i know valentine's day is a bit of a commercial stunt and i can't say i particularly like it (at all, whatsoever, goddamnit!). nevertheless, it's a day when i feel like doing something and not just sit at home watching tv.
on the agenda for yesterday was going to a concert with some friends. and besides listening to the music, i also observed some cultural differences..
the singaporeans are quite strange sometimes. yes, i know, that in itself is not a cultural difference, it's probably more of a personal opinion.. anyway, the band was playing latin american jazz music and despite me being a 'cold' swede and kind of non-rhythmical person, i still felt like it was music to dance to - actually the perfect music to play in a bar where some people casually sit around tables and some dance, while having a drink and chatting away. this concert, however, was in a kind of auditorium, where you would expect a concert with classical music to take place. people were sitting down and no one moved one inch during the whole concert. only when it was finished they all stood up and greeted the band massive applause. a bit of a surprise as the complete silence and lack of movement during the actual concert seemed to me like an indication of indifference or even dislike.
so difference 1 is that they even have the concert where they had it and difference 2 the way they acted.
i know you can't judge from one scenario only (which is probably the reason why this has not yet made the front page of any big news paper. besides, i am not claiming it to be scientifically reliable - just an observation), but to put one more example forward and "proof" i am not generalising (maybe only a tad), this also happened at the abba mania concert i went to. and abba is definitely not music you just sit still and listen to!
the other thing i noticed was that people just started clapping in the middle of a song, like after one of the musicians had a solo. i don't know if it's only me as i am not that used to this type of concerts, but i find it really rude to start clapping in the middle of a song. i also got backed up by my german friend. to me it screams 'stop it, you suck'. my spanish friends didn't find it odd at all.
i'm quite sure there was something else as well, but i've completely forgotten. i mean, this was yesterday after all and as we say in sweden 'minnet är gott, men kort'.
all in all, it was a good valentine's day. it was nice to do something different. i would never myself had come up with the idea of going to such a concert, but it was a nice experience. i've come to realise that it's the beauty of meeting people that are different from you - you get to do things you wouldn't normally do and see things you wouldn't normally see. the most important is not to have lots in common, it's to have a good time and meeting new people with different views and interests just enrichens your life and ensures you live your life to the fullest.
i know it sounds pretentious, but that's probably one of the main things i've learned so far in life, probably a lot thanks to travelling and meeting so many different types of people..
that is all. hasta la vista!