It’s easy to see how different we all are. In an individualistic culture like my own, each person is urged to define their own self as separate from others. We take pride in our different clothing styles, our different hobbies, and our need to succeed alone.
In the vast majority of Asian cultures, this mode of thought is not only foreign but contrary to popular belief. The individual is only as good as their family, neighbors or even their city. Therefore, people pride themselves on their similarities to others, not their differences.
Because of this togetherness, I felt a tight communal dynamic upon entering many towns in Asia, and it was refreshing. Everyone seems to want to help each other and succeed as a whole. The warm welcoming vibe has left a lasting impression on me, and I wish it could be found more in the Western world.
Try to find as many similarities to yourself as you can for each subject. Do they smile like you, do they feel like you? Imagine you just became their neighbor; how would you start a conversation? How could you relate?
If you can do it with these people, then imagine how easy it would be to do it with your own community.
Similarities in faces of Asia
I hope you enjoyed the final part of this series! In case you missed parts one and two, you can find them here:
Faces of Asia Part 1: The Story Behind the Portrait
Faces of Asia Part 2: Building a Relationship With the Subject
How do you participate in a community?
Such a good point. I lived in London for a long time and it was always weird to me that people didn’t talk to one another. Here, in Asia, people might not talk to you that often, mostly because of the language barrier, but at least they smile…and they smile a lot! I wish more people did that in the west.
Loving your subject!
It would be fun to compare these pictures with pictures from a european city 200 years ago!
Then again, speaking for my home town munich, people pretty much all dress the same. There always seems to be some hype around certain sneakers, bags and looks everyone starts copying. So much that I could actually paint the average munich girl for you and i’D probably cover 30%.
I have found that often people in a certain culture try to be themselves by being like everyone else…and they don’t realize the paradox. Thanks for the insight Norman!
What gorgeous photos and a great message in this post. I completely agree with you on the topic of finding a community within the Western World – it does seem that there is less and less of one now but as you’ve said, it’s so easy to engage people in it and hopefully we can get back to a more communal feel one day. Great post! – Tasha
Thank you for the kind words Tasha! I am glad you connected with the message of the post. It came from the heart!