Cultural Differences and Eminem

The concept of privacy is very different in Latvia. Back in the US, when someone is on Facebook or checking their email or writing in a journal, there is an invisible boundary no one crosses - or if they do, it's considered extremely rude. In my host family, if someone is on the computer it is common to gather around and watch what they're doing, read their email, etc. Given that I'm typically a very private person, it's probably one of the most difficult things to which I must adjust.

There is a different concept of "cleanliness" here. In Latvia, everyone drinks milk/water/juice/yogurt straight out of the carton (at meal times it's just passed around), silverware is shared, everyone eating from the same dish is normal, and we usually eat straight off the table (except for dinner.) I'm not exactly a germophobe, or I would have serious issues here, but it's the second most difficult adjustment. But I'm diving headfirst into the Latvian way of life. I figure that if my host family is still alive and undiseased, I'll be fine as well.

Pop Culture
There are practically no cultural differences when it comes to pop culture. America is everywhere. I watch more MTV here than I do in the US. The other favorite channel in our house is LMT, which plays a German soap opera dubbed in Russian and subtitled in Latvian around the clock (or at least every time I turn the TV on.) Also, Latvians are obsessed with Eminem.

And finally, a special treat for everyone... Latvian rap!

2 Response to "Cultural Differences and Eminem"

  1. dogette Says:

    more latvian rap pls.

  2. Tony Says:

    Wow sounds like a really cool/weird awesome culture shock=)

    I hoep you're having a great time! Post more pictures! I found your blog from Cultures Shocked. And I bookmarked it because Latvia is so... unusual.

    I'm going to(hopefully) Portugal this spring with AFS for a semester. I'm watingin my acceptance.

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