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Author Topic: The multicultural society  (Read 7438 times)
Lilith-Nighthawk
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« on: April 19, 2010, 06:10:45 pm »

The Multicutural society is a place were all cultures can feel free to mix and ask questions about each other. We have all kinds of  drinks and foods for refreshment. Pull up a seat and commence talking. Cheesy
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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2010, 08:42:18 pm »

This seems to be a nice place to sit down and have a drink. I have no questions for the moment, but I will be glad to answer any Smiley.
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Lilith-Nighthawk
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2010, 09:52:30 pm »

How is the food? I really only know about carribean "spanish" food due to family friends and stuff. As far as I'm concerned they are completely different animals.
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2010, 10:53:08 pm »

Actually, Spain is very culturally diverse. I live in the north, in the basque country. Here, the food is based much on fish, but also beef, and... hell, I never though it was so difficult to explain how the food of a place is :S.
Let's try to tell two or three typical meals from my region:
 * bacalao al pil pil: cod with a sauce which is an emulsion of olive oil, garlic, and the own cod fat. Delicious
  * Chuletón de buey: a nice beef steak, huge (this recipe, for example, talks about 85cm thick - which I suppose is a typing error for 8,5cm), usually served with red peppers, or eventually green fried small ones. Not my favourite, actually - I dislike red meat, a sacrilege for many, here Wink.
  * Kokotxas: This is a part of a fish head, not sure exactly which ones. The ones we eat are hake or eventually cod, and are delicious in a sauce with parsil.

There are many other dishes, of course. I have heard basque cuisine is beginning to be highly seen around the world - Look! even the english Wikipedia has a page on it!

However, there is a large chunk of Spain that is included in the well-known mediterranean culture, which eats lots of vegetables (gazpacho, salads, pan tumaca), fried fish, and generally lighter food, as they have a much hotter climate. Another part, geographically the largest part of Spain, is the Meseta, which is a large mesa covering most of our peninsula, and actually misteriously the part I know the less, I have just discovered :S.
Two of Spain's most famous dishes are paella (rice with several things in it, most typical from Valencia, in the Mediterranean coast) and tortilla de patatas (a potato omelet, originated around my city but quite regionless today).


And how is food in the US? I've heard different stories: either you take from many places and destroy all, rendering them trash food, or you have very nice but little known regional foods (cajoun, texmex, etc), or that (this seem in movies) you have like two layers: trash fast food and expensive classy restaurants, with nothing in the middle.

PS: Actually, the USA have a wierd place in the world, since we are all familiar with life there through movies and shows, and of course news, but I don't think we actually know the real US - only your conscious or inconscious propaganda. I don't even know what to ask, maybe just: what differences would you make between the real and the media US?
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Lilith-Nighthawk
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2010, 12:26:36 am »

I think I'll answere the  question about the food first. The states are very regional when it comes to food. New England has a very hearty style of cooking and is big on the sea food and red meat. These are common dishes in new england, especially on the coast. Cheesy

Clam chowder- clam cooked in a white cream sauce. I can remeber being a little tyke and going to the beach to look for clam with my  grandmother.

Crab cakes- breaded shallow fried disk of crab, I really love it with tater sauce.

Steak and potatos- Pretty self explainitory, its a nice big peice of steak cooked how you like with a side of mashed potato. Depending on the person they will flavor it differently, or make the mash thiner. I like mine chunky with butter and black pepper.

Other regions have their own style of cooking and some have sub styles. Texmex is really just a type of southwestern cooking. Cajun is a style of southern cooking. The heart land is really big on meat and potato types of food. It tends to be hearty fair. Then of course there is the foods of different native tribes. The Dihne(navajo) and Hopi have alot of different corn recipes. But the native people near the shore tradtionally eat more fish, and game.

I find that foods that get intergrated into the american palate can be turned bastardised shadows of themselves. It depends on the people who run the restraunt and how much they are willing to adujust their native food to the american palate. I've been to indian restraunts that weren't any where near what the average indian person would consider good indian food.  At the same time I've been to Khmer(cambodian) places that are like eating at my khmer aunts house. It really seems that some types of ethnic foods are easily watered down  by the people running the places as supposed to others. I think smaller ethnic groups are less likely to water down the food for the countrys taste.

I once went to a thai restraunt and saw the owners eyes light up because I asked for the highest spice they served to customers. The guy was used to adjusting the spice level to lower then he thought was appropriate for the dish because  alot of people couldn't handle really spicey thai dishes.

I don't know really what to say about the media issue except that it isn't as glamerous as movies make it seem, nor is it really as gritty as the news makes it. It really like any otherr place, the only real difference being the level of different nationalities and cultures that make the nation up. Sure Canada and the u.k. are mixed, and europe and asia grow more mixed all the time. But were known for being the most mixed. I know this is the part where I ask a qestion but I cant think of one right now. Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2010, 12:27:35 am »

At the risk of confusing some folk here's a poem from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne written and spoken in the local dialect of Geordie

Funny Geordie Monologue by Gary HoggLQ | HQ


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Major Wolfram Quicksilver
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2010, 12:38:54 am »

Britain's favourite meal:  Roast beef, spuds and two veg?  Bangers and mash?  Fish and chips?  Nope, chicken tikka masala, pilau rice and naan bread.  The Empire, it's the gift that keeps on giving!
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2010, 06:09:56 pm »

i am pretty sure canada has a culture it is a conglomeration of everyone elses who wishes to move here i think do tell me if i am wrong and in the meantime i will just have a poutine
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2010, 07:24:51 pm »

I have to admit Major, shopping in Waitrose, they have more curries and noodle dishes than even the french foods. The easy microwave bangers and mash is tucked away behind vindaloo i suspect. do we have any danes here by the way? I love danish food, lived there for eight years, and developed an unhealthy addiction to copious amounts of pickled herrings!
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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2010, 07:43:42 pm »

chicken tikka masala

Some people claim this was invented in Scotland. However, I doubt that, because it's not fried :-)
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2010, 09:11:57 pm »

I find the internet very refreshing when it comes to multiculturalism. Because you can't see the people you are conversing with. As a result you get to know their mind before you see them. This I feel is a good thing. To know someone's whit, ideas, vim and vigour before their face helps stop the limitation of years of cultural programming, that sight engages.

I maybe wrong but I thought it might be a point worth bringing up.
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Lilith-Nighthawk
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2010, 09:33:45 pm »

i am pretty sure canada has a culture it is a conglomeration of everyone elses who wishes to move here i think do tell me if i am wrong and in the meantime i will just have a poutine


They do, but there is a reason that the states were and still are  some times called a melting pot.
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2010, 11:15:50 pm »

I´m from Denmark, I woudn´t think our food was one of our highlights though. Mostly it just seems like 100 ways of making pork and potatoes.
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« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2010, 11:19:46 pm »

Mmmmm, the meat of the pig!  The only part of a pig you can't eat is the 'oink!'

I take some inspiration from William Buckland, in that I'll have a go at eating (almost) anything.  In my travels through Africa and Asia I have tried many fauna cooked in many styles, be it mammalian, avian, aquarian, reptilian, and many a variety of invertebrate.  The only thing that disturbed me was monkey.  Not the taste, or the smell, but watching it cooking with the tail removed was like watching a small child roasting on a spit.

I'm with you, theairman, in that I too have a soft spot for rolmop pickled herring.
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2010, 12:06:52 am »

I´m from Denmark, I woudn´t think our food was one of our highlights though. Mostly it just seems like 100 ways of making pork and potatoes.
Let's just settle on frikadeller/bouletten and hot dogs. Can't get them right without hideous red pølser, it seems. Wink
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« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2010, 01:01:37 am »

And how is food in the US? I've heard different stories: either you take from many places and destroy all, rendering them trash food, or you have very nice but little known regional foods (cajoun, texmex, etc), or that (this seem in movies) you have like two layers: trash fast food and expensive classy restaurants, with nothing in the middle.

PS: Actually, the USA have a wierd place in the world, since we are all familiar with life there through movies and shows, and of course news, but I don't think we actually know the real US - only your conscious or inconscious propaganda. I don't even know what to ask, maybe just: what differences would you make between the real and the media US?

Hello, Ladies and Gentlemen, Buenas Tardes Sr. Del Cano:

(I'll write in English so everyone can read) Well, to be honest, I'm rather opinionated on the subject as I was raised in Mexico City (Born in Cajun Land actually) so I know a thing or two about that...

Best way to say it is that American food is mostly the food of the immigrants, wherever they came from.  This point is often missed by people outside the US.  To keep track of the types of food you need to keep track of the immigrants!  German, Italian, Irish, Nordic, Mexican, Cuban, Chinese ... you get the picture!  For example there are Nordic peoples in Pennsylvania (anyone from that part of the country feel free to jump into the conversation!), so you can expect some nordic influence there.  I live in Texas, and Central Texas is primarily German / Czech and Mexican so you can expect strong influences from both.  Naturally Southwestern US and California has Mexican influence as well.  Louisiana has a really strong French influence, and heavily colored by the Spanish and African influences as well--Entirely historical.  Honestly, the most interesting food in the US (IMHO) comes form Louisiana! (But then again I am part French, and I inherited the "chef" gene)

The lowdown on Mexican and "Tex-Mex":  In my opinionated opinion, Mexican food until about 15-20 years ago or so, tended to be regarded as "fast food" in the US.  Some very poor imitations of Mexican food by a company with a bell logo, the same way that a certain company with a clown mascot and double arches logo could be considered a national disgrace for American Food!

Native American and Mexican influences always existed in the "South West" (Texas, New Mexico, Arizona California), but these are "remnants" of a historically sparsely populated "hispanic" population-so the "strength of the cuisine" in the region was (IMHO) equally "sparse."  The ingredients list in the South West is rather short compared to actual Mexican food, and often the substitution of ingredients was either truly local or Native (i.e. Corn, Cactus Fruit) or "Stereotypical" based on what was available in the US: Beans, Corn/Wheat Tortillas, Jalapeno chilies, Tomatoes, Rice."   It doesn't help that the American Southwest is primarily a desert, while Mexican Food enjoys a geographical origin with much more temperate climate and in some cases humid climate (hence more ingredients in your list!) Tex-Mex fast food is essentially a large permutation of 4-5 ingredients!  Often mid-eastern spices like cumin were used (in rice for example) to "make it taste Spanish."  In other words, not really good.   Hence, Mexicans visiting the US are notorious for vehemently turning down "US Mexican food."

About the turn of (this) century, I would say Mexican food began to be taken seriously as a cuisine, at which point food aficionados (aka "foodies") and Chefs started to study Southwest food and introduce more truly Mexican dishes (e.g. Chile Relleno / Pork/Cheese-Stuffed Pepper, Cochinita Pibil (Shredded Pork), to name a few.  Food connoisseurs now regard Southwest food to be in its own category, because of historical and ethnic reasons, separate from Mexican cuisine altogether (i.e. truly American South West food).  This allows the food to have it's own place and its own "brand" of taste without being criticized by the Mexican people! All the while, truly Mexican cuisine began sprouting, I'd say since the Mid 1990's, so Americans can start thinking of Mexican food as good food suitable for an elegant night out for a change.

In Texas, the Southwestern food competes (in rural areas) with traditionally German food brought by German migrants in the late 1800's.   The Germans brought cattle and livestock to the South West, also beer (Some Belgian and Bavarian influences as well), and have a commonality with the Mexican affinity for Pork (relating to sausage), so a traditional "pan-hispanic" sausage like Chorizo (many varieties from Spain, Portugal, Mexico (3-kinds) all of Latin America, really), is also produced (and produced well) in Texas!  Texas can be a tasty place indeed.

Culturally and ethnically:  I'd have to say Germans and Mexicans hit it off well in this region.  I don't know why.  Truly unique.  Frankly, relations and acceptance of Mexican Americans is much higher here than anywhere else I have lived in the US (and I lived in California as well).  As a result the mixing of cultures is now slowly being followed by an ethnic mix as well.  I am now working (starting in May on a temporary basis) for the 2010 US Census, and I think we'll find that intermarriage of Mexican Americans is higher here in Texas than elsewhere...(Hispanics of Latin American origin in the US now account for 13.5% of the US population, a number on the par with African-American citizens...and growing fast!)

Trivia:  Many people (even Mexicans) don't know this:  Polka from immigrants in Texas heavily influenced rural (and I mean rural) music in the northern parts of Mexico around the end of the 19th. Century.  With the advent of the Mexican (Civil) Revolution of 1910, this style was imported southward into Central Mexico (again rural areas).  As a result small bands playing polkas with accordions and tubas are now almost universal in the central squares of most Mexican small towns!!

« Last Edit: April 21, 2010, 01:26:28 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2010, 12:05:54 am »

I am Cuban born in America, I think Cuban food is very good and of course I also like American food.
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2010, 12:47:58 am »

Southern (US ) food - if it moves, we fry it, if it not, we boil it.
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« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2010, 12:20:54 am »

Quote
I don't even know what to ask, maybe just: what differences would you make between the real and the media US?

To answer in a non-food way:  the real US costs way more.  Sure, you can live on a budget here.  But if you want to live the way we are portrayed in the media - or the way that most people who can afford to travel outside the US live - it costs an arm and a leg.  Translation:  that's why we work so many hours, when we can.

Housing in a major city is generally well over half of a recent college grad's budget.  Recent grads don't live like the ones on T.V.  They share "hip" apartments with several other people; but they're usually in the basement, or in far worse physical condition than the ones on T.V.  They are more cramped and there is generally someone who sleeps on the couch for minimal rent.  Also, many recent grads go back to live with their parents.  A little further along, and you can afford your own place or a nicer one with friends.  But the recent "real estate bubble" hit a lot of people hard, and made it that much harder for people just starting out.  This is hardly unusual from a world standpoint, but the media are often unrealistic about this and portray recent grads, immigrants, and/or struggling people in inaccurately glamorous settings.

In many if not most places you will find it difficult to get around without a car (Manhattan is the famous exception).  Now, we don't pay large gas taxes like in many other parts of the world (a factoid of which said media loves to remind us).  But in many cities, and pretty much all suburban or rural areas, going carless and using public transport is simply not an option.  Where it is, you often find that the "good" jobs are out in the suburbs where you can't really get by bus.  Thus, there's another large expense that a recent grad or immigrant has to consider.  The cars driven by such characters in the media are generally far too "nice".

We pay less in terms of our total budget for food than in many parts of the world; but genuinely healthy food will often cost significantly more.  If you have children and don't want to raise them on Cheez Doodles and Ho-Hos (cheap junky snack foods, for those who don't know) that will be a factor.

Education is quite expensive if you go past the public high school level.  We do have many subsidized state universities and a lot of these are quite good, but the tuition is still high.  People graduate into crushing debt.  Again, I'm not sure how this compares to elsewhere; I am comparing it to T.V. where apparently none of these drunken frat kids or their parents ever pays tuition.

The big famous one right now is of course health care.  But characters on T.V. rarely get sick, and if they do they don't have to pay for it unless that's a plot point, so that isn't a problem for them.

A few years ago there was a T.V. show where a "loser" guy supported a family in a house in the suburbs with a job as a shoe salesman. He had trouble, but they never got evicted or put through foreclosure, and there was always food on the table and clothing on their backs. Nuh-uh.  It'd take two of those jobs to afford a bus pass and a one-room apartment.  His life would not even have been possible.

Now these may be non-answers everyone knows about, and a decent, happy, just not very mediagenic life in the US is of course quite possible on a budget (even with the student debt).  Most of the luxuries portrayed in the media aren't very important to happiness, either.  But when I think of the media US versus the real one, "how things look on T.V." versus "how things look among people I know in real life", that is the first difference that pops to mind.  Sorry it's such a "serious" one.  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: June 11, 2010, 06:46:26 pm »

Regarding the post above, I think it's fair to put something into context:  the purchasing power of the American middle class has diminished since the last quarter of the 20 th Century.

A common study over here is the post-world war II economic ebullience that the American blue collar and white collar worker enjoyed.  This was due to the US exporting manufactured goods and technology.  As soon as other countries (Asia) "picked up the ball," the US has had to re-shift it's economy from an export-base to a consumer base, with the only new industries being the computer and IT sectors.

The net result is a " pinch" in the lifestyle of medium income people.  Blue collar workers are now less able to own a house and buy a new car, the way that media portays since the 1950's (cartoon example:  Fred Flinstone, an uneducated construction worker, supports a family, owns a home and a car, amenities, and takes the occasional vacation.  In this model, he is the equivalent of The Jetsons family, where a computer operator ( white collar) essentially owns the same.  This was the late 20 th Century concept of the American middle class.  But in the rest of the world, even in the "1st world," blue collar workers are not able to own a house and sometimes not even transportation.  As the US becomes " more like the rest of the world," the blue collar worker loses his way of life.  The only option is to be trained as a tech operator like George Jetson.  Now the middle class is split into lower middle class and upper middle class.   With a little more economic hardship there will be no middle class, as in the case of the 3 rd world.

By the way I used this argument in a college exam essay for a Government class - it got me a 100 score!!

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« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2010, 07:37:27 am »

At the risk of confusing some folk here's a poem from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne written and spoken in the local dialect of Geordie

Funny Geordie Monologue by Gary Hogg




The only part of that that I can't understand is the punchline. "That bugger's done me for two shillins, and was never...HuhHuh"

Argh!
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« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2010, 08:07:44 pm »

In answer to the two posts about US economics:
Wow. And I thought we have it hard. I have not studied the subject, so what I am going to say is nothing more than a personal impression, but I am going to say it nonetheless. I own what we are going to call a café, and work there too, so I get to know a lot of different people, mostly young (under 35).

Right now, we are in a middle of a crisis, with around 20% unemployment, but my area is one of the most prosperous in Spain, so we have just around 12% unemployment. Most of it is young people: there is a big gap here between temporary workers (mostly young) and permanent jobs (extremely hard to fire, so many of them keep their jobs). Temporary workers have it hard, they struggle to find little jobs of several months, then have to look again. It's the reason why many youths stay at their parents till their 30's, and only then get married, buy a house (through a slaving loan) and start having children. I know, it's really late.
However, education is free or cheap (there are three kinds of schools: private, with varying expensive prices, public ones, which are free, and 'concertados': these are private schools totally or partially paid by the state, very popular in the Basque Country), and there are also public universities (which are not free, but cheap), so a huge part of the population is educated. That's actually a problem, because it means everybody is competing for what you call 'white-collar' jobs, and it gets really hard to get any (see previous paragraph). 'Blue-collar' jobs are therefore in hands of poor immigrants (mostly from Moroco or South-America), which live in poor conditions, but get a lot of public funds helps. Of course, there are also locals in such positions, who also get public help if needed.

So, to summarize: the gap is not so much between 'white-collar' and 'blue-collar' as it is between temporary and permament jobs, which results in under 35 vs. over 35.
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« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2010, 05:08:46 am »

Actually, what you describe is not all that different from the situation here.  We have an unemployment rate that is scaring US newshounds, but our real problem is underemployment.  When people get starting jobs they are generally part-time (meaning one scrambles and competes with one's coworkers for hours, leading to the paradoxical situation of people fighting to work more) or temporary, which, as you describe, leads to the constant search for the next gig.  Temporary employment also does not help one's rating when applying for credit or for a loan (or even an apartment lease!), making the acquisition of big-ticket items like cars and houses that much more difficult; thus we also have a lot of people living with their parents until their 30s.  Families are harder to start and support - this can't be good long-term.  And like in Spain, here you will find that the blue-collar jobs don't pay as well as they used to (in inflation-adjusted money) and are largely held by recent immigrants who either have little education or have education they can't use in the US.  Many of the "slaughterhouse people" I've seen in my travels have been in this economic category.  The news current that has been big lately is how many of these workers lack legal documentation, leading to some controversial laws and policies.  But that's probably getting a little to political for this board.

Education was, for a while anyway, cheap(ish) and well-funded but has gotten much more expensive, and many of the programs which once assisted people of limited means in getting an education have disappeared.  Meanwhile, those who do have an education also face a situation similar to the one you described.  The real hurdle for today's youth (and increasingly, many middle aged folks) is the temporary/part-time to permanent employment hurdle.  However, in many if not most cases even when one does get a full-time, permanent job it is with the understanding that at any point, possibly tomorrow, one could lose it and have to start all over again.  (There is an unemployment program but try keeping a decent living situation on what it pays).  It is my theory that this situation is one of the things that leads to the why-bother attitude one sees so much today.

From what I can tell, this is the situation in much of the industrialized world.  It contrasts dramatically, however, with the way US life is portrayed in fiction media.  I could go on and on about this, because I think this false picture leads to a semi-traumatic disillusionment when American youth grow up, because it makes things look unrealistically easy.  It also leads people to think they are failures when they are really doing pretty well, and should give themselves a little credit for persistence.  I certainly don't want to discourage interested people from coming to the US; we have some very good things going here, make no mistake...but plan a bit more carefully than the television would have you believe.
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2010, 10:09:42 am »

At the risk of confusing some folk here's a poem from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne written and spoken in the local dialect of Geordie

Funny Geordie Monologue by Gary Hogg




The only part of that that I can't understand is the punchline. "That bugger's done me for two shillins, and was never...HuhHuh"

Argh!


The line is

"That bugger's done me for two shillin's and we's never got a sticker or nowt"

And in 'proper' english

"That bugger has robbed me of two shillings and we never got a sticker or anything"

But if that was confusing.... here's the long deceased dialect comedian Bobby Thompson on the subject of debt

The Little WasterDQ

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« Reply #24 on: June 19, 2010, 11:57:35 am »

At the risk of confusing some folk here's a poem from Newcastle-Upon-Tyne written and spoken in the local dialect of Geordie

Funny Geordie Monologue by Gary Hogg




The only part of that that I can't understand is the punchline. "That bugger's done me for two shillins, and was never...HuhHuh"

Argh!


It refers to earlier in the poem when "Me father reached deep in his pockets, and fetched out a couple of tanners", to pay the gasman who'd come to cut them off, in the mistaken belief he was a boy scout on bob-a-job week.

Tanner=Shilling
« Last Edit: June 21, 2010, 11:36:22 pm by Major Wolfram Quicksilver » Logged
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