Reply To: Jorge's Protocol

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Yes, it does vary by country. I think it has to do with “food culture”.

These differences are very interesting once you look at them. Like how sweet food is: in the USA, food tends to be sweetened much, much more than here. To my amazement, I discovered (on this forum, I believe) that in the USA even table salt may contain added sugar to make it sweeter. That would be ab-so-lute-ly unthinkable in my country.

A friend once sent a bar of very high quality chocolate from here home country to friends in San Francisco. Her friends informed her that they were sorry, but they had had to throw away the bar of chocolate. Something must have happened during transport, they said, because the chocolate had turned bad: it was very bitter. In reality, of course, it was just high quality chocolate, without the added sugar to which her friends had obviously grown so accustomed that anything that didn’t contain huge amounts of sugar tasted bitter to them.

Another famous example is one from Ikea. Ikea opened its first shops in the USA. Among other things, they offered glass vases for flowers. In all countries where Ikea had opened shops before, the clientele recognized these glass objects as vases for flowers, and used them for that purpose. To Ikea management’s surprise, American customers didn’t see these same objects as vases, but as drinking glasses.

I could go on like this. I’m focusing now on the differences between my culture and the USA (which may make it seem like I’m making a fool of you, but that’s not my intention). However, I could give similar examples of cultural differences between my country and Poland, or Azerbaidzjan, or Italy, or Zimbabwe. It’s really quite interesting to observe how something that’s considered a given in one country is considered queer or even off-limits in another country.