One of the most rewarding parts of going traveling is being able to experience different cultures; it’s why so many of the TravelExperta Adventure List items look to take you to cultural points of interest. Still, not everyone can enjoy the luxuries of travel, and others worry about cultures that are foreign to them, wanting to familiarize themselves with it before experiencing it themselves. One way to get a loose experience of other cultures in an enjoyable way is to seek entertainment properties that reflect certain aspects of it or give a glimpse of the country or people from the view of a local creative. So, here’s some content for you to try.
Delving into iconic cultural themes
Ireland boasts so many idyllic landscapes and views that it fully deserves its standing as one of the best places to film. Famously home to a lot of Game of Thrones’ scenery, even Ireland’s urbanized areas have been drawn from, such as in The Italian Job from 1969, which used Kilmainham Jail in Dublin. However, something about Irish culture which has persisted and even become a part of the national identity at this point is the belief in luck and lucky charms. So many tales and sayings from old Irish folklore continue to this day. As detailed in this Irish Central List, four-leaved shamrocks grant you luck, white horses in the morning bring you luck, as will seeing a black cat. With the exception of the Leprechaun movies, which turn the Irish Folklore Fairy from tricky into murderous, no entertainment medium best relays the Irish culture of lucky charms quite like the online casino. In fact, the very first thing that you see at Betway Casino Online are games like 9 Pots of Gold – a call back to pots of gold at the end of the rainbow – as well as Rainbow Riches, Rainbow Wilds, Irish Magic, and Lucky Leprechaun.
The style of this entertainment medium also lends itself to a cultural idea of the United States, showcased here in the form of The Bandit and the Baron, Gold Collector, and Western Gold. The American Dream is detailed as the belief that anyone can become successful, move up the social hierarchy, and essentially become richer than their parents were due to hard work and sacrifice. This ideal is very much a spin-off of the days of the Old West, where people were told to head to the far reaches of North America to seek their own fortunes, make their own way – especially as the law hadn’t made it that far. First, outlaws ruled the land, but then the Gold Rush came, bringing even more wealth to those who dared travel. As detailed by History, Manifest Destiny was a phrase that drove people across the continent, uprooting all in their path to entrench capitalism and reap the rewards.
Experiencing a country through the movies
All movies are permitted a great deal of creative license, and many portray places and people in extreme ways to either entertain, make a point, or both. Yet, many world-class filmmakers have been able to essentially snapshot a culture in a moment in time through two hours of a movie. Right now, one of the best ways to experience the Korea Republic through the eyes of one creative person is by watching movies by Bong Joon-ho. There are many superb sights to see on our South Korea Guide, but Joon-ho tends to take a more satirical look at society, class structure, and how the culture of urban Korea is heading. In a 2020 interview with The Guardian, the director says that he packed his accolade-engulfing film Parasite with “Korean details” and that even though the country seems glamorous now, “the younger generation… feels despair” due to the wealth gap. He likes to shine a light on society’s blind spots, just as he did in the more cloaked Snowpiercer. It’s why his work is more than deserving of getting a Blu Ray Collection and well worth experiencing, too.
It would be fair to say that, oftentimes, to get a good sense of a culture through a movie, you have to watch one made by someone from that country or culture. However, one film that bucks the trend – primarily because it brought in two true powerhouse actors from the country – is Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Made by Woody Allen, the scene settings, locations, points of discussion, and fiery romances all perfectly capture the Spanish culture and storytelling tropes, with Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz carrying the film.
There’s a lot to explore, and the tremendous scope and accessibility of modern entertainment make it easy to dip your toe into another culture and get a general sense of some of its touchstones.