2011-11-18

Cultural differences in the sense of order

Having been born from and raised by highly ordered parents, I used to consider myself as a highly ordered person. The fact that even in Japan, which is famous for its order, I was considered too ordered intensified this self-conceit. So it came as a great surprise to find for the first time here in Israel that I was "accused" of lack of order in the evaluation of my teaching by my students, and this repeats itself every year.

This has lead me to think, again for the first time in my life, that there must be cultural differences in the sense of order. This may not be decent, but I have to say that I have never met anyone in Israel who shares the same sense of order as mine. Order can be not only purely physical but also logical. I cannot help noticing lack of order, both physical and conceptual, among so many people here in Israel, and I have been suffering from this lack of order here.

But what seems to me as lack of order is presumably the default state of order in Israel, so my sense of order must be interpreted as lack of order. Franly speaking, I am totally at a loss in this respect. On the one hand, I do not understand the Israeli sense of order, but on the other hand, I cannot allow myself to degenerate to the level of what I consider lack of order.