Nov 23, 2002
And Mustafa of Ma Foi Management said:
Identity is the crux of the issue in understanding cultures, peoples and
individuals. Certainly, it may not be the lens at which we look at someone,
but it certainly is the platform on which all of us stand. I think that
Madhukar has just posited the 3 levels. To me identity, which we are
discussing now is at level two - the collective unconscious (CU). What we
have done in the past in this group is to break down this collective
unconscious into very small bits and put them down as collective habits -
ex: timeliness for the english or germans or americans, or consensus making
for the japanese etc.
I think to really understand cultures we need to look at it holistically.
This is why we value the opinions of people who have been staying in
different cultures for some time - these are people who get seeped into the
local culture and are able to decipher the ditinctness of the culture as
compared to ours. For example we say many things about being on time - I do
not think a Brit would see something like that of americans. we tend to see
differences a lot more sharply than similarities.
The CU comes out the histories and experiences of the people. Say a simple
thing like wearing a helmet has taken a generation to get into the habit in
UK, and now every wears it without thinking twice. The parents of this
generation had a very difficult time doing this. In India we are perhaps
going through that right now.
I heard a very interesting angle about Jews. Since a long time (ecnturies)
they have kept getting displaced with their assets taken away (for whatever
reason). Over many centuries they have learnt to keep their assets where it
cannot be taken away - in their heads. This is why many people friom this
community wherever they are in the world move towards the intellectual
pursuits. This to me is a great understanding of a culture holistically,
arising from the CU.
While I do not think this forum needs to be locked into the CU, it would be
very interesting for the many of us to try and offer a glimpse of the CU
behind the small habits and tendencies we see.
Then we really understand cultures across the world.
Mustafa alias Moochhi
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