FOWC with Fandango: Culture

What is culture? Can you define it? It varies from country to country, what is acceptable and what is not I suppose, and so we live in the style of the country where we live. I could make many comparisons, in my case, of life in England and life in Switzerland. Being a Brit I had to change my ideas of acceptability when I moved to Switzerland. I just wanted to learn the language and live in another country for a few years to discover the world.

This all changed when I met Mr. Swiss and the few years developed into 55 years up to now and no way could I live again in Britain as the British way of life is no longer possible for me. When I visit my original country I feel as a tourist and not as a native. I am not going into detail with comparisons. It would take too long and this little blog could develop into a book. Suffice it to be said that Swiss culture is my culture with their cheese, cows and even politics. I follow the British life via radio or television and keep up with the developments.

FOWC with Fandango: Culture

One Word Sunday: Culture


The carnival season usually in February, perhaps beginning of March, generally around Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. It is part of the culture of our catholic area of Switzerland. Many people take part, it is tradition, dressing up and attending the local carnival balls. Children love it of course. I was never a great carnival person, did not grow up with it. Mr. Swiss was also not a great carnival visitor but would now and again join some of the guys in the evening for a drink in one of the local decorated bars.

We have a hut in the middle of town, belonging to our hot chestnut vending family. It has always been a custom to play a carnival prank on the owners at the carnival time. It has been painted various colours, but now it has got more ornate, and one morning at the beginning of the year the owners find that their hut has been decorated with various carnival subjects. I was in town yesterday and took a photo of their newly decorated roof. The words “Himmel und Hölle” can be translated as “Heaven and Hell” which seems to be the theme for this year.

One Word Sunday: Culture

Daily Prompt: Angloswiss Culture

Swiss Court near Leicester Square, London

I was not actually going to do this one today, because somehow the title did not appeal to me. I do not have a problem with various cultures, religions or races. My dad, the expert, was a believer in the Darwin theory most probably and  said we are all related to each other. Perhaps he was taking the Darwin ideas a little too far, and I know for a fact that he never read “The Origin of the Species”, neither did I, but dad was convinced that we all came from the apes, and one ape looks like another, although even apes have tribes and various differences. I am sure that a chimpanzee does not have the same cultural background as an orang utan, not to mention a baboon, but dad was convinced.

Somewhere along the way we parted and settled in other countries, developed our own beliefs and suited our way of life to our surroundings. We developed our own cultures. Whilst we are celebrating Christmas with lights and decorations, in India they are celebrating Diwali, also with lights and decorations, so really we are not so different.

The Americans embark on a turkey massacre at the end of November for thanksgiving and in England they also spare no mercy to the turkey, but generally at Christmas. Are we really so different?

Emigrating to Switzerland was a risk in itself. I was leaving the shores of England where fish and chips was considered a delicacy. The Swiss also eat fish, but prefer it with normal potatoes – already a threat to my cultural food heritage. If you move to another country, it is not just a matter of learning the language, but absorbing the way of life. I quickly discovered that what was normal in London, was abnormal in Zürich. People shake hands in Zürich when meeting colleagues, english people avoid touching each other and just mumble hello.

Imagine my surprise when on a visit to London to find in a corner of Leicester Square a totem pole dedicated to the Swiss nation with all the kantonal badges. Even my Kanton of Solothurn was on it, the one on the left, third row from the bottom at the end, just a red and white stripe. Only a real genuine Swiss would know this, but how many Swiss make a pilgrimage to Leicester Square if they are in London. Actually there used to be quite an invasion there, because the Swiss Centre was situated here some years ago. A new tall building and on the ground floor were the offices of the Swissair. Of course I visited it in London when it still existed. There was a Swiss restaurant in the basement, but that was the end of the culture. The food was not exactly my idea of typical Swiss and the  service personnel seemed to originate from all over the world, but not exactly Switzerland. For some reason the Swiss sold the building and it is now something else.

Today I am probably more Swiss than english, although even after 50 years of speaking Swiss German daily, my original english accent is still hovering in the background, although many do not recognise it and I have been mistaken for a dutch person now and again. Most likely because no-one can imagine that an Brit could actually learn a different language to english, but you have to melt into the background wherever you are. Even Mr. Swiss has got accumstomed to the cockney culture, as I like to watch East Enders on the TV which is broadcasted on four evenings during the week.

Daily Prompt: Angloswiss Culture

Daily Prompt: Simply The Best

NASA is building a new Voyager spacecraft that will carry the best of modern human culture. What belongs onboard?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us CULTURE.

View towards Jura from Altreu

There exists a story that Adolf Hitler collected the cultural art treasures of the third Reich and emerged them in Lake Toplitz in the Austrian Alps somewhere near Salzburg. A plausible statement, Hitler having his mountain residence Berghof in this area, so he knew what he was doing, or did he? I am not an authority, but I believe that despite many searches looking for this wealth of culture goods, it has never actually been found. Other items crop up now and again in other places much to the delight of researchers.

Now the NASA has decided to pack a new Voyager spacecraft full with the best of modern human culture. I assume we are to decide what the best of modern human culture is. I find my photo is one of the best examples, a field and mountains laced with trees: living space for wild life. In the part of the world I live, this is not an exception, although these scenes are becoming rarer; humans occupying more land for their housing, roads, motorways and whatever. Even the air is not as clean as it was.

Of course this whole theme could be interpreted as modern art works, statues, sculptures, literature. This NASA Voyager spacecraft is going to be full quite quickly, people all standing in the NASA headquarters holding their own specific signs of modern cultural life. I would minimise my offerings and just bring the hard disk from my computer showing a little bit of everything. However when I gradually reach the top of the queue one of the official NASA people say, sorry full up, no more room in the inn ship and I am turned away disappointed that my idea of modern cultural life on Earth in refused.

The person behind me is also disappointed, and so the chain reaction occurs. Fights break out, for the right to put your own cultural memories into this space ship, the entrance to the ship is bombarded with disappointed humans wanting to spread their own idea of culture into the planetary system. The army is called in, a few shots are fired and eventually, when the injured and dead are removed (have we ever solved a problem without this happening?) everything is organised in a military way. So it seems that the human race cannot agree on what would be important to send in this ship. Everyone wants to steal the show.

One day this symbol of worldly culture will arrive on a barren planet where life has not yet evolved. A few thousand years later, or more, this planet will be civilised, perhaps by green men with four arms and one leg (they hop), but they live. One of these future creatures will dig a hole and discover a rusty broken Voyager where our culture goods are spilling out. Perhaps a child might begin to play with its contents, or if we are lucky a future scientist will recognise the value of what he has found. What does he think? He thinks look, this is how the beginning of our world was, this is how our ancient cultures wrote and thought. What did we think when we discovered the Egyptian hieroglyphics? We spent time analysing them, deciphering them and we were proud eventually to be able to discover their meaning. We were convinced they were the first Earth civilisation (my cats are convinced the Egyptians were the slaves of Bast, after all they did worship the feline race – OK, I am going off the point).

So would this strange one legged race carry out their investigations with our cultural treasures? Imagine a future planetary world, all having Facebook showing one legged creatures with photos of their planet, containing likes and dislikes about their politicians, above all this would be the new culture of this strange world and just because the whole idea of this NASA rocket was from Mark Zuckerberg.

Oh, what the universe has to thank us for.

Daily Prompt: Simply the Best

Cultural Pingbacks

  1. Student Culture | The Magic Black Book
  2. My.Vivid.Visions | Daily Prompt: Simply the Best – Soul of People
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  4. Local Tribe | A Note To Life
  5. Cultural Spacecraft Debate, eh?! Some swear words! | alienorajt
  6. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  7. canned | yi-ching lin photography
  8. between art and not- | y
  9. Must be on board | મન ની વાત
  10. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Awl and Scribe
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  13. Hey Dude! What’s Wrong With Modern Culture? | The Jittery Goat
  14. Daily post: Simply the best of what? | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  15. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Crow Arrow, Inc.
  16. 13 Unpolished Gems . . . One Stone | Spirit Lights The Way
  17. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best – AS FAR AS EYES CAN SEE | SERENDIPITY
  18. Decline in contemporary art: tracing the uncomfortable continuities of endings. | James Clegg
  19. My thoughts on modern culture | Motherhood and Beyond
  20. Daily prompt: Simply the Best | ferwam
  21. “Modern Human Culture” for Aliens | Spunky Wayfarer
  22. The Next Voyager | Flowers and Breezes
  23. Daily Prompt -The Best Thing | The Library Lady and Rosie Bear
  24. Just Add Milk | Just Visiting This Planet
  25. CULTURE – Life At Its Best | Kansa Muse
  26. Daily Prompt; Simply the Best | terry1954
  27. Which Culture is Best | crookedeyebrows
  28. Space Culture? | The Nameless One
  29. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Technology | reyoflight
  30. To infinity and beyond | Life is great
  31. The Library – By: NCBEK | Incessant Ramblings
  32. The ME Culture | Prayers and Promises
  33. André from Holland | A burger for mr. Alien?
  34. Messaging Aliens | Emotional Fitness
  35. What do we want ‘em to know? | Neva Samaki
  36. Pakistani culture | A mom’s blog
  37. Daily Prompt: Nobody Is Better Than Others | DeafGuy Blog
  38. Let them have Beanie Babies! | Rob’s Surf Report
  39. The “thing” which represents the best of human culture | Processing the life
  40. Cultural Pods to Tralfamadore. | The life of T
  41. INSPIRING TEENS | Parents Are People Too
  42. Houston we have a problem | Life as a country bumpkin…not a city girl
  43. What if we could show our culture to extra-terrestrials? | Okay, what if ?
  44. The Lurker’s List | Culture At Its Finest
  45. Beyond Modern Culture | The Silver Leaf Journal
  46. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | Un paseo por Buenos Aires…
  47. Daily post: Simply the best of what – 2 | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  48. Daily Prompt Challenge ~ “Culture” | soletusknow
  49. The Best of the Best | cagedbutterfly1
  50. Daily Prompt: Simply the Best | The Blogging Path