An interview with the erasmus students.
I wanted to talk to people who live in other countries to get more information about other cultures and to find out how much (or little) our lives differ. Although I have travelled to a lot of different countries, I think its difficult not to have a very “touristy” experience when you’re travelling and pick up artificial impressions of a place and so I felt it was important to get some local opinions.
Luckily for me, My friend Nora is head of the Erasmus society and so was able to help me out and connect me with some exchange students.
On Saturday, a group of these students were all going to the beer festival down at the Discovery and so I met up with them and asked them a few questions about their home countries, their opinions of Scotland and what they thought was different about our cultures.
You can listen to some of their responses in this recording. Sorry about the sound quality, it was pretty noisy, seems to be easier to hear with headphones.
It was really interesting talking to them and definitely gave me a lot to think about. I hindsight though, I think my questions may have been a bit too specific or leading. I think I should have asked more questions about their daily lives and interests, rather than what traditions they have and what products they use that are the same, or different in Scotland. The answers I got tended to be very stereotypical; when asked what they thought was unique to Scotland, Haggis, Kilts and Shortbread kept coming up. I suppose this either shows that I asked the wrong questions, or that cultural diversity really is dying out and the only things that still represent our country are historical or tourist souvenirs. I like to believe the latter as it backs up my project nicely!
There were some answers though, that showed that some aspects of our lives are still different such as a girl from Finland mentioning that they go ice swimming and reindeer racing, a girl from Tunisia mentioning that they have a lunar calendar and someone from washington saying that everyone has a car and drives everywhere. Its differences like this that I hope my project will somehow help to preserve or share with others.