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Difference between revisions of "User:Akubra/Wikitravel"

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This page serves as a means to express my thoughts about how I see Wikitravel as it is now and as it could be in the future.
On 13/12/2003 I decided to take a break from Wikitravel because I had become a bit frustrated with it. I had the impression that Wikitravel was approaching the world and reporting about it in a Western/American way which could in turn lead to a lack of respect for other cultures.
The thing that triggered this break was this sentence on the [[Agra]] page: '''''Pizza Hut''''' ''One of the few places in town that will probably not result in food poisoning.'' I objected to two things here: (1) Pizza Hut -- an American icon -- was mentioned as the first item in the 'Eat' section of an Indian city and (2) the statement is simply not true. A short time afterwards the Pizza Hut mention was deleted (which was not something I had asked for).
It is obvious that we all carry our culture with us, but we should try to put it into perspective, especially when we are dealing with other cultures. A lot of Western values (or any other, for that matter) are not absolute, though in day-to-day life we often see them as such. In my opinion we sometimes should try to look at our own culture from different viewpoints. When I came back to my home country after a world trip ten years ago, I thought that everyone was in a bad mood because no-one was smiling like people do in Indonesia or Brazil. Of course this wasn't true, it's just the way people act around here. Before the trip, when I was submerged in my own culture, I never asked myself questions about this. After coming back, I realized there are other ways of behaving towards other people, and they are just as normal as ours are. What I want to explain with this simple example is that we as a travel guide should try to look in a more open manner towards other countries, cultures and people. The interesting thing about travelling is to leave part of our ingrained attitudes behind to experience the difference that other cultures can bring.
This takes me to my second point. The former can lead to a more pernicious attitude, which is to perceive other cultures with less respect. I don't think I have to explain that this is not the way to go for Wikitravel. I'm sure everybody around here agrees that while being different, every culture should be treated equally.
One last remark: having said that, I think we are moving in the right direction, and it's perfectly normal to have hitches and objections on this journey. [[User:Dhum Dhum|DhDh]] 02:44, 19 Dec 2003 (PST)

Latest revision as of 13:21, 13 January 2013