October 31, 2007

How much space do we need?

Posted in Cultures at 9: 28 am by MK

As I’m thinking about Saturday’s dinner with the two Burmese families, I can’t help to wonder what they’ll think about the size of my house. Now P. and I don’t have a large house when compared to American standards.  And it’s a far cry from a McMansion, as a standard center-hall colonial.  But A. and K. live in a three-bedroom apartment, where the whole family (mom, dad, and the three children) sleep in one bedroom (the other bedrooms are used as storage).  Their concept of space is very different.  I imagine they’ll think it odd that two people need the space of a two-story, 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home.  And when I look at it from their perspective it makes me wonder why exactly P. and I moved out of our lovely 3 bedroom apartment into our house.  Was it for the investment of home ownership? Or did we simply follow cultural expectations of buying a house after getting married.   And, really, how much space do we actually need?

(And this question reminds me of when we went furniture shopping for our new house:  all of the furniture was huge! Far too big for our living room and sun room.  I couldn’t imagine the size of the rooms needed to accommodate the couches and chairs in all of the furniture stores.   We ended up going with love seats in the living room . . . )



  1. Elizabeth said,

    I think the bigger/better houses or spaces are part of the American way. it is sad but true. Bigger houses, bigger cars, bigger food…. It is really sad to think about what we have come to symbolize to the rest of the world.

  2. Deana said,

    Hi. I don’t know you, but I’m LJ Friends with P and know your former coworker, D.D. 🙂 I just thought I’d let you know about an event where I work tonight that might interest you. It’s part of a film program we do. One of the films (which I just previewed) is about the refugee resettlement experience in Vermont. A good chunk of it focused on language learning. It’s at 7pm at Bennington Museum. $5 per person. Email me at deanarae at livejournal if you would like more info.

    Your blog is fascinating!

  3. mariakristin said,

    Thanks for the info, Deana! I’m so bummed I can’t go tonight, it sounds so interesting. Do you have any other information on refugee resettlement in Vermont? I’d love to learn more about it…and wondering, too, if the film will be shown elsewhere.

    And I’m glad you like the blog!

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