This week’s topic of ‘Culture’ brought out so many possibilities for images to share. In my search to understand what the word means, I kept coming back to one thing: that which defines us as a people(s). When I think of culture in this way, two things stick out in my mind: public gatherings and games.
If you’re ever in Christchurch (New Zealand), check out “the Square” in the centre of the city. A place where locals and visitors alike can enjoy a plethora of food stalls, performance artists, musicians, historic buildings, contemporary sculpture and the hustle and bustle of people meeting and parting and coming together again.
One of my favourite areas is the giant chess set; where acquaintances and strangers can challenge each other to a game – whilst passersby will stop to add their tuppence-worth to the proceedings.
There is something very heartening and restful about the experience: the concentration of the players; the whispered conversation of the observers who swap tales about what they would do or what they think the next move will be. People stay for as long or as little a time as they can spare and the constant shifting of bodies is a veritable ballet.
And on a related note…
Title: The Player of Games
Author: Iain M. Banks
There was a 10 year period where I read this book at least once a year, every year. It’s a fantastic concept beautifully and grandly executed and I discover something new every time that I read it. What’s it about? On a broad scale, it’s about cultural comparisons and how the games that we play reflect the societies we live in. On a personal scale, it’s about a man learning to appreciate his life and his world once he has travelled far from it. But then again, you might find a different interpretation – it’s that kind of book.
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AUTHOR: I am might war. I have a love of music, the written word, travel, Anime, polar bears, people and “sticking and colouring”.