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Friday, 20 September 2013

Culturing Our Lives

A couple of weeks ago, I answered a call for admins on a Facebook page I have been a fan of for several months. Little did I realize just how much work was going to be put into it! Running a page for my blog is one thing, but helping out a page with 600+ likes is something completely different. My own Facebook page has about 8 likes, and the corresponding Twitter account might have 5 followers.

The page I'm helping out is Japanese Kami, Culture & Myths and, as its name suggests, is all about Japanese Kami (gods), Culture and Myths. On the page, I go by the nickname, Yuki, a Japanese nickname I’ve had since high school. I've had a lot of fun researching Shinto deities to post on the page and have learned quite a lot in doing so. Did you know that, according to a Japanese myth, the reason the Jellyfish has no bones is because its bones were shattered after a god got angry and beat it? I certainly didn't! I also didn't expect such a response from the fans of the page. My first post was shared 19 times and reached a total of 1,212 people! Another of my posts was shared 23 times and reached 1,471 people. Believe me when I say I'm not sharing that info to give myself an ego boost. I'm sharing it because it's incredibly humbling to have something I have learned and posted affect that many people. To think that over 1000 people have seen my posts when the page only has 600 likes is pretty cool.

The topic of my first post on Japanese Kami, Culture & Myths:
Inari, the kami of foxes, fertility, rice, tea, agriculture, industry
and general prosperity. Here Inari is pictured appearing to a man as an
apparition with one of his/her white kitsune (foxes).
Inari has been depicted as both male and female.

The best part of it is that 1000 people have learned something about another culture, even if it's about one of thousands of Shinto deities or about a loyal Akita-Inu named Hachiko. (A blog entry about the aforementioned dog will be posted in the near future.) Culture is important to our society. Culture is what makes our world cities as unique as they are. The fact that Toronto has so many different cultures is what makes it so rich and so beautiful. That richness and beauty is why I am proud to call myself a Torontonian. Culture is beautiful and every one should be respected and embraced, even if we do not understand them.

Just as we learn about our friends and spouses, we should learn about other cultures and why they are so important to the people to live in them. Their cultures are a way of life for them just as our culture is a way of life for us. They should be learned and respected. There are several pages I'm a fan of that highlight many different cultures; Norse, Celtic, Hindu, Buddist and they are all unique and special. And being an admin on Japanese Kami, Culture & Myth has opened my eyes to the beauty of culture in general. Culture is a beautiful and sacred thing and it needs to stay that way. It deserves to stay that way.

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