Cultural Difference – also in science approach!

Yesterday morning while discussing with my marketing team Live Earth concerts around the globe (it was a big thing here, as Sydney was hosting one of the events; my work mates went for a concert here and loved it!), we touched on the topic of continents (Live Earth was held on every continent).

And to my great surprise I’ve discovered that in english-speaking world it’s considered that there are 7 continents, while I learned at school that there are 6 of them!!! (and those that are seven for people here in Australia, are called ‘parts of the world’/’chasti sveta’ in my countries)

Main difference is that we consider Europe and Asia as one continent, Eurasia, while in western school they are 2 separate ones.

After jokes from my teammates on the subject of our education I actually went online to wikipedia and found the following facts:

The ideal criterion that each continent be a discrete landmass is commonly disregarded in favor of more arbitrary, historical conventions. Of the seven most commonly recognized continents, only Antarctica and Australia are separated from other continents.

Several continents are defined not as absolutely distinct bodies but as “more or less discrete masses of land”. Asia and Africa are joined by the Isthmus of Suez, and North and South America by the Isthmus of Panama. Both these isthmuses are very narrow in comparison with the bulk of the landmasses they join, and both are transected by artificial canals (the Suez Canal and Panama Canal, respectively) which effectively separate these landmasses.

The division of the landmass of Eurasia into the separate continents of Asia and Europe is an anomaly with no basis in physical geography. The separation is maintained for historical and cultural reasons. An alternative view is that Eurasia is a single continent, one of six continents in total. This view is held by some geographers and is preferred in Russia (which spans Asia and Europe).

The 7-continent model is usually taught in Western Europe, Northern Europe, Central Europe, China and most English-speaking countries. The 6-continent combined-Eurasia model is preferred by the geographic community, Russia, Eastern Europe, and Japan. The 6-continent combined-America model is taught in Latin America, the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Iran and some other parts of Europe; this model may be taught to include only the 5 inhabited continents (excluding Antarctica).

Full story here

I guess the reason is that post-USSR education system (which I went through) was very science based, and my geography lessons were based on views of those from traditional geographic community (as it prefers 6-continent model)

It’s great to learn something new I never suspected and/or thought exploring!! Go living diversity dimension of my internship 🙂
I thought it’s such a fundamental thing as I learned it at school, but it appears there are different fundamentals in other countries even on science subjects 🙂

It made my day – our world is such a diverse and great place! 🙂