Tag - culture

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Back to the Big Apple
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Cultural Collisions
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Why Blog?
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A Stranger in His Own Land
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The Internet & Changing Island Culture

Back to the Big Apple

New York! The Big Apple! “The city that never sleeps,” as Sinatra sang. But I can?t say, along with Sinatra, that ?it?s my kind of town.? Traffic noise and horns honking in place of church bells. Not very many hellos on the street here. Where have all the palm trees gone? For that matter, what have happened to all my friends? (Relax. They?re just half a world away.) Read More

Cultural Collisions

The other night I asked one of the men here if he wanted to go with me to see a move that he had mentioned approvingly the week before.? He replied that he didn?t feel in the mood to see a movie tonight. His favorite TV program was on that evening, he was feeling a little tired, and he wasn?t sure that he even wanted to see the movie in the first place.

?Listening to you makes me yearn to be back in the islands,? I told him.? ?At least in the islands a person I was inviting to a movie would save face all the way around by making Read More

Why Blog?

Why blog?? To keep in touch with our friends out there, some might say.? But it could also be to while away lonely hours in front of their computer, they might admit.? Yet, there?s another class of bloggers: old-timers who feel the compulsion to share life?s lessons with others.? That?s where I fit in.? Years ago in Pacific Island Monthly there was a regular column by a retired minister who had served many years in Papua-New Guinea.? If anything had gone wrong there recently?and usually there was plenty?he took the liberty to point it out and suggest what could be done to correct it.? Joe Murphy, the former editor of what was once Guam?s only newspaper, might do the same thing in his own tongue-in-cheek fashion.? Both could be called bloggers before the invention of the term. I used to wonder how these people, both as white as I am, could get away with it.? Why didn?t they let local people solve their own problems? Read More

The Internet & Changing Island Culture

Many years ago when I was a fresh young face in the islands, I was astonished at how seldom people disagreed with one another.? Not that I grew up in a neighborhood in which people screamed and cursed at one another all day long, but there certainly were minor arguments between people that sometimes spilled over in public.? Imagine my surprise when I came to Micronesia and found that no one seemed to disagree with anyone else… at least in public.? Where were the arguments, the minor debates, the give-and-take needed to get to the truth of the matter?? Everyone appeared willing to accept at face value whatever came out of another person?s mouth.

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