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Monday, December 27, 2010

What a difference a culture makes

Have you seen these videos of the Philipine corrections institutions people, dancing to songs together?

I remember when these first came out--I think the first one I saw was of them doing Michael Jackson's "Thriller".  It was a very popular video.

Anyway, at first, I only just enjoyed the video and was surprised.  But then, with time, after seeing more and more of these videos, it got me to thinking--what a difference in cultures, the Philippine and ours in the US.

I feel it's fairly safe to say that you/we won't be seeing any such videos coming out of our penal system anytime soon.  I think we Americans view "punishment" a great deal differently, by and large, than at least the Philippinos, if not most of the rest of the world.

Now, I don't know if, in their penal system, they have low-, medium- and high-security prisons, to begin, let alone  if this is the low, mid- or high-security group show here.  I assume it either is or is the equivalent of, our low-security level.

Anyway, this country, the Philippines, clearly sees a benefit to having and organizing these performances.  I'm sure they see it as keeping everyone busy and giving them something to work towards and improve at, etc.

It will just never happen here in the US, for better or worse.

First, I think it's safe and fair to say we Americans think this is too feminine or just not masculine enough or some such.

Second, if you'll notice--and I'm sure you did, it was almost impossible to miss--there are both women and men dancing together here.  That would never fly here in the States, unless I'm mistaken.

Third and finally, I think this would be viewed as letting these people have "too much fun" while they're incarcerated.  Sure, they're locked up, but there they are, dancing away and having what looks to be far too much fun.

Between the dancing and the mixed-sex mingling, most Americans are going to see this as just far too much fun and not the reason people are incarcerated.

For better or worse, I just noticed the differences and couldn't help but point it out here.

We seem to be big on punishment and shorter on stressing and financing, as a country and culture, education.

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