The Clash Of Cultures

March 2, 2017 by admin_name

The Clash Of Cultures
March 2017 Editiorial

The clash of cultures is a ubiqitous story element that I can confidently say will stand the test of time. Not all story elements stand the test of time and some examples of this fact are found in technology, language and political propaganda. You can no longer have a character who lives in the present tell a creditor that his check is in the mail unless it´s a joke. Just like you can no longer have a character who lives in the present society repeat the political propaganda of days gone by and have it ring with any kind of ressonance to people in the present day.

The clash of cultures in story telling can be funny, sad, crazy and mean. It spans the spectrum of the imagination. The World Olympics are no longer such a big thing anymore but one example of the clash of cultures can be found in the country that hosts the event. The country that gets the right to host the Olympics puts on a show that displays their cultural identity and in some ways that is as important as the athletic events themselves.

So what element of the clash of cultures do I chose to discuss? Well try the most famous one. The best example, I feel, is found in language. Yes language, that important thing in our lives we take for granted and ignore, especially in Northern American culture. It´s one of those things you realize only when you don´t have it. When you live in a foreign country and must learn a foreign language you realize its importance. You also realize that nations battle for the spread of their language.

An example from my life was my time in Spain a few months ago. What a beautiful country but unlike many other European countries you will see only Spanish speaking programs on TV and most everybody will only speak Spanish (maybe some Portugese, Catalan or Galician). They reject English and I´ve seen parents prevent their kids from speaking English. When you go to the shops, cafes or restaurants most of the people cannot or will not speak English.

As it turns out the Spanish speaking part of the world, like the English speaking part of the world is a very big population and it is in some, and only some, parts where these two populationss meet that you can see the clash of cultures. What a fascinating discovery I made on that trip.

The good news in all of this is that the clash of cultures concerning language are usually resolved subtly with the differnt populations adopting words from each other and growing. So my advice is to keep the politicians out of this fusion and growth process because they almost always drag down the culture they claim to be defending.

So all you storytellers keep in mind the clash of cultures in your works. There´s always some new aspect of it to discover.

John Appius Quill


Editorials / I2Q Blogs 2017 / appius / culture / ink2quill / language / march /


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