Mentioning "different cultural background" but never explaining…

posted 3 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 3
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013 - rolling hills of southern italy

I am American, Fi is Italian. His family is from the south. I didn’t expect all the differences I have found. Did you know there is a tradition that the groom cuts off his tie and gives it to someone? And I got yelled at for sealing my invite envelopes. The grooms mother walks him down the aisle. Nobody rsvps. The witness for the groom traditionally buys the wedding rings. Jordan almonds are mandatory. No changing of last names. You kiss the rings before placing them on your partner’s finger. 

i continue to learn new things every day. Some we are embracing. a few not so much. The whole day will be a mixture of different traditions. 

Post # 4
1631 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@natalila:  I think we just are so used to the idea that families have their different cultures and traditions that it is almost a given. Either you have the same ideas about tradition or you have different.

I don’t think it’s a fear of discrimination but more of the fact that we all understand the various cultures in the society. Because it is so diverse here odds are you guys will have differring views on these things – so why bother mentioning it.

Usually by ‘culture’ they can mean nationality, religion (strictness of religion), race, and so much more. For the U.S. it can even be that one is from a different part of the country. Southern weddings are VERY different then a midwest or northern wedding.

Post # 5
10219 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Good post by suburbian: 

I agree that it can be for a variety of reasons…

First off I’d say most of the Users of this Website are from the USA… so anyone not from the US, or coming from a different cultural background (but living in the US) often will identify some aspect of that in their post… the same way that you have mentioned Germany in yours… because things can be VASTLY different for different cultures the world over… be that due to Ethnicity, Religion… whatever.

One assumes the USA / North America is one big melting pot where everyone thinks / does things the same… but in reality it isn’t.

So that is certainly ONE reason that Bees would want to draw attention to that element in their post

Then you add in this little bit of trivia…

North America is HUGE

Although the USA is one country… and Canada is another.

And there are similiarities between the two… and of course similarities within their own boundaries as wel… BUT there can also be many differences based on region as well.

BOTH our countries individually (on their own) BOTH equal the same approx size of ALL of Europe (NA = 2x ALL of Europe)

So where Europe has approx 50 different countries, the USA has 50 different States.  And Canada ANOTHER 10 Provinces & 3 Territories

This is WHY there can be not only cultural differences that come into play… but also regional ones…

My Province alone… Ontario takes aprox 3 Days to drive across from East to West (2100 Kms = 24 Hours Driving Time)

Or rough numbers… the time and distance to drive from London, England to Dubrovnik, Croatia

Europeans, are usually OVERWHELMED when they first visit North America and begin to comprehend just how GIGANTIC this land across the Sea truly is.

Hope this helps,


Post # 7
4760 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@natalila:  I agree and think the same thing. 

Post # 8
6407 posts
Bee Keeper

I think it’s just fine to ask politely, if you’re curious. If they feel it’s private they can just say so. People usually just probably don’t want to go into a long background story every time they post.

Post # 9
1867 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2013

I think in those posts it’s largely because they belong to a religious/cultural group that people have preconceived notions about or view negatively or have specific ideas about their beliefs/views that aren’t necessarily accurate and they don’t want to be judged (ie, perhaps Mormons, Jehovah’s Witness, Muslims, certain evangelical Christian denominations).

Post # 10
294 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2013

I (and FI too) am one from a mixed cultural background and I think I may have mentioned that on one of my posts or two. I try not to elaborate sometimes when not necessary since cultural differences can be so vast and tedius to explain. My background is largely Filipino and that is literally worlds apart from the American/Western culture (which in itself has so many different cultural norms already). 

Post # 11
141 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Good point. There could be that folks forget said culture isn’t readily implicit in describing said traditions (i.e. I could assume people know where Mehndi or Lazo traditions come from but that’s not really the case).



Post # 12
1861 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I started to type a reply to this, thought about it, and realized that I wasn’t precisely sure why! The “it’s my culture” explanation generally serves to forestall criticism (ie, “that’s just the way we do it where I come from, so I don’t want to deal with you trying to convince me otherwise”). Perhaps the lack of specificity comes from not wanting other people who ostensibly share similar cultural factors to say “Well, I identify as [x identity thing], and we don’t do that at ALL.”


I think the question of people’s “culture” is often the result of a lot of specific interconnected factors, and so you’re right, it would be interesting to hear about precisely what the deal is…but a thread could also get sidetracked by the need to pinpoint one’s precise racial, ethnic, regional, class, educational, political, religious (etc) background.


Post # 13
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

There’s also the privacy issue.  If you live in a large city, but your cultural group is small, it might be easy for someone to ID you if you mention it.

Post # 14
7147 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2015

I wonderd that too, but I think that person did eventually explain. On a diff thread, someone said she was being hassled by other members of their religion for mentioning traditions or rules here. 


Post # 15
526 posts
Busy bee

I think sometimes people use ‘cultural differences’ when other people of the same culture might say its not a real ‘cultural’ thing.  People tend to accept ‘cultural’ where they might object to something if it were a personal opinion or preference.  That’s how I read it anyway.

Post # 16
7225 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

@kittyface:  +1. I agree with you point and  @alyssa247:‘s  I try not to elaborate sometimes when not necessary since cultural differences  can be so vast and tedius to explain.

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