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Worldwide Onelers: The Arabs April 3, 2010

Posted by Onely in Everyday Happenings, Food for Thought.
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7 comments

Is the Onely mindset inborn or acquired? My Arabic language teacher and another professor giving a lecture on Arab culture each separately made this statement about life in the Middle East:

It’s considered weird and inappropriate to spend time alone. If you’re in a household, don’t shut yourself up in your room unless you’re studying.

The two professors did not know each other, and their classes had nothing to do with each other. Yet they both took pains to point out this cultural phenomena, and they both used the same example of not holing up in one’s room. I began to think that being Onely in the Arab world might be a very different experience and mission than being Onely in Northern Virginia–aleast, if you’re a Oneler who needs private time to recharge.   I’m a Gregarious Introvert, which means that although I enjoy being with people, I get my best recharging done when I am alone lying on the carpet, staring at the ceiling and singing “John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt” while the cats walk on my stomach.

If I were an Arab version of myself, would I still need to decompress by sitting alone in my room? Or would I be accustomed to spending my downtime in the living room with my extended family and friends, only retreating to my private quarters to sleep?

Copious readers, is it easier to be Onely in some parts of the world than in other parts?

–Christina

Photo credit: Sam and Ian

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