Culture Deep, Culture Wide
We've been back in Japan for about two months now.
Singapore, our home for two years, is starting to seem like a distant memory.
Still, the act of forgetting is like the sports cliché about Michael Jordon, "You can't stop it. You can only hope to contain it."
Fortunately, I have one advantage - Everyone in Japan is interested in Singapore.
More particularly, everyone is interested in comparing the two.
|Asking me which I like better is a pointless act - like asking me if I
prefer women, music, or food.
Comparing, however, is one of my favorite sports. It may
be the primary reason why I travel (or not...).
And things get more interesting when you stay in your third country. Until then, everything is compared to your home country (in my case, America). But when I moved to Singapore, I began to compare everything to both America and Japan. And now, I compare Japan more to Singapore than I do to America.
Which I think makes me more objective now. No one can be truly objective about their
So how does Japan compare to Singapore (or vice-versa)?
Well, there are the obvious differences:
That's not to say that Japan and Singapore are polar opposites. Far from it.
But the biggest point of comparison is Culture
Japan is deep in culture.
Singapore has, of course, food.
I don't mean to slight Singapore too much. I mean, the country is only 100 years old.
Deep. Wide. Deep and Wide. Neither Deep Nor Wide.
I look for how many types of culture (like Music/Dance, Architecture, Natural Features,
People/Culture) which is width. Then I look for variety in the categories, which is depth.
Deep and Wide - Japan, Thailand, Bali, India, China.
Deep, Not Wide - Malaysia (architecture, material, dancing), Vietnam (music, sport - war, poetry)
Wide, Not Deep - Hawaii (a little, but not much, of everything).
Neither Deep Nor Wide - Singapore (food and....), Canada (curling, snow, and...)
As an American I considered my country a deep cultural country, but in fact it is: The
Movie Industry, Country and Western, Rock and Roll, Jazz, Rap, Soul, Skyscrapers,
Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Cajun, Tex-Mex, California cuisine, Steinbeck,
Hemingway, Photography, and more.
There's no doubt that I prefer the wide and deep cultures.
So which is better? Japan or Singapore?