In my travels and experiences in other countries, experiencing other cultures, I've come to the conclusion that Americans are decidedly boring.
And, perhaps more to the point, it's not so much the fact that we're boring, it's that we have no passion. Sure, there is passion surrounding The Super Bowl, or The World Series, or Stanley Cup perhaps, but those are annual events that, in my humble opinion, water down one another, when compared cross sports.
(super bowl post game celebration....YAWN)
Ie they're all the same.
No, the place where we lack the most passion is in our celebration and our mourning. And, in some countries, I swear it's sometimes hard to tell the difference.
Take, for example, the country of Bali. When a person in Bali dies, the ENTIRE village unifies and builds a funeral pyre, which they carry through the streets to its inevitable place where it will be consumed by fire as an offering to The Gods.
(Balinese Funeral Procession)
This happens, as well, in places like India where families gather, build a funeral pyre and chant and dance while the deceased is cremated.
Even staunchly conservative Ireland performs an Irish Wake, where people laugh and sing and lament the deceased, usually accompanied by copious amounts of alcohol.
(self explanatory Irish Wake accoutrements)
Then, on the flip side of the mourning/celebration coin, we have weddings. We've all by now I suspect seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Bend it Like Beckham. While both of these movies may be exaggerations of what occurs in Greek or Indian culture around weddings, having been to a few Greek celebrations, I can say that these depictions aren't that far from the truth.
In India, when the couple marries, the woman's hands are painted with a Henna artwork, intended to symbolize that her role in the marriage has been fulfilled. She is not supposed to do any domestic housework while the Henna design remains on her hands. The groom is often brought in, escorted by his family, on a horse or an elephant as if he were a king.
(indian wedding party)
What is it with Americans? Why are we so disconnected from our emotions? What has happened that we as a culture, don't know how to celebrate or mourn?
Where is OUR passion?
**Special thanks to fellow OS'er Eden Simone for helping me with this post! :-)