Journalist travels around the world learning about how culture impacts relationships
Journalist Pamela Druckerman traveled all over the world to study how different cultures impact relationship dynamics.
Here are some fun and interesting cultural differences Pamela Druckerman discovered during her travels (which she writes about in her 2007 book, Lust in Translation).
- The American trend of dating multiple people at once is totally foreign to Europeans. French people Pamela interviewed were shocked by the idea – most French people assume that once you start dating someone, you are only dating that person.
- Affairs are pretty uncommon in America and some European countries such as France. In surveys, only 3 percent of married Americans reported having had an affair in the last year.
- In socialist China, falling in love was not allowed! The government made rules against listening to love songs or reading love stories. In 1975, a person who anonymously wrote a love story which was clandestinely being shared was tracked down and imprisoned.
- The King of Swaziland, King Mswati III, has 13 wives and 23 children. He has faced international disapprobation due to his lavish lifestyle while most of the people in his country suffer from extreme poverty. Swaziland also has the highest rate of HIV infections of any country, at 39% of its population.
- Affairs in Russia are not considered taboo. When Druckerman interviewed a prominent Russian psychologist, the psychologist actually suggested having an affair once in awhile is healthy for a person!
- In South Africa, 20% of the population (that’s 1 in 5 people) is infected with HIV or AIDS. This is a major public health crisis; the government there has invested a lot of resources into educating the public about practicing safer behaviors in order to reduce the rate of infections.
- Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn, New York City enter into arranged marriages when they are as young as 18. Their families choose their future spouses. The two individuals will meet each other for half an hour and then decide if they want to proceed with the marriage or not.
Druckerman, who lives in Paris with her husband and three children, has also written about how culture influences parenting styles. Her book Bringing up Bebe was an international bestseller. To check out her work, click here.