Hi, if you have time, can you help me with my essay for Grinnell, please! I'll read yours in return.
The word limit is 250, but I have already 284... Do you think that's too long?
It was when I studied about Ottoman Empire in my World History class that my interest in Turkey launched. The culture as the mixture of Asian and European, mysterious Islam, the powerless ending after World War I--- all strongly grabbed my heart. Since then, I was absorbed in learning about Turkey by myself.
Thus, I was exultant when I encountered a Turkish girl in an international camp program. I immediately spoke to her and talked about Turkey a lot. I felt pleasure in that my knowledge was real and being deepened right then.
On one occasion, in eating dinner, I asked her,
"Don't you Muslims really eat pork?"
"No, because the Koran tells us not to."
"That's because pork is believed to be unholy, right?"
"Yes. In fact, it has lots of bacteria."
"That's true for all raw meats, but they die when heated anyway," I said half in jest. But from her face disappeared her friendly smile.
"Pork is abnormal. It has special stigma."
It was shocking for me. I had known Muslims consider pork stigmatic, but I might have not believed that somewhere in my heart. I realized what I had known was just facts, not the reality of the people who seriously follow the principle, the substance of a culture. I had understood nothing about Turkey, after all.
Each people has different philosophy. Though it is easy to get knowledge about other doctrines, it is sometimes difficult to understand and accept them. However, one cannot "know" them in the genuine meaning without achieving the latter. All the more because I have huge information about Turkey, I am eager to interact directly with Turkish, to advance from corporeal facts to human insight.