The Culture of
It was the initial intent of this article to
discuss various ‘cultural’ galleries and exhibits found throughout
the Baltimore Metropolitan area. However, upon reflection of the
true definition of culture, especially ‘Baltimore culture’, I was
faced with a certain dilemma, mainly that many larger, better known
galleries don’t focus on Baltimore culture, rather world culture.
Despite the importance of learning about and understanding other
cultures, I feel there is an equal if not greater importance of
learning who ‘we’ , as Baltimoreans, are. As a result, the cultural
section of this newsletter is dedicated to Baltimore Culture.
What is Baltimore Culture?
Most non-Marylanders relegate Baltimore to a
crab-crazy city with grammatically incorrect residents who greet
each other, “Hey, hon!” Most Marylanders who are non-Baltimoreans
view the city as a culture of crime, where graffiti is art and
carjacking is a common form of ‘performance art’. This is an
inaccurate and unfortunate view of Baltimore, as this city is
culturally diverse, with a rich history, both from a civil and a
military perspective, and over 700,000 residents from all over the
world telling an amazingly complex tale of culture.
Seeing Beyond the Stereotypes
The ability to see beyond stereotypes is, in my
mind, the definition of true culture. When something becomes a part
of “how things are” as opposed to “how those people do it,” it
becomes part of culture. It is important, then, that we
Baltimoreans see everything contained within our city as “how WE do
it,” not “how THEY do it.” Only through this larger perspective can
we begin to understand the culture of our Baltimore.
Where does our culture begin, and where is it
today? The beginning is the easy part...
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