Sunday, April 12, 2009

Feb 22: A few comments on Israeli Culture

Another excerpt from Tamara's blog ( BTW, before coming to Kiryat Malachi, the Otzma group had been in Israel for at least 5 months already)

One thing is very important to understand about Israel- everyone is family. It is completely acceptable for cab drivers to ask you if you are here to look for your husband, and then offer their son to you as an option and invite you over for Shabbat dinner to meet him. This has also happened on a regular basis with people who sell vegetables at the shuk. People will invite you to come stay with them after conversations even as short as ten minutes. (Dditorial comment: this is quite common in Kiryat Malachi, and the inviter is very sincere.)

Israelis are also very proud of their cell phones- especially teenagers. It is their most prized possession. All teenagers use their cell phones as ipods but you can hear them without headphones too. Often during classes someone will whip out a cel lphone and put music on for everyone to enjoy- because listening to music in English is much more interesting than actually trying to learn something from me.

There is also a major difference in Israeli dress- especially in the periphery. Since living here, I have seen more zippers than I have ever seen before. Extra zippers apparently add some spunk and decoration to a boring pair of jeans. Many tops look like they've been bedazzled near to death. It entertains us to no end.

Music from the 90's is huge here. Every bar we go into plays hits from the 90's and every teenage boy can play "Time of Your Life" by Greenday on guitar.This is a taste of what daily life in Israel is like for us.

All these cultural differences we find all the time make great conversation topics between ourselves and make us appreciate the differences between here and the US. It adds flavor to everyday life. Every bite of humus we eat is just a little bit better because of all this.

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