Around the cultural world from kissing to farting

  • Post category:Social
  • Reading time:7 mins read


Cultural differences and cultural diversity are both used regularly in the modern “global” world. Some would use this term to highlight the differences and challenges. On the contrary other groups e.g. large corporation and management institutions will go on highlighting the benefits of having diversity in teams. Either good or bad fact is that people are different. We are in fact different at individual levels. However, as humans we really like to categorize. So we keep on trying to group differences in the form of cultures, religions, countries, races, genders etc. It just makes some conversations easy. Sometimes, it leads to racism as we have categorized certain thing to be “racist” in nature.
I was sitting one evening in my room doing nothing. Well, doing nothing is one of the things that keep me a lot busy :). Let’s come back to the topic, otherwise we will end up with nothing. So, I happened to go through some of the travels I have done across different places. It gave me a chance to meet different people, see new architectures. It also gave me a change to observe some differences the way we behave. We generally talk about differences e.g. Swiss precision and timings vs. Indian casualness, Western handshake vs. Japanese greeting.  There is difference in handshakes also. I happened to grow in a way that my handshakes could be considered longer than some people in other countries would expect. I did not know it till I shook hands with one lady. I felt something wrong, but was not sure what it is. She told me later on it was uncomfortable for her to shake hands for that long. It need to a quick meeting of two hands that go back to your pockets. Now, I was wondering which should take the priority in this case? E.g. at some places it could be considered rude or sign of mistrust if person shakes hand for very short time. I think we are back to shaking hands with Japanese :). Anyways, this evening I thought how our behaviors / acceptance is different to natural human activities.
Kissing is accepted as a very normal activity in western lifecycle. One can find people kissing in the public and no one thinks it needs to be a private gesture. Type of kiss for sure varies if it is normal social greeting kiss between acquaintances, close friends or couples. Whichever may be the case a kiss is very normal gesture in western world. One can sure argue about the number or pecks an American gives vs. a German. It surely has its own funny incidents. On other side of the river where if we find a boy and girl sitting together police can put you in their jeep like a crime has been conducted. For sure there is a bridge also and the level of acceptance varies based on how close are we to a certain edge of the river. There is nothing wrong in both sides, just the difference of where we are on the cycle of change. But we do feel strange when cross each other.
One simple case is clothing. How much we need to cover ourselves is a big topic across the world. In general its accepted that western culture is fine with less clothes than mid-eastern or eastern countries. One the contrary we have communities where fully cladded women are norm. At times concept is so strong that even women themselves believe is the correct way. For sure west started this change long time back. The women had a struggle to leave those big heavy clothing they used to carry many years ago. As with anything we never know where the change ends. It is like flow of river, it starts and it stops based on its own accord. In eastern mythology everything moves in cycles. From jungle with no clothes to, caves with leaves, to skins, to stitch clothes and now we are on the way back. We need to see when do we reach the jungle stage again. In some cases, we have started to see the signs. E.g. nowadays everything that needs to be protested seems to have more weight if people go naked on streets. Theme could be leather clothing, animal testing, women issues etc. We can see mobs moving naked. Some even go biking naked carrying their agenda flags. Initially they were strange and opposed. Slowly we are getting used to it. This article about women clothing shows the subjectivity of it.In India we are somewhere in between. We moved from the temples of Khujraho and Kamasutra to fully clad women with veils and now we are winning Miss World titles and Kingfishers runs it special annual calendar.Recently a conflict between a famous Bollywood actress and media agency became a topic of social network in India. Everyone seems to suggest women clothing to women without judging them. However, I did not see anybody protesting the way this girl did against Instagram’s content policy. How different it is, I do not know. In one way it is all about give freedom to what one wants to wear and make it public.
Reading and thinking about kissing and clothing one may find that west may be more open and let people do things the way one feels like. However, there are some topics, which may be the opposite. e.g. defecation. Have you ever noticed on the side of big highway or a train network people giving morning salutes of flashing bums in west? People would probably make most ugliest and funniest faces at the same time. Why so? This is one of the basic natural activities. In India we do not even notice it. May be it was two extreme. Lets make it easy; how about farting? How many will cringe faces purely on the sound of it? Still in some remote villages in India or may be some other countries) it would be completely normal activity. It is a scientific fact too that everyone farts, but not many would accept it and will keep on talking medicines for it. Yes simpler topic would be burping. One small burp can raise many eyebrows in the modern world. It would be like the person who burped had committed some serious crime. Again why so? It is just a normal bodily activity. It is simple where we are on the big wheel, our likeness and acceptance of certain activities and behaviors keep on changing. But for some reason, after all those thousands of years and scientific awareness, one part of the world kept on feeling that others are not up-to-the-standards.
There are many such topics and activities one can write about. As normal humans we will keep on having our differences and prejudices and need to feel superior to others. However, one natural activity, which I believe can be globally accepted, is smile. I am yet to meet a person who does not like smiling. This is one thing on which whole world can come together.
Keep Smiling

Arundeep Singh

Two Jews are walking. Ahead of them they notice Moishe walking like a duck along the footpath.
“I bet you he has haemorrhoids,” says Saul, “that’s why he walks that way!”
“No,” says Mo, “his balls are enlarged, that’s why!”
They catch up with Moishe and tell him of the bet they just made.
“You are walking this way because of bad haemorrhoids, right?” says Saul.
“No,” replies Moishe.
“Aha!” exclaims Mo. “Then it is because of your swollen balls, right?”
Moishe stops and turns towards them. “I am sorry, but both of you lose. You see, I thought it was going to be just a good old fart, but…”