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No Culture overseas!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by jermar, May 4, 2012.

  1. jermar

    jermar New commenter

    This is a comment I hear regularly in my staffroom as a reason for not teaching overseas.
    Having lived and worked abroad I know this not to be true. When I ask what they mean people tend to flounder and search for a response.
    The general targets are Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Apparently Europe has culture!

    Thoughts?

    Any amazing responses?
     
  2. jermar

    jermar New commenter

    This is a comment I hear regularly in my staffroom as a reason for not teaching overseas.
    Having lived and worked abroad I know this not to be true. When I ask what they mean people tend to flounder and search for a response.
    The general targets are Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Apparently Europe has culture!

    Thoughts?

    Any amazing responses?
     
  3. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    It takes two to tango. A cultivated person will find culture.
    The average Brit will feel humbled by what's on offer in Toronto, and as for the aussies I'm happy to bash them 24/7 but on this occasion, have to state the obvious by remarking that Sydney and Melbourne present the full gamut of cultural opportunities.
    Perhaps rural areas are less richly endowed - there's no Opera House or male writers' workshop in Jerilderee - but the same is true of Thetford.
    And to reverse the truism... yes, much of Europe is chock-full of the C-word and most of its capital cities are a never-ending joy of sights and activities, but how important is that to the sort of English person whose idea of culture is regular repeats of BBC sit-coms or an i-pod full of 80s music?
    Personally I'm a snobbish conservative high-culture-oriented DWEM. So although I'd make a valiant effort with the local language and culture, I would find Bangkok more challenging than Brisbane, and in South America preferred Buenos Aires to Lima.
    'Ask not what the country's culture can offer you, ask what you are bringing to the country's culture'...
     
  4. AshgarMary

    AshgarMary New commenter

    Depends what they mean by Culture! Tons of Culture here in Cairo for those who want it, opera, dance, ballet, traditional music, modern music, jazz, arts - highly recommend Museum of Modern Art and Palace of Arts in the Opera House grounds, plus all the museums etc., small group workshops, 'Choir Workshop' (born out of Complaints Choirs - a Finnish innovation). In Dubai I'm given to understand that a Shakira concert counts as High Culture.
     
  5. Well, Europe isn't all about 'culture' either. An ex-colleague of mine is working at a school in Magaluf, and assures me that art galleries and theatres are thin on the ground there. However, you can get a very artistic tattoo done.
     
  6. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    I'm told the same thing, but have also heard that they are constructing an Opera House and Theatre complex in Do-buy that will make La Scala look like the Nepmnett Thrubwell church hall.
     
  7. the evil tokoloshe

    the evil tokoloshe New commenter

    Depends upon what they class as a cultural experience. Certainly here in the land of the Saffers there is a distinct lack of world challenging art galleries or a Cairo museum (to give a few examples), but within a stones throw of my flat there is an art gallery which features local artists both fresh from school as well as older hands who have been producing pieces for a lifetime. Is it any good? Sometimes, yes, others leave me cold and ultimately it is down to the viewer. To price pieces anything from a few hundred to tens of thousands of pounds are the costs so hardly Munch but certainly not munce.
    We also have local cultural events which may or may not appeal, live bands which may or may not appeal of all varieties, a couple of music festivals, some fantastic buildings etc.
    I always wander what people in the UK refer to as 'culture', it always seems to revolve around cultural artefacts from other countries in museums, 'last night at the proms' and castles built by French or German people. Surely a far better example of current British culture would be listening to an Asian Dub Foundation album whilst eating a chicken tikka masala takeaway washed down with some best bitter.
     
  8. Let's talk paintings...
    [​IMG]


     
  9. SMT dude

    SMT dude New commenter

    Why should one example be 'better' than another?
    As the Cairo post implied, the exciting thing about big cities is the variety on offer, of culture 'high', 'low' and 'freaky'.
    Not long ago I saw a matinée of Ariadne auf Naxos at the local Opera House followed by an evening performance of Vampire Lesbians of Sodom in Ruritanian, and then had a pint or two in the Irish pub where a lachrymose Paddy sang rebel dirges, before the last train home, enlivened by a Romanian busker's feisty folk music - a great day out and ironically featuring not a single engagement with the local culture, rich though that is.
    No serious fan of classical music ever goes anywhere near the last night of the poms, by the way. It is to Music what the corporate hospitality tent at a 20-20 final is to Cricket.
     
  10. kemevez

    kemevez Occasional commenter

    Last night of the poms is so often spent weeping into a beer at a bar somewhere near the hospitality tent.
     
  11. happygreenfrog

    happygreenfrog Occasional commenter

    Based on the staffrooms i've witnessed in the UK, I'd seriously doubt there was too much 'culture' being explored out of hours anyhow. Based on most conversations I'd predict most spend a quiet weekend at home with the family, stuffing their faces with an exciting cultural experience at the local supermarket or restaurant thrown in for good measure.
    Culture to most Brits means a pub/bar and watching the TV.
    As stated above, those with cultural awareness will find it and value it where ever they live, though the western definition of 'culture' will only be found in places where they value a 'western' lifestyle.
     
  12. It's all very subjective, surely. I live in a place where international students flock to study literature and enjoy local festivals whereas Im from a country where sport culture is their prowess.
     
  13. Meanwhile Im bidding for a.....
    Televisor Panasonic TX-P42GT30.
     
  14. jermar

    jermar New commenter

    Thank you folks. I am glad I am not alone on this point.[​IMG]
     

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