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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

five things #53

Five cultural nuances which Jack understood implicitly, but which left Daniel baffled.

on P4X-012 the culture was at the industrial revolution level, the people worked very hard from sun-up to sun-down. however, they took every eighth day off for rest. "much like the ancient romans." daniel commented. on this day they always played a game. it used a rubber ball the size of a man's fist & a thick, round piece of wood about three feet long. there were two teams, one would stand out in a field & one of the people would toss the ball to a person on the other team holding the piece of wood. they'd hit it out to someone on the field, the further out the person was the more points the hitting team would get. they were only allowed four "short" hits before switching sides. they did this eight times, each team hitting four times. daniel didn't understand why they choose this form of relaxation or why the teams seemed to hate each other while playing, but ate together afterwards.

on world that was 90% water that the inhabitants called Cay, after a Mayan water deity, where they had overthrown their goa'uld system lord Ixzaluoh, Mayan goddess of water & weaving, there was a sharp divide between the genders. planting, fishing, hunting; that was "man's work." cooking, cleaning, weaving; that was "women's work." however during the dry season, which they celebrated because it rained most of the year, the men occasionally cooked. a group would get together and dig cooking pits & set up spits for roasting, that the women weren't allowed near. they could come to the edge of the area with the cleaned & prepared food, but no further.daniel couldn't understand why the women were excluded or why the men seemed to do little cooking and mostly talked & drank ale.

on PX3-549 every so often several hundred men, women & children would take to the lakes and rivers in medium-sized boats. they would cast out baited lines & traps and would spend all day on the water.daniel didn't understand why they usually went out again the next day despite the fact that they hadn't caught anything the day before.

on a world where they once worshiped Saraswati, Hindu goddess of knowledge, music and the arts, their stories and myths weren't handed down through the years verbally by storytellers, they were written in pamphlets that were heavily illustrated. they were printed by the hundred-thousand and although they were available to everyone, it seemed than mostly pre-teen & teenage boys bought them, often trading them among themselves. daniel didn't understand the appeal beyond a cultural curiosity.

on P5-535 they put on satirical plays with social commentary that weren't taken as insulting by the public figures portrayed. however, daniel couldn't understand why the actors were all painted various shades of yellow or why jack laughed so hard when the fat, bald man said "d'oh!"

in case someone reading that didn't get all the references;

1 is baseball
2 is barbecuing
3 is fishing (jack's version anyway)
4 is comic books
5 is the simpsons

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