Separation, or lack thereof

I've been here for some time. I have some observations (I'm experienced in observing). I believe it's time I shared some of those observations:
In my culture, we tend to separate our spheres. Inside and outside spheres are separate. We don't step in with our shoes on. Humans and cats or dogs have their own places. The majority of Turkish people would not want an animal living inside the house, save for the occasional bird or fish, in which case they have their own space as well - cages and fish tanks. The borders of the rooms are clearcut. Women and men had separated spheres in the past, but we don't have that anymore (hoping it won't come back). Here in the US, those lines are a little blurred. They walk in with their shoes on. They live with their pets. Their homes have an open plan most of the time. Obviously they don't separate women and men.
I don't know if I can ever get used to wearing shoes inside the house or living with dogs (I don't really like cats). I think I like the separation that we have. It keeps life easier and cleaner.
The blurred lines also apply to eating habits. Some nights people will just "fix" something for themselves and there won't be a dinner table, or a sit-down dinner for that reason. Or they just get a bowl of cereal in the morning and cross out breakfast. Us Turks prepare some kind of breakfast or dinner (or lunch, if applicable), and then sit down and eat it, and spend even more time cleaning it up. It's more ceremonial, almost. I like that, too. I feel like it reminds the family members of their focus regularly. Being together, gathering around food. I'm not saying it's not present here, it definitely is. It just doesn't have to happen everyday, or all the time.
Another difference in the spheres/separation/division context is that Everyone Works. Everyone. From all ages. You see older ladies working in shops or teenagers in rollerskating rinks. There are almost no jobs reserved for a certain age group or a gender. So the divisions are lifted in the working sphere as well. In Turkey, older women belong to the house to take care of grandchildren or do their own thing, whatever that is. Here, not necessarily.
So - those were my humble observations. If I didn't have to work, I would do some research and try to find reasons or causes. Some other time.

Comments

Vinod Jose said…
In more than one ways, the Indians too have an elaborate mechanism when it comes to spheres, rituals, customs, daily activities, behavior pettern with elders and so on..Though I do not have first hand experience with the American way of life, my observation from the movies, books and documentaries affirm to your point very strongly. Lots of its blurred ....

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