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 Post subject: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Tue May 28, 2013 7:51 pm 
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A few weeks ago, my church had a missionary from Niger visit. The country (it's in Africa, by the way) has a vastly Muslim population, and though there is freedom of religion in Niger, there are approximately 80 Christians (and no, I did not forget a zero) in Niger. As a result, the culture is very different from North America.

The missionary was talking about how the tribe she works with has never heard that the rainbow is God's promise to never send another flood. Instead, they believe (and it has probably been passed down) that the rainbow is a snake in the sky that comes to suck up all the water after a rain.

Since Niger is a dry, desert-like place, quite close to the equator, water is scarce and they need every rain during the wet season for the crops to grow. To think that after a rain the water is sucked away by a snake in the sky has caused the tribe to develop a dislike for the rainbow, and with good reason, since they have not been taught otherwise.

If you have two different cultures in your fantasy world, what does each one think of a particular aspect of nature, or food, or item, or animal, or religion? Do you have any examples of the cultures in our world and how they view the same thing in two very different lights? Have you used this in your story? How can you use two (Or more!) separate groups of people and their view on the same thing to show how different the cultures are in your story?

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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:51 pm 
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I don't really have anything like this developed right now, since all the cultures in mine trace their roots to one larger culture that split after a devastating war that shattered a part of the main continent and flooded the giant central lowlands. So, their base cultural assumptions and the like are all the same.

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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 3:12 pm 
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That's actually rather similar to the tower of Babel on earth, Varon...was this war in the more recent past than Babel is to us?

This concept is a very interesting one.... I love creating disconnects between various cultures in this way. I think the most obvious ones are the antipathies felt by the various tribes in my world to the habitats of the other tribes. The Ttekarx, for instance, who inhabit the marshy regions, cannot bear the plains, and have dozens of reasons for it. The Haharu, plains folk, are the opposite. And so it goes throughout all the tribes. And all of them have extremely different ideas and impressions about the various aspects of nature. The Ttekarx tell stories about the stars being lamps of the gods. The Ssexane know what the stars really are, to as great a degree as they can, and use them for navigation. The Rwemun attach religious and superstitious meanings to them. And this goes on for all of the tribes, over everything, practically. It's great fun. :D Especially when people from different cultures get into miscommunications because of it – insulting each other without meaning to, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:50 pm 
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No, I don't think so. The timeline for Ainaan is still wibbly-wobbly. It's just that a lot of them that I've dealt with so far all compressed to about half a continent so they're all in fairly normal touch with each other.

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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 6:19 am 
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That makes sense.


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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Fri May 31, 2013 8:11 pm 
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Yeah, sort of the way the different cultures in Britain slowly homogenized somewhat over time as they were all crowded next to each other, except a bit in reverse.

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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Sun Jun 02, 2013 10:18 pm 
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The only thing that I can think of where two of my built cultures have a different perspective on something is learning. The Nalycian nobles prize learning and knowledge, while the Athulian nobles consider learning other than that necessary for warfare to be a waste of time. I should probably do some more thinking on this, since my novel contrasts the two cultures extensively.

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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Mon Jun 03, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Varon wrote:
I don't really have anything like this developed right now, since all the cultures in mine trace their roots to one larger culture that split after a devastating war that shattered a part of the main continent and flooded the giant central lowlands. So, their base cultural assumptions and the like are all the same.

*Nods* I'm guessing that after a long period of time things might start to develop in different directions if the cultures are cut off from each other, but if they are still somewhat connected, then maybe not so much.

Lady Rwebhu Kidh wrote:
This concept is a very interesting one.... I love creating disconnects between various cultures in this way. I think the most obvious ones are the antipathies felt by the various tribes in my world to the habitats of the other tribes. The Ttekarx, for instance, who inhabit the marshy regions, cannot bear the plains, and have dozens of reasons for it. The Haharu, plains folk, are the opposite. And so it goes throughout all the tribes. And all of them have extremely different ideas and impressions about the various aspects of nature. The Ttekarx tell stories about the stars being lamps of the gods. The Ssexane know what the stars really are, to as great a degree as they can, and use them for navigation. The Rwemun attach religious and superstitious meanings to them. And this goes on for all of the tribes, over everything, practically. It's great fun. :D Especially when people from different cultures get into miscommunications because of it – insulting each other without meaning to, etc.

That sounds fascinating, Juliet! :D

Raven of the Wood wrote:
The only thing that I can think of where two of my built cultures have a different perspective on something is learning. The Nalycian nobles prize learning and knowledge, while the Athulian nobles consider learning other than that necessary for warfare to be a waste of time. I should probably do some more thinking on this, since my novel contrasts the two cultures extensively.

I'm glad it might help you, Raven. :D

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 Post subject: Re: How Different Cultures View the Same Thing
PostPosted: Tue Jun 04, 2013 7:53 pm 
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Azlyn A. Mimetes wrote:
Varon wrote:
I don't really have anything like this developed right now, since all the cultures in mine trace their roots to one larger culture that split after a devastating war that shattered a part of the main continent and flooded the giant central lowlands. So, their base cultural assumptions and the like are all the same.


*Nods* I'm guessing that after a long period of time things might start to develop in different directions if the cultures are cut off from each other, but if they are still somewhat connected, then maybe not so much.



Yeah, that would be correct. The cultures in the other continents are different, but I've not done much with them yet. But yes, since they're still connected fairly well, there's not much change yet.

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"Haven't I fallen enough?" She asked, head drooping to rest on the copper-black armor that once gleamed with starlight' white fire. "Must I betray my oath one more time to save these people I have betrayed and oppressed?"


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