After an awful track record of 11 posts over the last 4-5 years, with the last post over two years ago, something struck me to write and reply to another The Weekly Musing last week. So, clearly, I could use some help with topic ideas and posting regularity, so please feel free to reach out with your suggestions. Use the subject “The Weekly Musing” when sending me your feedback.
The Weekly Musing #11
In dealing with some projects at work and school over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking a lot about culture.
Where are you originally from? Think about the area you primarily grew up in when answering. Where is this place located?
I am from the wonderful, and often stereotyped, state of New Jersey. The “armpit” of America, as some call it, is located on the East Cost of the United States of America.
If you were to ask an average person about this place, what would be the first thing that might come to mind? This could be a key trait, custom, or even a stereotype that people would think about.
Stereotypes? Like New Jerseyans have never heard of those before… /sarcasm. So I mentioned “armpit of America”, that’s one because of the perceived smell (hey, New York: thanks for dumping your garbage off all over the state and then blaming us for the smell driving down the Turnpike). Another is Jersey Shore, the bane of my existence and one of the reasons why I am glad I don’t physically reside in the state anymore. Another is our accents, often confused with those from New York, specifically Staten Island. Oh, should I continue? We could be here all day…
Some stereotypes are true, though. For instance, my mom was born and lived in Newark for a period of time, and her family was also born and partially-raised in the area. My grandmother used to say words funny, with what could be described as a “Jersey” dialect — “soder” (instead of “soda”) and “gah-nawwl” (“cannoli”… yeah that doesn’t make sense at all, but it sure as hell sounds funny) — as well as cutting words off, i.e. “Chine” (instead of “Chinese”). My mom and I speak funny sometimes, too, i.e. “tawlk” (“talk”) and “Noork” (“Newark”).
Are there any particular holidays, celebrations, traditions, etc. that are unique to this area? Depends on where you are located. A town not far from where I used to live had an Italian festival, sponsored by a local church every summer. The annual agricultural fair and Balloon Festival were both popular, too. As far as celebrities from New Jersey, we have some good ones: Frank Sinatra, “the Boss” (Bruce Springsteen)… and here’s a list, Wikipedia did the work for me.
How do you familiarize yourself with different cultures and customs?
I enjoy learning about different cultures and customs through travel, discussions, reading… any exposure, really. Recently, there were some exchange students in a few of my MBA classes, in addition to individuals who traveled abroad as undergraduate students or for pleasure. They brought an interesting perspective to the class.
If you answered The Weekly Musing, please leave a comment with your responses and/or re-post on your own page. I look forward to reading your responses!!!