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  • Big Cultural Differences

    I understand there are differences between our culture and that of Saudi Arabia, but I did not realize until today some of the finer points. I was watching a show on the Travel channel and the host was invited to S.A., during his trip I picked up that only men wear white clothing, while the women get to dress in black (great option for the Sun). Aside from the many other things we don't share was when the host mentioned everything stops five times a day for prayer! Here we are fighting to get a moment of silence in the schools and these folks put their lives on hold five times a day for prayer. I guess it's easier to mold a person into extremes when you have their attention so often. I don't know what their prayers involve, but imagine if just twice a day we stopped what we were doing to give thanks? Those folks are holding onto their beliefs and we are fighting to keep our history and culture from being lost to athiests.

  • #2
    Re: Big Cultural Differences

    Here is the another cultural difference: 30% of males between the ages of 18 to 25 in Saudi Arabia are unemployed. Oh, and women don't hold jobs there.

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    • #3
      Re: Big Cultural Differences

      Islamic prayers are for the most part repetition of verses. I don't remember the specifics, but depending on the time of the day, they will repeat 3 or 4 verses a varying number of times. The more devout believers may repeat more verses if they choose to. At the end of the common prayer, individuals typically pray for guidance and strength, or anything pertaining to their own lives and loved ones. There's also additional verses that will be said on holidays.

      Surprisingly, there are non-spiritual benefits to the Muslim prayer practices as well. There is light physical exertion involved, not very difficult in itself, but take 10-20 minutes of it multiplied by 5 times a day and it's a form of exercise.

      Individuals also are supposed to clean their hands, arms, feet, and face with water before prayers. Doing this 5 times a day promotes cleanliness and public health.

      It is true that repetitive, ritualized practices lead to conformity and extreme perspectives, though it's interesting to think about how and why cultural practices came about.

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      • #4
        Re: Big Cultural Differences

        Originally posted by wathman View Post

        It is true that repetitive, ritualized practices lead to conformity and extreme perspectives, though it's interesting to think about how and why cultural practices came about.

        How does this lead to extreme perspectives?
        Last edited by EasyEman; 06-23-2009, 07:32 PM.

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        • #5
          Re: Big Cultural Differences

          how do you think i feel? many times i've felt like an alien on my own continent.

          i do believe that the ancient inuit's main God was "sedna", goddess of the sea. we were after all a coastal people like many of you.

          when the explores came over, so did catholoism.

          from what i understand, shamans people in check. however, that can be taken too far as well.

          religion plays a big part up here.

          Benny Hinn came up here once (in a private jet), only once. he had on "faith healing" sermon, collected all the money and got the hell out of dodge.

          Vince

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          • #6
            Re: Big Cultural Differences

            their culture is theistically based where ours is secular based. even though my religion is important to me, i prefer living our way where one religion isn't the order of the day, evangelicals notwithstanding. and my understanding is that an individual can pray in school. it is organized non-discretionary parayer that is not permitted. and while we're at it, if we are secular in nature, why do we take oaths, and courts have witnesses swear, on bibles? corrections welcomed if i am off base. just my $.02.
            there's a solution to every problem.....you just have to be willing to find it.

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            • #7
              Re: Big Cultural Differences

              you can also be confirmed rather than sworn in, just ask they'll allow it.

              Frankiarmz, you're fighting to keep you culture from being lost to atheists? how are atheists in any way damaging your history and culture other than not conforming to it? Keep your unfounded fears to yourself, Those are what cause extremism.
              No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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              • #8
                Re: Big Cultural Differences

                Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                you can also be confirmed rather than sworn in, just ask they'll allow it.

                Frankiarmz, you're fighting to keep you culture from being lost to atheists? how are atheists in any way damaging your history and culture other than not conforming to it? Keep your unfounded fears to yourself, Those are what cause extremism.
                No! If I'm wrong correct me, if not back off. It is my understanding that "Separation of Church and State" is being used to remove pictures of and references to religion from many books and public places. Since our country was founded by people looking for religious freedom not freedom from religion I think there is a contradiction by such efforts. Our history is riddled with religious symbolism and to remove them from buildings, books and anywhere else is to change the facts. Our history was to display christian symbols at Christmas time in private and public places, greet eachother by saying "Merry Christmas", if atheists have their way and it appears to be happening, all that will be lost and along with it our culture. I personally am not a religious man, but I have no respect or tolerance for those who would change the facts. Just as bad as those who claim the Holocaust never happened. That's all I have to say, no name calling and no threats. Now if you have a factual response or differing opinion I would like to hear it, but please don't try and get tough.

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                • #9
                  Re: Big Cultural Differences

                  What the hell is going on in here???
                  Northern Kentucky Plumbers Twitter Feed | Plumbing Videos

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                  • #10
                    Re: Big Cultural Differences

                    Originally posted by DUNBAR View Post
                    What the hell is going on in here???
                    God only knows!

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                    • #11
                      Re: Big Cultural Differences

                      I've actually been to KSA for a couple of weeks for one of my old jobs. They do "stop the world" as it were, all the stores close. If you're at a restaurant, they lock the door and you're stuck inside until the prayer is over.

                      On a wackier note, the Coca-Cola in Saudi Arabia is not as good as American Coca-Cola, it just didn't taste right. The Diet Coke and 7UP are OK though.

                      When I went to Canada they did look at me a bit funny and ask me questions about the Visa my passport had in Arabic. It expired sometime last year, so when if I need to get a new one I won't have that happen.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Big Cultural Differences

                        Guys it is okay to disagree, it is not okay to be disrespectful.

                        Thanks-Mark
                        "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                        I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Big Cultural Differences

                          seperation of church and state is also used to keep compulsory prayer out of public schools and our court houses. I'm sure some do use it to their own ends, and it goes against the spirit of the law. Show me a law that doesn't get abused, really, just one.

                          My issue is with the idea that you have to protect yourself from a group of individuals, and my point stands that those thoughts lead to extremism. People used to feel that allowing a black man the same rights as the general public would cause a loss of their culture. People are still afraid of the Jewish faith because it is different from their own. I've known Muslim's who topped praying in public because they were given such a hard time by people of other faiths.

                          If you fear for a loss of your own culture teach it to your children, explain it to your friends, join a group of like minded individuals, but don't lay the blame on another group, it's fear mongering and it leads to hate.
                          No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Big Cultural Differences

                            Originally posted by MoJourneyman View Post
                            seperation of church and state is also used to keep compulsory prayer out of public schools and our court houses. I'm sure some do use it to their own ends, and it goes against the spirit of the law. Show me a law that doesn't get abused, really, just one.

                            My issue is with the idea that you have to protect yourself from a group of individuals, and my point stands that those thoughts lead to extremism. People used to feel that allowing a black man the same rights as the general public would cause a loss of their culture. People are still afraid of the Jewish faith because it is different from their own. I've known Muslim's who topped praying in public because they were given such a hard time by people of other faiths.

                            If you fear for a loss of your own culture teach it to your children, explain it to your friends, join a group of like minded individuals, but don't lay the blame on another group, it's fear mongering and it leads to hate.
                            Good post. The reason I wrote this Thread was that I didn't realize how often they prayed among other things. I don't fear Muslims and I think if we took a breather twice a day to appreciate our good fortunes it might make us better people. I threw in the line about athiests because I feel history wheter it is ugly or not must remain truthful and unless I am wrong, it is their efforts that risk ommiting key facts. I don't hate or fear athiests, but I don't like to see what I feel are good parts of our culture and past lost to satisfy their agenda. I agree that fear and ignorance and intolerance do lead to problems, I simply disagree with their agenda, the differerence is that while I may not agree or respect what they are doing I defend their right to continue . We have become so politically correct, that we are afraid to disagree and that too is a loss. As I said in my previous post, I am not a religious person, I stopped going to church many years ago and I think some of the things done in the name of Christianity are deplorable, but I don't want to see references to it in our books or in our culture disappear. I like the "will" of the people respected and if that means certain cultures pray five times a day, then why not allow others to say "Merry Christmas" without gagging them? I want us to lose our fear and embrace our culture, don't forget the unpleasant parts of our history (slavery, segregation, etc.) but don't rewrite any of it either.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Big Cultural Differences

                              I certainly agree with the idea that history and cultures are important, and that diversity helps create an interesting and dynamic world to live in. However, it is also a cause for fear and intolerance that leads to problems in the world we see every single day.

                              As Americans, we have developed a strong, proud and influential culture in only 230 years. Our pop. culture can probably be found everywhere except probably the most remote regions of the world. You really have to travel far to find places that don't know what a cheeseburger is, don't serve coca-cola, or have at least a few American songs playing on the radio. We may see it as a form of comfort when we happen to travel abroad, though to locals, it may feel like a form of take-over.

                              Since Frank brought up Christmas, I've always found it interesting how the symbols of the holidays have spread, even in non-Christian areas of the world. Take a look at Japan in December. While there are some Christians there, the majority of Japanese are Shinto or Buddhist. You'll still find Christmas trees, lights, and garlands. Santa Claus in department stores. Many Japanese will also exchange gifts on the 25th.

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