The University of Ravelry14 October 2010
I learn a lot from Ravelry.
It’s a world-wide knitting community of almost a million people so you can expect that you may learn a bit about knitting. But it’s interesting (and incredibly frustrating sometimes) to read the general chat forums which can throw a little light on other country’s cultures, particularly the USA as the largest national group on Rav is American.
I read a fascinating discussion once about baby showers. They’re not really part of British culture and I’d never been to one before I came to live in Australia – I don’t think they’re really part of Australian culture either but the practice has been “borrowed” from America. A woman on Ravelry was holding one for her niece who was pregnant with her third child and alone, after her husband had either died or left (didn’t discover which). A number of Americans wrote that you must NEVER hold a baby shower for any second or subsequent babies, which I hadn’t known. One woman wrote that she was “appalled and disgusted” that anyone would think such a party was appropriate. Apparently there are quite strong etiquette rules for the holding of baby showers. And I’d just thought they were casual parties of women gathering together to bring small gifts to their pregnant friend and have a fun afternoon.
Then I learn about Australian culture on Rav too . There’s a discussion going on at the moment about appropriate Christmas gifts for your child’s teacher. I don’t know whether this is something that now happens in Britain but I’m quite sure it wasn’t when I was at school. I don’t remember my mother ever giving a gift to one of our teachers and if it had been the “correct” thing to do, I think my mother would have done it. I certainly don’t remember seeing teachers receiving gifts from mothers. (Is my memory correct, Judith?) But the people involved in this topic on Rav don’t appear to think it out of the ordinary so I can only assume that it’s the norm here.
You live and learn!