Saturday, July 23, 2011
My fascination with Saudi Arabia started this year when I took the teaching job at the local university in my city. About 80% of the students in our ESL program are from Saudi Arabia.
My love for varying cultures is no secret. It was Korean culture that I fell in love with, as evident in my blog banner. So it should come as no surprise that I want to learn more about Saudi culture; partly because I want to 'understand' the actions of my students -- most of which are culturally unacceptable by Western standards -- and party because I'm curious.
I've thought about the possibility of going to Saudi Arabia to 'experience' the culture. I've looked into teaching jobs for me and welding jobs for Sung Hyun. The motive behind my move would not be economical but for educational reasons -- mostly revolving around gender division, responsibility and roles. But I now realize I'm naive to think that I would be able to 'truly experience' the authentic Saudi culture since the division between Foreigners and Saudi people is very evident. I would live in a secluded area known as a compound. I would not be permitted to drive, drink or eat pork. I would have to wear an abaya in public. Not to mention work and social life are distinctly divided by sex.
I have just spent the last 5 hours watching various videos on YouTube. The search started with: "life in Saudi Arabia". It has been an interesting 5 hours to say the least. See for yourself:
And now I'm ready to hear what Shelley has to say!