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Altercations

It's an extremely proud, nationalistic country. There's strong traditionally masculine elements here.

That means a culture that can be kind of xenophobic, violent, and aggressive.

Despite that, I actually like it. I like traditionally masculine, proud, nationalistic countries. I know that isn't fashionable to say in this day and age, but after having been around a lot of the world, I just feel really bad for the citizens of countries that are totally pacified and unproud. The men move through life in a sort of drudgery and haze, and the women don't seem to enjoy those state of affairs either.

That said, pride/nationalism/hyper-masculine mixed with transitioning out of poverty can lead to bad places. It's not so much nationalism that is bad, as much as it's a catalyst for whatever else is happening in the society. In a country in a renaissance or golden age, with an emphasis on expansion, science, commerce, innovation, hard work, and building wealth, nationalism and pride becomes a force for progress. In a country that's on the down and out, nationalism amplifies that to bad result.

Mongolia is interesting. Their national holiday, Naadam, is a festival in July featuring wrestling, horseback riding, and archery.

10 Ways to Blissful Emptiness

On Samovar

Like an empty teacup or a blank sheet of paper, emptiness is unlimited potential. In emptiness, literally anything can happen. An idea, a scribble, a masterpiece, a to-do list, a mind map. It's when clutter and noise and distraction fill us up that there is little room left for greatness. So if emptiness is so great, how come we don't all achieve more of it? Because emptiness is really scary.

Ask any writer staring at a blank screen "how do you feel?" Writer's block is total sweaty-palmed panic. An interesting analogy can be made between emptiness and the color white. White is not color. It is the absence of all color, ie "empty."

The Japanese character for white is this:

It turns out that this character, or pictogram, is based on the original image of a skull. Imagine for a moment the feeling you would get when stumbling across a lone skull on a barren landscape in ancient Japan. Bleached by the sun, wind, snow and rain, this lone skull, stark white, gaping up at you, is a blatant reminder of death. White, or emptiness, is death. It makes sense now why emptiness is so scary.

However, white is also opportunity and life. The color of sustenance-giving milk the world over? White. The color of every single kind of egg, whether a bluejay or a snake? White. White is life. Potential. Opportunity. Pulsating energy.

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