Monday, June 22, 2009

Chuncheon really IS surrounded by mountains--and I have pictures to prove it.

I'm sitting here waiting for Julianne to get home from school so we can go eat dinner . . . and since I haven't been blogging regularly in a while decided to put up another post.

Something I still have a hard time believing even after living in Chuncheon for almost 2 years is that the city is SURROUNDED by mountains . . .

This is the view that Julianne and I see from our apartment door.

Mountains . . . everywhere . . .

Every time I go home to Canada it always strikes me how FLAT everything is where I live.

It also strikes me how much geography shapes a culture . . . in Korea vertical thinking is the paradigm. Rank and hierarchy dominate every facet of the culture.

In Canada things are much more horizontal--in the sense that there is a sense of 'equality' that allows for a little more negotiation of power in everyday situations, and less of a focus on rank and social rituals that must be observed between two people of different ranks.

Something I had to hammer home in a cross-cultural lesson I made about 'how to be polite in English' is that North Americans actually DO have a system of rituals and cultural rules for being polite. Many of the Korean trainees in my class had this general feeling that anarchy reigns in English culture, and that there is no respect for rank, etc. It was great for me to see how interested they were in learning about the general rules of politeness for some very common day to day situations . . .

Anyways . . . Julianne should be home soon.

J

2 comments:

livefrommasan said...

I agree, Canada is kind of flat (unless you live in Newfoundland or near the Rockies). I like being able to see the mountains from my window, even when I'm having a bad day. It's like I'm living in a protected valley, with the comforting ocean on one side (I'm a Maritimer), and the mountains all around otherwise.

John from Daejeon said...

"Something I still have a hard time believing even after living in Chuncheon for almost 2 years is that the city is SURROUNDED by mountains . . ."

I live in a valley surrounded by mountains here in Daejeon, but it's only once every blue moon that the haze and pollution clears enough so you can see them. While back home in Texas, the stong breezes coming off the Gulf of Mexico (not South Gulf) allow flat vistas that go on as far as the eye can see nearly every single day. However, I do love that the mountains around the city do tend to keep the snow out even if I can't see them most of the time.