Is it a culture thing?

If I had to answer whether I was Korean or Canadian, I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Since I grew up in Canada, but socialised in a Korean community, I honestly have no idea where my cultural characteristics come from. I’m starting to think that I’m more Korean than I thought, because I keep running into situations where people seem to break the paradigm of socially acceptable behaviour, but upon reflection, I wonder if it actually has more to do with things that I have been taught that are different from “Canadian” culture.

My friend threw a potluck dinner, and due to a communication mishap, we ended up with no veggies and three apple crumble pies. Oops. We obviously didn’t finish it all, so there were tons of leftovers.

Now, in everything that I’ve been taught, the host divies up the leftovers (or in this case, a whole pie) and then sends the guests off with a portion each. But my friend made no such gesture. What the hell is she going to do with a whole pie? She lives alone!

But perhaps you’re not supposed to do that in Canadian culture. I have no idea.

Another case: I’m pretty sure that in both cultures, it’s considered rude to arrive at someone’s home empty-handed. So you bring some fruit, or baked goods. In every case that I’ve seen, the host opens up the gifts after dinner, and serves it back to the guests as dessert. That’s why whenever I go to someone’s place, I bring something that I like :D.

But I’ve definitely gone to people’s homes with gifts in hand, and they take it, and I never see it again. Perhaps sharing it back with me is considered rude, as if they’re saying they don’t really want all of it…I have no idea.

One time, a friend threw a party and prepared almost no food. One hamburger patty per person, and fewer than one piece of vegetable per person. He had expected people to bring food, though he made no implication to it, then nobody else brought food! What a weird party that was.

I don’t know what to think. But perhaps it’s a culture thing, and I just don’t understand the motivation behind it.

I mean, in Korea, it’s socially acceptable to be horribly and publicly racist against all people not our own, and there’s a reason for it. I know that’s completely unacceptable in Canada. Maybe it’s something like that.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

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