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[pct-l] hiking and ethnic background

Owen K wrote:
>Backpacking is open to everyone, I have found that ethnic individuals that are
>one or two generations from their ethnic origins associate camping outdoors with
>peasant backgrounds. I have friends from Persia (Iran) and South America and the
>idea of sleeping on the ground is distasteful. My own mother who is from England
>and grew up in a very poor family would camp only because of my fathers love of
>it (he was from Maine's north woods). I have an Ethiopian associate with a Ph.D.
>and he walked over 1000 miles to keep from being killed and the idea of
>backpacking / camping is not a good time.
>In summary if you have struggled all your life to get a decent roof over your
>head, why wound you go back to were you came from?
>Owen K

>> My husband and I have also made the same observation about the lack of other
> >ethnic peoples hiking the trail and wished there was a way we could share
>> our love of backpacking with them so they too could be aware of the beauty
>> of backpacking.  A thing shared is all the more wonderful for the sharing.

I would agree with some replies to this thread that people who live close to the 'soil' (e.g. farmers)
have no need to escape to the 'great outdoors' as we city folks do.  They are already there and
have a more practical response to the wilderness than PCT hikers do.

But I also think there are other (deeper?) cultural reasons why some people are outdoor enthusiasts 
and others are not. This reason has to do with differences between 'Northern European' and 'Southern
European' cultural outlooks.  The Romantic Movement was (and still is) a Northern European phenomenon.
England, France and Germany started it and most PCT hikers are basically Neo Romantics at heart.

People who see no point in PCT hiking are not culturally deprived.  They are simply heirs of a different cultural tradition.

(end of politically correct-multicultural diatribe)


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