Saturday, January 23, 2010

Heartbroken Jets ^_^

First off, kudos to our CLAM professor, Randy Nichols, for his entertaining, funny, and insightful 3rd week videos. I scared my aunt with my shrill laugh when I heard the bit about the Jets. You know, being from Jersey and having lived about 5 minutes from the Giants Stadium for 11 years, I can't help but be a fan and take pleasure in the Jet fans' broken hearts! OK, enough insult to the Jets. The reason why I'm so comfortable about not offending anyone is because I think that it is highly unlikely we have a Jets fan in the class.

Now back to some serious business. I unfortunately do not have the opportunity to study abroad. I consulted Prof. Nichols about what culture I should investigate and he gave me some clear insight to how I should go about choosing one. I narrowed it down to two. So, I need your help (classmates and Prof. Nichols) in helping me pick one.

First culture is the small population located in San Pedro, Peru in the Peruvian Andes. I traveled there with a non-profit organization called Globe Aware. I spent a week there with some of my co-workers and learned a lot about their culture. Here is a link to the Globe Aware San Pedro facebook album.

By the way, that's me on the left, on the way to Marchhuasi.

So, I know quite a bit of "stuff" about the Peruvians in San Pedro, because I had a chance to explore their culture first hand. But I also like a challenge so I thought maybe I should investigate something that I don't know anything about.

My second option is to explore the Assyrian, a.k.a. Chaldean or Syriac people. Turkey has a large population of Muslims; 98% to be exact. So, growing up in Turkey, I wasn't exposed to other religions at all. But now here in the US, one of my aunt's closest friends is Syriac (I don't know if I'm using it in the right context but in Turkish they would be called "Süryani"). I haven't much conversed with him or his family so I don't know much. The little bit I know is that even though they were born and raised in Turkey, they don't call themselves Turkish. They call themselves "Süryani." It's a more of a definition about their faith than their nationality. I asked him one day what Süryani meant and he said it means Christian. They speak Aramaic, the language of Christ and religion plays a big role in their lives. So, anyways, I thought this would be a good opportunity to find out about their culture. He promised me he would take me to Church and show me their lifestyle as best as he could.

Anyways, let me know what you guys think as to what culture I should pick to study.

P.S. I had to look up the word "pontificate."
P.S.S. Field of Dreams picture was awesome.
P.S.S.S. I used Hoftede's website for my Thailand group project in COMM 150.
P.S.S.S.S. I disagree with E.D. Hirsch's quote: "Knowing a lot of words means knowing a lot of things." I think that knowing a lot of words means knowing a lot of words. Knowing something ABOUT the word is more important than knowing the word. For example, I know the word snake. I also know a little bit about snakes because I owned three snakes for a while. Anyways, that's my two cents about the subject.



  1. My vote is for the Suryani, for two reasons:
    1. I think it would be more engaging for you since you already seem to know a lot about the Peruvian culture!
    2. The only time I've heard of the Suryani was in Art History 3+ years ago (they were the Assyrians then to us) so I would love to learn more about them as a modern culture through your blog.

    Good Luck!

  2. Hey Grace, thank you for the advice. Like I said, I like a challenge and would love to explore more of the worlds numerous cultures.

  3. I concur with Grace. I think the access to a member of a community within the larger Turkish community would be enlightening and would serve you well upon your return to Turkey later.

  4. I know I'm late in giving my input, but I'd agree with the other two. Maybe for selfish reasons, as I've never heard of the Suryani and know a lot about different people groups in Latin and South America. This way, I can learn along with you!