Saturday, July 09, 2011

Cultural Interpretation

I went to a Thorpe Park with some friends. (Think roller coasters). I got my adrenaline fix and had a fun time watching Chinese friends that have never been on a roller coaster before. The part that caught me off guard was the part of the park that was stylized as Americana. This meant that there was 50's American music playing, along with band stands complete with the stars and stripes bunting, and all the store signs were made to look like freeway signs (reflective green with freeway numbers). All the things individually made sense but putting them all together seemed a little off.
It gets worse though all the stuff that was supposed to be American still had British touches. On the ride "Tidal Wave" they had half a bathroom. The problem being the pipe size was the skinny British size and the sink and bath tub had the two faucets that are so British. But the kicker was the Dr. Pepper real estate sign. Another thing was the new ride for 2011. It was river rafting that tried to recreate what happens in a Louisiana. I'm not sure if they were going for the "Deliverance" angle or being a little crass that they would recreate Hurricane Katrina.
So this was the first time that I have ever been somewhere where they were trying to recreate my culture. It was interesting to see what comes through as representative of your culture at the same time that it seems a little insulting. I asked the Chinese students and they have felt the same thing when Chinese New Years happened.

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