Can I just share something from my culture? So, today my sister posted an article from the regional newspaper where I am from on my Facebook page. In one of the villages in our municipality a woman had been shot dead by someone who had also killed himself - which first of all is unheard of. That does not happen in safe little Finland. But what appears kind of funny in this very tragic situation (and I am not trying to be disrespectful, just observing) is that the 40-year-old-something woman was working on her forest. And let me explain - in my country we have deep, full-on, magical, real forests that require hard labor. (Most people own forests - though most of them are state owned). So, this woman was working in her forest - and she had apparently been shot as she was filling up her chain saw by her car.
Only in the Nordic countries. Only in Scandinavia. Where women are as tough as men and where women can do anything that men can do. Where man and woman walk up the aisle side by side to get married, because the woman is not "under" her father and she is not "under" her husband - she is equal to him. Bone of his bone. Created to be an equal helper.
Oh, culture. (And oh, how culture still impacts our perceptions. Even when reading the Bible.)
And then on the other hand, I do enjoy the courtesy of men holding up the door for me, offering to help me carry my bags and look out for me. But when I really think about it, in my world, it's not about a man doing it, it's about people showing consideration and helpfulness. And I have had to learn that I am not being a burden, but to actually receive help. I think the breakthrough came when my Brazilian friend said as we were standing on the bus, "Nanna, it makes me feel good to help you carry you bag. Please, let me do it." From that moment I stopped feeling guilty about packing too much stuff into my bag.
Oh, how we can learn from each other.