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Thread: U.S.A. Culture and Language Help

  1. #51
    FaunaCaritas
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    Yes, Everster, I can confirm what you are saying about American school structure.

    I went to a school that had six dormitories, 3 boys, 3 girls. They definitely had personalities and strong character traits. We also had 'Dorm Wars.' These were humorous prank battles. They usually got out of hand at some point during the year and the school would have to step in and shut us down. Pranks included things like stealing the drying machine doors, filling the hallways with paper cups full of water, and covering the windows with shaving cream. You get the idea.

    One boy's dorm would ally with one girl's dorm at the beginning of the year. They were expected to do nice things for the girl's dorm in order to 'win their favor.' Roses, chocolate, serenades.... Sometime another boy's dorm would crash the party with buckets of water/hoses.

    Freshmen were assigned dorms, but after that they were free to choose. Students tended to gravitate towards their friends, hence each dorm's personality. Not everyone was passionate about dorm rivalry, but enough were to make things get interesting.

    So yeah, I always understood Hogwarts house loyalty, even though I am an American. And I have lots of Notre Dame friends-- what you say there is true.

    I think this would all carry over into an American school of magic.

    </ramble>

  2. #52
    Gin_Drinka
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    However, there are completely different customs in, say, Mexico, which has a huge celebration for the Day of the Dead, or Puerto Rico (a sort of territory of the United States) which has massive Quinceañera parties, or Brazil which throws a huge party for Carnival (largely uncelebrated in the US).
    I'm not sure if I'm still on topic, but I'd like to say that in Brasil we have those massive Sweet 15s too. They're a HUGE thing. Tens of thousands of Reals are spent (when available ), two to three different dresses are ordered for the Birthday Girl the guest list never goes under 200 people and there are open bars that completely overlook the fact most guests are minors. I wonder, is it the same in Puerto Rico?

    And Evester, my cousin just joined into a college around here on the East Coast, and that's exactly what's done. She's assigned a dorm, but next year she can choose to remain there or go to another.

    Mia

  3. #53
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I have a thought to put forth in terms of American wizard culture.

    In the Harry Potter books, we she how far behind modren times wizards are. The don't have electricity or many modern devices, they write with quills, and use almost no modern convinences that the Muggles around them do. My friend, Joanna, thinks there is something romantic about this old world notion.

    Well, this is all well and good for British wizards, we have to keep in my that American wizard could only have come to the country three hundred years ago at the most, where as British wizards have lived in their homes for thousand. Another thing to keep in mind is that most people who came to America did so because their lives were not ideal in their homelands. If everything was going fine for them, they wouldn't have picked up everything they own and left all they had for a new country.

    What I want poeple to think about is what kinds of wizards would have come to America in say, the 1700's? Also, would starting new lives in a new country at this point in time have effect the old world feel of the wizarding world any? With no support networks, would they have had to relay on home Muggle technologies of the time? And would time have essential frozen for wizards in the 1700's and no efforts be made to advance further, or would this idea of being blended in with Muggles continue into modern times making for a more integrated feel among the wizarding community?

    Any thoughts or opinions?

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  4. #54
    Flobberworm93
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    Interesting concept. . . I think the only reason wizarding techonology is so behind is because they have better methods, or else methods they believe are better. We can assume that, since the countries in Europe are so close together, they basically have the same spells. So if those spells were around when Europeans first started coming to America, the technology would be about the same. Even if new spells were developed in the US or UK in the last 300 years, they probably would have reached each other. We pretty much have the same technology in real life, so I don't think it would be any different for wizards, since we have people from a wider range of countries and so most likely have different spells as well. I doubt that would make make too much of a difference though, considering Muggles aren't more technologically advanced in either country.

  5. #55
    Stubbornly_appeared
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    Lightbulb Hmm.

    Has anyone mentioned Sweet 16 parties in the U.S.? Like a Quinceañera party, but a year later. They can get really huge, depending on how much money you've got. There's even a show on MTV for them. And, of course, the optimum 16th birthday present is a car.

    In wizarding America, do you think the same age laws apply? For instance, you get your learner's permit when you're fifteen-and-a-half or something, if I'm not mistaken, and then you take the test for your driver's license when you turn 16. Would Apparation be the same way? When you're eighteen, you can vote and can almost do everything adults can (you leave home, usually, and you can smoke legally). Do wizard citizens vote? When you turn 21, you can drink and gamble and whatnot. How much do Muggle laws apply to wizards and witches?

    I've always had the notion that American wizards were more open to Muggle technology and culture. A lot of people in the U.S. view certain European traditions as antiquated, so would it be the same way for wizards? Maybe there are magical T.V. shows. All sorts of Muggle culture could be adopted to fit the wizard lifestyle. America has always been about being a place where all sorts of people can live together.

    -Stubby

  6. #56
    cmwinters
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbornly_appeared
    In wizarding America, do you think the same age laws apply? For instance, you get your learner's permit when you're fifteen-and-a-half or something, if I'm not mistaken, and then you take the test for your driver's license when you turn 16. Would Apparation be the same way? When you're eighteen, you can vote and can almost do everything adults can (you leave home, usually, and you can smoke legally). Do wizard citizens vote? When you turn 21, you can drink and gamble and whatnot. How much do Muggle laws apply to wizards and witches?
    Driving laws vary by state and range from 14 or younger to 17. (See ->this<- handy-dandy little image for more information). But they are set locally, whereas I imagine the American wizarding government would govern *all* wizarding transportation, regardless of state.

    As for voting, yes, I would imagine there is a voting system for the Wizarding government. What is interesting is if they would vote for the Muggle government.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stubbornly_appeared
    I've always had the notion that American wizards were more open to Muggle technology and culture. A lot of people in the U.S. view certain European traditions as antiquated, so would it be the same way for wizards? Maybe there are magical T.V. shows. All sorts of Muggle culture could be adopted to fit the wizard lifestyle. America has always been about being a place where all sorts of people can live together.
    No wizarding TV shows, because televisions and other electronic devices do not work around magic (or at least places of concentrated magic, which is likely where a wizarding television show would be produced.

  7. #57
    Evester
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    Driving laws vary by state and range from 14 or younger to 17. (See ->this<- handy-dandy little image for more information). But they are set locally, whereas I imagine the American wizarding government would govern *all* wizarding transportation, regardless of state.
    I think that the Wizard would have to obey the laws set by the Muggle Gov't when they did things the Muggle way (driving/etc), but would follow the Wizard law when they did the apparating thing. And I agree with CMWinters here that the Wizard gov't is more likely to have control over the entire country, rather than there being local governments.

    No wizarding TV shows, because televisions and other electronic devices do not work around magic (or at least places of concentrated magic, which is likely where a wizarding television show would be produced.
    Perhaps they could have the equivalent of a TV? Wizards have radios (hence the WWN and Potterwatch) that are probably magically adapted, or a different sort of magic radio all together. So I think the same could apply to a TV. I love the idea of Wizarding shows.

    When you're eighteen, you can vote and can almost do everything adults can (you leave home, usually, and you can smoke legally). Do wizard citizens vote? When you turn 21, you can drink and gamble and whatnot. How much do Muggle laws apply to wizards and witches?
    I don't think that wizard would vote in the Muggle elections. From what we have seen, most wizards dont' know ANYTHING about Muggles, so I don't think its plausible for them to take that much interest in the Muggle Gov't.
    I also think that when they are in the Muggle world, amongst Muggles, they would have to abide by Muggle laws (aka drinking, smoking, etc) because if someone arrested them, what are they going to say, "I'm a Wizard, I don't follow Muggle laws..."? That would not work.

    Just my two cents...
    -Evester

  8. #58
    cmwinters
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Evester
    I don't think that wizard would vote in the Muggle elections. From what we have seen, most wizards dont' know ANYTHING about Muggles, so I don't think its plausible for them to take that much interest in the Muggle Gov't.
    I also think that when they are in the Muggle world, amongst Muggles, they would have to abide by Muggle laws (aka drinking, smoking, etc) because if someone arrested them, what are they going to say, "I'm a Wizard, I don't follow Muggle laws..."? That would not work.
    But the Muggleborns could vote, and the half-bloods raised in a half-Muggle environment (think Hermione for the former, Snape for the latter, and Harry somewhere in-between).

    Clearly, the Malfoy family wouldn't be caught dead at a Muggle poll (except in cases where it suited them, but then they'd have to prove eligibility to vote, which would be more difficult for them unless they just wanted to Confund the official, which is entirely possible), and clearly the Weasley family wouldn't have a clue HOW to go about doing any of it, but *some* of them could!

  9. #59
    Rushia
    Guest
    In addition, how might the history of America have changed American wizards? Not much from the Muggle world would affect the wizarding world, I don't think, but something like the Civil War can't leave the wizards completely in the dark. Do you think there might have been a wizard-side Civil War? It's entirely possible that the war could've spread to the wizarding world and possibly even created a more permanent split, with the North and South wizarding communities separated politically within their government {though I'm not sure what they would call it, since the American government isn't really referred to as a Ministry....}.

    ...Which brings up another point. What is the American wizarding government called? We usually just call our overarching governing body the Federal government. What kind of terms would the wizards use to refer to their own government? Though the wizarding world is very separate from the Muggle world, there seems to be a lot of deep ties connecting the cultures together, but this is also because of a point mentioned earlier--the wizards in Europe have been living in their countries for thousands of years, while the American wizards would have three hundred years at most. Would they be less deeply tied to their country? Or would they retain the customs of their old country even in the new? It was a trait of the South before the Civil War that they seemed like a "transplanted England." They held many of the old traditions and beliefs that the English were moving away from around the time of the Civil War, while the North was more innovative and moving forward with the times. Do you think that the wizards down in the South would be more old-fashioned, more like their home countries than America, and that the wizards up North would be more prone to mixing together and creating new networks with wizards from all over Europe who were coming to America rather than simply trying to salvage the bit of their network that came with them? If so, would that mean that the North wizards are stronger than the South?

    I feel sort of like a jerk bringing up the North/South thing so much, but that's always been a very serious divide line in the US. We make a lot of distinctions between the North and the South in history and even in colloquial times {jokes about "Southern gentlemen" and the like} it's still a dividing line, though not as sharply. This is the most evident in the east, where the original colonies started. Once you get as far out as Ohio up North and Texas down South, the line starts blurring, but before that, it's pretty sharp. I'm wondering if the differences evident in Muggle culture because of that divide would have also been reflected in the wizarding world. The two worlds are very separate from each other, but with America they all shared a common feeling of being uprooted and starting over someplace new, and geography plays a large part in how people adapt to their environment. The geography of the South worked to simply try to replant their culture, while the geography of the North required more creative solutions. And even during the Revolution, the North was much more of a problem than the South. A huge reason behind selecting George Washington as the commander of the Continental Army was to make the South, specifically Virginia, more involved in the war and more willing to help it.

    One last point building on that: was the wizarding community in America first a colony of the wizarding world in Britain or other European countries? How did the wizards who moved from Europe react to the wizards from the Native American tribes? And how, if at all, did the Native American wizards mix into the new wizarding community?

  10. #60
    leahsm2
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Rushia
    How did the wizards who moved from Europe react to the wizards from the Native American tribes? And how, if at all, did the Native American wizards mix into the new wizarding community?
    All of the points you raised were interesting, but this one popped out at me because it could have made for a totally different present. I would assume that the Europeans of the magical community who came to the U.S. would have been horrified at the treatment of the North American magicals and would have defended them from such horrific and brutal assaults. Magical people tend to be color blind, and an untapped group of purebloods had to be enticing to certain sections of the European immigrant community.

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