FABC Cultural Awareness Book Club discussion

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
This topic is about Salmon Fishing in the Yemen
October 2012 > First online discussion question

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message 1: by Ghia (new) - added it

Ghia | 4 comments Mod
This book juxtaposes the academic personality of the British scientist/government employee to that of the charismatic Yemeni leader with a vision that extends way beyond the realms of logic or the realities of his environment.
Together, they embark on the seemingly impossible journey of bringing salmon to the Yemen.

This reminds me of a comment I recently heard:
"They say that no matter where you are born, you either have a WESTERN HEART or an EASTERN HEART".

What does that statement mean to you? Do you agree?

In your opinion, how does it apply to this book?

Bridget (bridgetg) | 1 comments I'm not sure that the place of your birth and upbringing can be discounted. If you are raised "Western" or "Eastern" with all the cultural mores that go along with it, only the most unique individual would lean toward the opposite end of the spectrum. Having said that, I do think people can learn to understand another perspective and even begin to relate to it more than their own.

message 3: by Ghia (last edited Sep 28, 2012 10:09AM) (new) - added it

Ghia | 4 comments Mod
But is "Eastern" and "Western" heart referring to a place-specific culture or a "nature", a temperament, usually associated with the Eastern or Western people but could in fact be from anywhere?
So, irrespective of your place of birth or upbringing, can you fit the profile of a Western or Eastern heart? and is there such a thing?

message 4: by Irada (new)

Irada Rabah | 1 comments Back in the 60-ies and 70-ies, whole bunch of the West-born and educated children, most of well-off families, got seduced by "eastern promises", left their comfortable homes and moved East. Some got tired of it quick and came back, some felt that they belonged and stayed forever.

We call them hippies, but to me these are people of eastern heart:)

I think concept of the Eastern heart is something that lives inside of a person - yearning for eastern way of living, eastern sensibilities, and yes, I'm gonna go there, eastern religions. When these particular Westerners get exposed to Eastern way of living, they feel like after a long journey they are finally home.
And obviously, the same but in reverse applies to the concept of Western heart.

There's a book, Landscape Painted With Tea, that talks about something similar. But I find it a difficult book to read.

Another way for me to look at "eastern/western heart" is through fashion. But a lot of people think that fashion is a silly thing, so I'll keep my observations to myself :)

message 5: by Ghia (new) - added it

Ghia | 4 comments Mod
Irada, vey interesting idea! And thank you for being the one to bring it up to me to begin with- the Eatern/Western heart.
Your post leaves lots of room for discussion.,. But I'd like to hear more about your ideas on how fashion relates as well. NOTHING is silly to this group!

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