donderdag 3 september 2015

Surprised by sheep

Hi there!

During our travels trough out life, we all find ourselves sometimes wondering about how other people are experiencing the same experience as you are going trough at that moment. Of course the way one views certain things while 'performing' tourism can not always be neutral. this view or ' tourist gaze' as John Urry calls it, will always be influenced by someones own thoughts and beliefs.1 A great example I encountered in Amman is the presence of sheep in the streets grazing. I strongly believe that this tourism encounter can be perceived as a strange thing to a western tourist who is not used to roaming sheep in the streets the capital of a country.

Nevertheless I was not surprised by the sheep and many other things I encountered during my travels in Bilad al-Shaam. Do my previous experiences in Morocco influence my tourist gaze Jordan?
John Urry writes in his book The tourist gaze that every society, historical era etc. has his own tourist gaze.2 Therefore there is not one gaze but several differing per society, social community and historical period formed by historical events in the indicated communities. So it might be useful to think about how your tourist gaze is formed the next time you have a tourism encounter.

So to grasp the origin of your own tourist gaze, you should carefully consider which emotions, memories, characteristics etc. influence this tourist gaze to answer the question.
For myself I can certainly say that my gaze is influenced by my Moroccan ancestry. Certain things as mentioned before were perceived as normal by me however not everything I have seen during my stay in Jordan was unbeknown. The greatest example for me might have been the presence of churches next to mosques. As I mentioned in my other blog post this would be highly unlikely in Morocco and therefore for me surprising and worthy to gaze at.

I hope to reveal the rest of my tourist gaze experiences in my upcoming blog entries. So stay tuned for more stories about sheep in the streets of Amman.

Have a good day!

1. Urry&Larsen, The tourist Gaze, p.1-3. 
1. Idem. p.3.

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