It's all cultural

Now that I have been swapping for some time (and having a blast doing it) it has really become apparent that cultures are different. This whole thing really is most of all cultural swaps. The things I send out represent Finnish culture and the things I receive have so far been representing Portugese, American, Singaporean and Malaysian culture.

Well, at least all of the recipients of my packages have said that they are happy with that I’ve sent. Maybe some of it is just common courtesy, but I like to think that I am good in picking people things they like to get. Of course it is a bit hard when all you can go on are some blog posts and a few emails. But I really love it: thinking about what I know about the other person and finding just the right things for her.

Except when you are down with a nasty head cold. You know when two thoughts are looking for each other in your head but never manage to do it because your head is so full. I know enough about American culture to know that their view of nudity differs from ours quite a lot. Take for example the Janet Jackson episode: flashing a nipple on TV. Which caused a huge scandal in the US. If something like that had happened here I do not think it would have even made it to the news. It’s not like they had sex on the stage or anything. Well, that actually happened here. It was not on TV, but one summer there was an open air concert in the middle of the day and no age limit. One band had some assistants on the stage that eventually performed a blow job on the stage. That one got quite a lot attention in the media.

But it was just yesterday I last saw two naked women in the TV. And on national channel, not some cable channel you have to pay insane amount of money of. It was not even really late at night, maybe something like 9:30 PM. And there was nothing sexual to it. It was a short scene of two women in sauna. Talking about men and what jerks they are.

Sauna really explains a lot about the way Finns feel about nudity. It’s not really a big deal in itself. Being without clothes does not automatically equal sex. Here it is quite common for families to go to sauna together. Yes, men and women, boys and girls, all together in sauna. Nobody thinks twice about going to sauna with complete strangers of the same sex. But usually these public saunas in swimming halls and such have separate dressing rooms and saunas for men and women.

And as my knowledge of medical procedures performed in the US is depending on series like ER, I have to ask this: if you are in for a gynecological exam do they really put a cloth over your knees? Well, if you have read this blog for any length of time you know that I’ve had more people see my parts down below than most people in their lifetime. But never have I had a cloth placed over my knees. Only after the transfer when I have to lie down for a few minutes, and then it is because it is keeping me warm. I know that those series often are seriously wrong, so I’m not going to just assume that it is true because that’s how it is always shown on TV series. I’m rather assuming that it’s not true.

So things can be very different from one country to another. I’m learning new things every day!


5 responses to “It's all cultural

  1. Oh, it’s true. At my doctor’s office, you take everything off and they provide you with a lovely paper shirt thing that opens in the front and a folded up piece of paper that is supposed to be the cover for your lower body. It’s always so cold in there, though, that I usually end up leaving at least some socks on.

    I don’t know how much of that cloth’s function is supposed to be for privacy and how much is for psychological reasons. Most women I know aren’t bothered by the thought of the doctor and nurses looking at all of that, but when it comes to them having to *watch* the doctor and nurses looking at all of their stuff, well, that’s the part that gets uncomfortable. The exams are a lot more work for the doctor if the woman isn’t relaxed, so I’m sure they do whatever they need to have women relax.

    And, if nothing else, the drape provides privacy. With recent HIPPA (patient rights) laws, going to the doctor has become a highly secret affair. There are many good aspects to the legislation, but one of the more interesting ones is that they can’t say your first and last name out loud where other people might hear it. When they call your name to let you know it’s your turn, the4Deither say Mrs. Doe or they can say Jane, but they can’t say Jane Doe.

  2. Just to put my answer in the survery – in Australia I get a demure little cloth. They also hurry to cover up my bits after they’ve stopped, um, using them.


  3. Uh, in the UK I don’t recall every getting anything to cover up with, it was more a case of “whip off the pants and put your feet together”. It’s been so long since I had one here in the US that I can’t quite recall, but I think I did have a paper shirt or someting to wear…

  4. Megan, that legistlation really sounds like something! What if there are several Mrs. Does or several Janes in the waiting room? But come to think of it, here they always use your surname to call you. I do not think that I’ve ever been called with my full name!

    But it seems that the TV series are not completely wrong when they always show that something over the woman’s knees when there is a doctor down there. To me it just seems that it would be on the way.

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