Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Shay Lia, Culture Differences & Sueddu

Weekly Update 2019-37: Velvety vocals from Shay Lia, wondering exactly how different Canadian and Japanese cultures are and the inner life of Korean Youtuber Sueddu.

Sueddu reads a book and pets her dog before bed every night. How do I know? She vlogs about it.

Music: Shay Lia
Djibouti-born poet and author Shay Lia has been featured on songs with Kaytranada and Badbadnotgood, thanks in equal part to her velvety smooth voice and amazing lyric writing skills. I must admit R&B is not my first choice in music genre, but I find her music super-relaxing and sombre - good for changing of the seasons from summer into fall. Check out her new EP Dangerous:

Somehow I managed to pack for two big upcoming trips and lug it all to a throwback weekend at an adult sleepover camp weekend for Larissa's Bachelorette Party. I definitely faced some fears on the high ropes course, as well as their mammoth rock-climbing inflatable raft. It was a good way to relive my childhood experiences of overnight camp, and see how everything is done at a smaller camp (about 1/4 the size of the camp I used to attend).

Dinner in the mess hall. Way fancier than the dinners we got as kids at camp!

Everything bride-themed.

Larissa instructing her friend to draw a fruit bowl with a blindfold on.

It got a bit rainy, but overall a really fun weekend!

Next up I am about to get on a plane to Japan. Or should I say, the first of three planes. Yep, with my borrowed travel backpack in tow, I will be seeing the insides of four airports in the next 24 hours. Good thing I've still got some Vena work to finish up, as well as some TV shows to catch up on.

I'll be travelling from Toronto > Chicago > Tokyo > Osaka, leaving early Monday morning and arriving Tuesday around 6:00PM, all said and done. My goal for the first day is to find Okonomiyaki and go to sleep, but following that I am excited to explore all that Japan's kitchen (Osaka) has to offer before moving onto a night at a hot spring in Mount Fuji and then onto Tokyo. Thats the first half of the trip, so next week's post will definitely be juicy.

Random Thought: Culture Differences
This is my first true backpacking trip (or the closest thing to it) with multiple stops in different places and lots of things to see between nature and city life. What I'm most excited about is to experience the differences in culture. The only other comparable place I've travelled was China, and I felt like the culture there was very similar to Canada (perhaps because we have a huge population of Chinese people in Canada). I really don't know what to expect for Japan because I think it'll be really different based on what I've heard from other people who have travelled there.

I wonder how people feel about speaking English (considering they learn it in school), or about the constant stream of tourists that enter their country at all times of year, or if they ever try to look at their own country through the eyes of a tourist. I have been told that Japanese people are polite, but are they kind, empathetic, humorous? I can't wait to find out.

Inspiration: Sueddu
Taking another look into culture (though through a highly curated lens), my friend Emilia turned me onto a YouTube Channel by a young Korean woman with the name Sueddu. Through her videos performing daily tasks and rituals, she brings beauty to mundane activities like cooking, cleaning or doing laundry.

What I find very mysterious and intriguing is the way she purposefully sets the camera to first-person view, using voiceless and faceless shots to allow the viewer to feel like they are the one performing these tasks.

A recent video showing her nighttime/bedtime routine makes me feel very sleepy and calm. The sound is definitely engineered in an ASMR way to produce sleepiness (or it should be marketed that way). It is of course also a window into the differences in culture as related to domestic life like interior design, cooking, cleaning, even ordering food.

Most of Sueddu's videos showcase an activity within her apartment. Not only because she has a beautiful apartment and lots of things to do inside it, but it does appear that her life and the culture of her society is that people spend increasingly more time at home. The rise of Netflix and food delivery apps are clear testaments to this, but this channel really drives it home. The internet can be largely to thank for Netflix and food delivery apps, just as it has allowed Sueddu's comfortability with sharing her inner life with literally the entire world.

This video shows her ordering dessert from a cafe while walking her dog...

...only to take it directly home to eat.

Sharing all of her daily activities may have been a risky move when she started out, but at over 400,000 followers, it's been working pretty well for her so far.

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