting good relationships.

7.    My cultures, Subcultures and Neo-tribes I’m a part of many different groups within my society, I’m a Dane, I live in Denmark so I’m Danish, most Danes are in favor of a larger government, free healthcare, and are willing to accept higher taxes and I’m one of them, I think that if the government is effective it is worth spending a lot of money in it. My family and my origins have placed me in these cultures. I’m also a part of sub-cultures, I’d like to call myself a punk (metalhead?), and this sub-culture holds a large part of my thought process. I don’t believe everything is good or okay, I believe the world is cruel and unforgiving, but that you need to keep your head high and fight for success (a success that also comes with a price). I accept that the world is not all fun and games. Mostly I’m a part of many neo-tribes, I’m a metalhead, I love music and it shapes me and the way I think, I interpret the messages and use them to look upon life and to gain a bigger acceptance of bad things happening in my life. Also I’m an audiophile, I care about sound and love discussing equipment, files types, Codex’s and alternative media’s (and it’s a sub-neo-tribe I have through my love of music) . I’m a redditer and spend much time reading others stories, thoughts and listening to expertise on many different subjects, these stories, thoughts and this knowledge shapes me and gives me ideas about society. I’m also a gamer, in the gaming world just about everything is possible, you solve problems all the time and try to improve your tactics and speed. It’s a glorified version of the real world, also just about everything is possible but it’s just so much harder to achieve in the real world (and things are also more unlikely, but you get the idea). So this view upon life and the world is in collaboration with the metalhead neo-tribe creating many of my fundamental views, they contrast and shape the final product of thought. I’m also a computer geek; I like using computers looking at tech, specs, benchmarks, tests, talking about and follow the evolution of tech in general. Lastly I’m also a part of my family; I chose to seek them for comfort andto be loved.

8.    Culture: I was born I Australia and raised in Denmark, so I am a part of the Australian and Danish culture. I fell like I am a part of both of these two culture, mainly due to I live in Denmark and my mother is Australian and then I get to be a part of the Australian traditions. For example, I celebrate two Christmas, the Danish the 24th Dec and the Australian the 25th Dec. I have not really thought about, before, what it means to me to be a part of two cultures, but I think it is a good thing. I like to be a bit different and to be able to say I have two homes. Subculture: I do not really have a subculture I feel like I am a part of. Neo-tribe: I like to draw, paint and swim. I use to go to drawing and swimming, but because of school and work, I chose to stop to both of them. I also like to read books.

9.    I have been growing up in a culture where we values school and education. It is very important to do well in school and do your homework in time. In my culture we want our children and family to be raised right, and we expect them to behave and do their best always. But even though we want a very good education, we also use a lot of time relaxing in the couches with a burning fireplace in the living room. We love making dinner ourselves, and we always make too much so we have leftovers for lunch next day. For us it is a norm to be living with dogs and to use a lot of time on them. We train and socialize our dogs every day and we enjoy working with them. In my family it is a sure habit to drop yourself on the couch when you get home. We usually eat if we don’t know what to do, and it has become a habit to walk 2 –3 km each day. Of course we bring our dogs with us almost everywhere, which is also a habit we have. My subcultures may be a bit different than yours, since I live on the countryside. I do longbow shooting as a hobby which is far away from mainstream activities, at least in Denmark. I am a gamer, and I love spending my day in front of the computer or my Xbox to play videogames. I love playing roleplaying games, and/or online games. In Denmark it is not usual for a girl to be a gamer, but there is still a big part that is. I am not a part of any Neo-tribes of what I know except the dog-training-club that I am a part of. I am re-traditionalized because I LOVE old traditions such as celebrating all the different holidays with each their main-figure. I like watching movies on its original language without using subtitles. It means a lot to me. I have my own identity. I find a lot of stuffcomplex but I try to make it simpler by looking at it from another view. I make my own choices because I want to have my own consequences as well. Otherwise, I wouldn’t learn anything, would I? My mood can change weirdly but others would find me very stable, since I try not to annoy other people with my emotional thoughts. All in all I am usually a happy girl concentration on my school and my dog. I live with my mom and her boyfriend and we enjoy relaxing and doing things together.

10.  As I was born and raised in Spain and my dad is Spanish, I consider myself part of the Spanish culture but I also consider myself European as my mom has influenced a lot in me and she is Danish and has been living in lots of different countries. As I am part of two cultures, I consider different from the rest of my friends in Spain, as I am more “international” in aspects as language, tastes and lifestyle. Actually, one of the facts that I took into account when moving to Denmark was that I felt I could actually do it because of my cultural situation, as not everyone could go and live in another country by their own decision and adapt there. I’m a F.C Barcelona fan, so I consider myself in that neo-tribe, also the world of music, as I like to mix music and listen to nearly of kinds of music but without pertaining into a certain and concrete group as Rock n Roll or Heavy Metal. My life could be resumed into a mix of cultures and lifestyles, international affection and personal self-adaption.

Comments on these essays:
Your essays are great .They inspire us.Thank you. Aydin
Hello! I am Stefan from Romania! I found interesting information about your country (mentality, values, culture etc.) here. Thank you for sharing! Greetings from Bucharest! 
Really nice job guys!  Evi

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