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to be completely ignorant of other cultures

(30 Posts)
ethanchristopher Tue 23-Sep-08 21:49:35

because thinking about it today i know alot about lots of african and indian cultures because our RS and PSHCE lessons are so PC and make sure we concentrate solely on these cultures

my only knowledge of american culture is what i see on the news (i.e. celebs, fat people who just eat mcdonalds, pissed teenagers who fuck about in high school and attend houseparties every night (in teen films)) and like the disney channel's vision of america...

i know nothing of australia, europe, basically anywhere other than the UK, africa and india

isnt that really sad? especially as mumsnet is a worldwide thing and i feel so ignorant as to how you live and if it is at all any different?

thisisyesterday Tue 23-Sep-08 21:52:53

well you have the whole world at your fingertips!
just use the net

pick a culture and look it up. use wikipedia to start with and go from there

LynetteScavo Tue 23-Sep-08 21:53:55

YANBU - some people get the oportunity to travel with their families on holiday, and are able to take a gap year and travel the world to learn about other cultures. Other people can't, and have to rely on TV. That's the great thinkg about TV, though, 100 years ago, you would probably have had no idea about any other cultures atall.

noonki Tue 23-Sep-08 21:54:59

Well at least things have moved on since I was at school

we learnt nothing about African or Indian cultures at school or European culture either

ethanchristopher Tue 23-Sep-08 21:55:12

i am kind of upset that i wont have a gap year now, and a chance to travel

and its not really the same over the internet, i mean its all very well written down but if you search for english culture it doesnt tell you really how people live, only either rock bottom or high society

noonki Tue 23-Sep-08 22:01:07

of course you will have a chance to travel

... from your thread yesterday you said you were taking GCSEs this year,

so you have at least three years till the traditional gap year,

starting saving now, (get all your xmas presents to be cash and put a direct debit of as much as you can afford be it £10 a month whatever) DONT touch it and it will all add up-

I met loads of people who were travelling with kids, some on their own some not, kids love it, and it would be a brilliant experience for you both.

You can travel on a real budget if you plan it -

also many of my friends have gone on so called gap years in their thirties/forties too

noonki Tue 23-Sep-08 22:01:59

of course you will have a chance to travel

... from your thread yesterday you said you were taking GCSEs this year,

so you have at least three years till the traditional gap year,

starting saving now, (get all your xmas presents to be cash and put a direct debit of as much as you can afford be it £10 a month whatever) DONT touch it and it will all add up-

I met loads of people who were travelling with kids, some on their own some not, kids love it, and it would be a brilliant experience for you both.

You can travel on a real budget if you plan it -

also many of my friends have gone on so called gap years in their thirties/forties too

Marina Tue 23-Sep-08 22:03:32

There are some good DVD series you could borrow from your local library
I think Michael Palin is worth a look - the one he did on the former Soviet bloc was fascinating and very accessible
Bill Bryson writes well on American culture - affectionate but sharp
so does Garrison Keillor
Watch some Michael Moore, Morgan Spurlock, Gone with the Wind, To Kill a Mockingbird, Bonfire of the Vanities, American Psycho, Midnight Cowboy, True Grit, Slaves of New York, Woody Allen, LA Story, Tales of the City, The Shipping News, ER, The Wire, Clueless

thisisyesterday Tue 23-Sep-08 22:06:25

agree with noonki. you#'re still so very, very young.
you have all the time in the world for travelling... and plenty of people travel with children it's a fantastic experience for them

you start saving what you can when you can and it'll add up

Whoopee Tue 23-Sep-08 22:08:37

Oh honey, by the time you're thirty, (which I know sounds old to you but isn't, trust me), you'll still have the energy and the curiosity for a travelling gap year, and your son will be grown up enough to make a wonderful companion.

By the time my daughter's grown up, I'll be old and saggy and probably only interested in short bowling breaks to Worthing. grin

The more I read of your posts the more I really like you. I don't think it's sad at all that you don't feel you know enough about the rest of the world, I think it shows a desire for knowledge beyond your years.

midnightexpress Tue 23-Sep-08 22:13:39

I don't know anything about your situation ethanchristopher, but it does sound as if you're very young. So don't think you won't be able to travel with kids. As noonki says, you can take them with you. One of my friends took off in a camper van round Europe for a year when her twins were about 3 and had a whale of a time (and she was doing it on a tight budget, not a trust fund).

You can even think about working abroad in the future if you want to - there are all sorts of possibilities.

And even if none of that appeals, one of the advantages of having children really young is that when they're all grown up, you'll still be pretty young so won't need to sign up to Saga for your summer hols (unlike me, who waited until I was ancient before giving birth grin)

ethanchristopher Tue 23-Sep-08 22:16:06

i think id settle for a gap year in like france and spain lol

i dont really wanna travel that much

i just want to know what normal day to day life is in like france and spain

maybe i should get a frigging penpal. thats free!

susia Tue 23-Sep-08 22:42:27

the thing is ethanchristopher - you've got your whole life ahead of you. You're 15, maybe for the next 15 or so years you won't travel much but then you will only be 30. I know that sounds old to you but it's not. If you spend the next few years concentrating on your education and the years after when your LO is at school concentrating on earning a living in which ever field you go into, you can then do what you want afterwards.

Most people do it the other way around but there is alot to be said for having children young (I certainly wouldn't have chosen as young as you though). I am 40 and have a 5 year old and have done loads with my life before having him but am too old now to have another and by the time he is old enough for me to take off and travel (or whatever) I will probably be too old for that!

ethanchristopher Tue 23-Sep-08 22:44:34

i suppose i wouldnt really want to travel until ds has left home for uni (which he will go to wink)

jesus that seems like a long time to wait but i wouldnt want to go while he is at school, i dont think its fair to screw with his education

i guess it just seems weird, i cant picture how other people live in my head

ethanchristopher Tue 23-Sep-08 22:44:34

i suppose i wouldnt really want to travel until ds has left home for uni (which he will go to wink)

jesus that seems like a long time to wait but i wouldnt want to go while he is at school, i dont think its fair to screw with his education

i guess it just seems weird, i cant picture how other people live in my head

susia Tue 23-Sep-08 22:47:31

you do have your life ahead of you and I for one think you are doing really well.

I know at least 4 friends of mine who concentrated on their careers and have done amazingly well but at 40 have not had children which they greatly regret.

It seems a long way off but you are just doing things in a different order to other people and biologically it means you can have both.

WilfSell Tue 23-Sep-08 22:52:37

I know someone who had a baby at 20, not quite your age but still pretty young these days. She took her son to India, Japan, Thailand, Australia. One child is pretty portable if you're adventurous.

You and your DS could save up and go on lots of European weekends? I know it will sound like your grandma speaking but Radio 4 is brilliant for stretching your mind... How about university? Anthropology will teach you lots about other cultures, english or history or politics or economics or sociology too...

You could even work abroad for a gap year: apply for a childcare job where you can look after your own child alongside someone elses - I bet lot of agencies would be interested in you because you already have experience.

edam Tue 23-Sep-08 22:58:22

I can't help chortling at all the ancient* MNers trying to tell you that 30 is not old when it's twice your age. When I was 15 I couldn't imagine ever being 30. Maybe you've got more imagination than me!

*ancient = my age = much more than twice ethanchristoper's age

edam Tue 23-Sep-08 22:58:43

ethanchristopher, sorry!

Friskyfluff Tue 23-Sep-08 22:59:09

I agree that the internet and book are great for finding out about other cultures, although i think you can never truly know about a place untill you have been there.

I knew nothing about South America and had no desire to untill i had my DS, whos dad (or maybe i should say father, because he certainly isn't a dad!) is South American. Now i am really enjoying finding out all about the country and certain places, which has spurred me on to research lots of different places. One day i even hope to travel there with my DS.

All im saying is that you can actually learn a lot about cultures by doing your own research. Don't just wait and hope that someone else will teach you about anything you want to know. It's having the time to do it that's the problem grin

And you're never to old for travelling smile

mayorquimby Wed 24-Sep-08 11:22:21

yanbu and i also firmly dislike the way some people have attached a negative conotation to the word ignorant as though it is a synonym of stupid.

i am quite ignorant of many things at the moment but hopefully others will enlighten me at some point.

midnightexpress Wed 24-Sep-08 11:32:14

LOL at Edam - as I was typing, I was thinking that when Ethanchristopher's ds is 25 (if I've understood correctly - she's 15 and has a v small ds, is that right?), she'll still be younger than I am now, and I've got two under 3.

It makes me feel tired, and not a little creaky grin

Bubbaluv Wed 24-Sep-08 11:46:45

Don't be hard on yourslef EC, at 15 you know more about babies than lots of 30y olds - your experiences are just different, not lesser. If you want to see the world and expereience different cultures then you CAN make it happen. School holidays are long and travel is a wonderful expereience for children.
Neighbours will give you some sort of insight into Australian life (with a pinch of salt) and read books set in lots of different places too.
Once you start travelling, though, you won't want to stop!

sadandscared Wed 24-Sep-08 12:04:23

I'm just impressed that you give a crap. Contrary to the media's current impression that all of our youths are asbo holding hoodie menaces!! And what they think of teenage mums . . . . <gits>.
I have a feeling that you will do whatever it is you want to do with your life. You clearly have some will power and brain power to be doing what you're doing now. Good Luck to ya smile

Acinonyx Wed 24-Sep-08 12:19:08

I know what you mean - I can remember feeling the same way. In the end I did spend most of a decade living overseas. It is interesting to experience and learn about the ordinary stuff - the everyday lives. What is the same and what is different.

There are some good blogs in English by people overseas - some by teenagers as well.

And if that is what interests you, you can get some of that from holidays later. A lot of people don't but that's because that's not what they're looking for. It would be great for you and your son to take holidays together - travel is a great experience for a child. I have found people are much friendlier when you are travelling with a child (unless you're in the UK!).

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