If human beings could be defined by one word, and one world, alone, it would be that they are social. We are social creatures, and this is the force behind everything that we do. Because of this, we are also seeking one thing: validation from others. Men seek validation from women by mating with them. If they mate, they are validated. Women seek validation from men by growing their hair long, wearing makeup, putting on heels, wearing dresses, etc. to garner attention. If they are noticed by men, then they know they are validated. Students go to school to be validated by their parents, friends, and their community; it is the social norm. Even I, on some level, am learning Japanese to be validated and accepted by the Japanese population.
Different cultures have different ways of validating each other. In the United States, it is best to show independence, creativity, and outgoingness to show that you are an American. In Japan, to be validated by your peers, what you do is quite different. You join the group. You work as part of the group. You live, eat, think, and interact as a group. This never became apparent to me until I went to my school's cultural festival on Friday, which will be written about Wednesday.
Check in two days!