Date: 24 Aug 2009 16:31 Title: Putting the Right Foot Forward--Cardassian Edition
Good stuff! I really need this for my research. :)
Just remember, this is only my vision of Cardassia. You should feel free to take the canon information (such as that at Memory Alpha) and take it in whatever direction feels right to YOU. :-)
Date: 11 Apr 2009 16:41 Title: Putting the Right Foot Forward--Cardassian Edition
Hehe, this is where it becomes clear that many of the Cardassians we see in the series are certainly not your personal view of the avarage Cardassian citizen. Both Garak and Dukat make use of the bows to perfection, but at the same time they both portray a remarkable disrespect for personal space. They both stand uncomfortably close to anyone they like and touch even perfect strangers with complete disregard for customs.
Personally I tend to believe that Cardassians may seem cold to outsiders but really are much more relaxed than you'd think and not bound too much by etiquette.
At least in canon, they certainly don't seem to shy away from very public displays of affection for their friends and family. Personally I interpret this as a pride of emotions and a natural willingness to display them even in front of complete strangers. I do, however, agree that first impressions are vital. Any Cardassian obviously taking pains to become familiar with someone from the first moment is no doubt extending a huge compliment.
But then again, this all might get more complicated within their own circles due to complicated rank and caste systems and might simply be slacked off when dealing when off-worlders to make things simpler.
We've got to email more about this!
I definitely think of Garak and Dukat as being rude for various reasons (generally of the intentionally making people uncomfortable variety).
Within families, I think there's a lot of closeness. Though there's a lot of respect for elders, I do think the rules about physical contact are very different. (Now, the courting phase is different--but I think once you're married, there is a LOT of closeness. And that does progress during the courting time as well. :-) )
They're definitely not Vulcans. I don't think of them that way at all. It's just...I think of them as having very defined levels of closeness. If you're in the inner circle, you're in, whether they're in public or not. If you're not yet, there's more distance, more rules, but even then, I think the nice ones will still let you know that you're liked even if they don't do it by violations of personal space. ;-)
BTW, one thing I'd love to hear in an e-mail is what you thought about the suggestions for dealing with the hearing issue.
Date: 24 Mar 2009 00:08 Title: Putting the Right Foot Forward--Cardassian Edition
I might add that in replying, after reading the etiquette code, I was nervous as to how I should respond. Bow first, just a bit mind, and keep a distance between us, look at your wrinkles and ask you your age.
Hope that was alright? LOL
I would say that yes, a slight bow is proper, and no barging into personal space.
About the age issue...if you and I were roleplaying this interaction and I were playing the Cardassian, I would not recommend asking MY age unless you are well younger than I am--because if you were older than I am, this could come off as patronizing at best, and at worst, a sign that you weren't going to take me seriously. (I'm 25, BTW.) If, on the other hand, you were a teenager or such, to where a disparity would be fairly obvious, it would be quite appropriate after we're through the basic introductions and starting to really get to know each other, for you to ask my age. You would then be showing your respect for me as an adult with greater experience than you.
Date: 24 Mar 2009 00:06 Title: Putting the Right Foot Forward--Cardassian Edition
Again Nerys, a truly fascinating reveal of Cardassian culture. Very concise and reader friendly, you can imagine as a pamphlet handed to visitors to Cardassia. It is detailed and thorough but clear and simple. That ought to be the bar a factual piece of writing ought to reach.
As I read through, I inevitably thought back to Dukat and Garak and their interactions with others. You were spot on [to my recollection at least] of how they conducted themsleves and yet richer and more expansive on the reasoning behind. Glorious.
A real testament to a piece of writing like this, is whether it informs and inspires a writer in the reading of it. To that end, I found myself just itching to start writing about some Cardassians and how they'll interact with others. As you know, I've a long held dream to do a story with a Cardassian strong focus. This is going to be extremely useful and inspiring to me.
Thanks again for you world building detail and the inspiration you give.
Thank you for reading!
I actually imagined this being cultural advice being given to the aid workers coming into the Cardassian Union after the Dominion War.
Another scene that stuck out in my head as I wrote this...remember when Macet and crew came aboard the Enterprise-D? Watch Daro when he beams aboard. If you can ignore the fact that they're all embarrassed by the requirement to wear the hunter array aboard an alien ship, just look at how he acts towards O'Brien and his astonishment at getting such a rude look in return. As far as Cardassian culture goes, that was a pretty deep bow he gave O'Brien--one that should've been a signal he was going well out of his way to be nice. I was trying to also remember people like him, not just Dukat and Garak (neither one of them exactly being Mr. Manners, all the time. ;) )
The etiquette about the hearing issue, though...that was one thing I thought we should've seen WAY more evidence of on DS9, even if subtly, after that line in "Distant Voices" where Bashir's hallucinated Garak said that Cardassians couldn't hear as well as humans.
And I certainly look forward to your story!