Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Kingdom of Saudi Alberta

First make sure you read the title correctly. I wrote Alberta not Arabia.

While traveling awhile ago I heard the phrase Saudi Alberta for the first time. I found it amusing. But then that ole anthropologist in me started mulling it over and considering why the title would work.

Here for the first time anywhere (I'm sure), is how the two Kingdoms are similar.

1. Conservative religious government.
2. Othering those not originally from there. (looking at people as foreign to one's own culture).
3. Anxiety about people "stealing" the wealth.
4. Large families.
5. Oil wealth and then some.
6. Sense of entitlement.
7. Taking care of neighbours in a monetary way. (Although would you have ever believed we would be supporting Ontario?).
8. Sexual repression. (There's the story of a guy who had a sex change and had to leave the oil field business for his/her own safety. Then there's that whole gay rights thing that keeps popping up.

I'm sure there's more. And I'm sure there's a whole schwack of reasons why we're different. (Snow, not being the least of them). But there you have it. It is a bit tongue-in-cheek and may be an abuse of anthropology, but its worth the time and effort.


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