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Sharing: The center of Turkish culture

03/11/2013

The Turkish culture, in contrast to the German one and other cultures around the globe, is a collectivistic culture. This means that family knits, friendships and other groups of society play a more central role than the individual itself.

This can be observed in several aspects of daily life. When visiting my flat mate’s family in Eastern Turkey, I noticed that while shopping the whole group stuck together instead of spreading whereas I automatically wandered around from one stand to the next and eventually rejoined the group when getting bored before moving around again and so on.

© aNadventures

The collectivistic nature of this culture is also reflected in its advertisements and product slogans. Algida (the local name of the ice cream heartbrand) chose the following slogan for its Turkish market: Mutluluğu paylaş (Share the happiness). Interestingly, Langnese (Algida’s German equivalent) issues more rational or product related slogans, such as Jetzt ein Eis! (~How about some ice cream?) or So schmeckt der Sommer (~This is the taste of summer).

At a local supermarket, I also noticed the following slogan related to sharing:

© aNadventures

It says something like “Share, life will get sweeter.”

Before taking a bite of food, Turks generally offer to share it with others or directly distribute whatever they have in their hands. You normally buy a little bit extra, so you can share it with those around you.

One thing Turks do not like to share though is their partners.

Image

© aNadventures

Bir tek seni paylaşamam: The only thing I won’t share is you. 

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14 Comments
  1. Yes I have noticed this often on my travels too Ana. I sometimes wonder if our individualist conditioning can ever be undone because whenever I have lived in a collectivist culture temporarily, whilst I admire and respect this way of living I noticed how challenging it was to actually transition my mind to think like that as well – how strong our ‘identity to the individual ego’ really is. I want to explore this more.

    Nice to connect with your blog!

    • Welcome to aNadventures, Rachel! Nice to have you around. 😉
      Yes, it’s impressive how much of our personalities and ways of life are shaped by the individualist vs. collectivist cultures we find ourselves in. I agree, it’s probably very hard to “swap sides” in the long run but it’s always fun to explore new perspectives.

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