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Cultural exchanges


Third entry and 30 days left until we lift off to the Jamboree!
The main purpose of a Jamboree is just a big and crazy meeting between scouts from all the continents with different cultures. The best thing about meeting scouts from other countries is to compare how their scouting activities look like. You might believe that the scout movement look similar in every country, however it's completely different when you compare some countries. Comparing scout activities is the first thing I talk about when I meet a new scout. For us scouts in the north, like Sweden/Norway/Finland/Denmark/Iceland, we base our activities on being outdoors. Unless it's raining like crazy, that's when I prefer do be indoors.. So what do we do? Well, we actually do some things of what people often believe we do. Some.  We do knots, learn how to do different kinds of fire(places?), arrange over-night stayings in tents for either a night or week-long camps, learn how to use a map and compass, build amazing things with ropes and poles, and other outdoor-related stuff. When I asked a scout from Kenya at the last Jamboree, he said that they spent most of their time volunteering in the city and the society. For instance, they sometimes helped out in the schools. And based on the very reliable source (or not) movies from all over the world, we know that most scouts in the US sell cookies. However I am not so sure that is safe knowledge.. 


The countdown is getting close..

Another major difference one may encounter on this kind of cultural meeting are the food and how we eat! The Swedish food traditions are basically built the same way for every meal. We have some sort of carbohydrates, protein, vegetables and then a sauce, do not forget about our sauce. We collect everything at the same plate and then we eat it all together. When I went to Italy, we ate our food the traditional way people eat in Italy, at least that what we were told. First we ate our plate with the carbohydrates, like for example pasta. Later on, on the next plate, we ate the protein and some vegetables. A bit weird, but it worked for me. As we're going to Japan and Asia, the food culture is a bit way more different than ours. Not to mention the most obvious, the things they eat with! I am glad that I already know how to eat with chopsticks, otherwise it would be a major task to learn how to use them. Sushi is one the most famous dishes from Japan, and share one of my secrets: I don't really like it... Witch is sad, since we're going to the country of sushi! But I will make myself eat some, it kind of belongs to travel there.
After all, it's all about embracing other cultures and enjoy the best of them!

Our attempt to do Japanese inspired food at one of last Japan-scout-meetings here at home.

The way we act and appear are one of the funniest and most interesting examples of how we differ between the countries. Us swedes, we like to stand in line, we rarely talk to people we don't know but when you get to know us we're quite nice, we like our private bubble and do not like to stand to close to others, and we like our meatballs. Feels like I forgot something, but I don't know what.
Living in a country where most people act like yourself, it's sometimes fun to meet people who are completely different. I am looking forward to meet polite Japanese people, crazy Italians, happy Australians, and all other people!


Even if every country have it's own form of activities, it's special food culture, and the way people act, the scout movement is based on the same ground - making people ready for the world. 
It's not for nothing that the motto of Scouting is: Be Prepared - Always Prepared!

Over and out 
from Louise