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I would like to know if this type of questions are acceptable or not: https://travel.stackexchange.com/questions/56202/does-romantic-love-exist-in-india

I believe the essence of travelling is about knowing different cultures and learning from them. "Getting there" questions are definitely very important but it's just a way of arriving to the destination. Discarding questions about culture and habits would be discarding a very important aspect of travelling.

In some way the community seems to accept this questions. We have a tag for factoids, for cultural aspects and we have several questions that reflect this. For some reason the question about love I mentioned was considered border line and therefore I would like to clarify if these type of questions are acceptable or not.

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    +1 I couldn't understand why this was closed as off topic. Too broad, maybe, since people literally write books exploring this topic (though to be fair Andrew Grimm gave a decent answer to "does it exist" in the form of a one-line comment), but I'd agree it seems to come under cultural understanding questions, of which there are many very good ones here. – user56reinstatemonica8 Sep 18 '15 at 12:22
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I can't give you a perfect answer to your question, but the question should be relevant to you, or someone else's, travels.

For example, "Do Japanese people eat pickled fish eyes?" may be an interesting question, but isn't relevant to your travels. However "Where can I eat fish eye in Japan?" is relevant to your travels, so long as you're interested in eating fish eyes.

Your question is an interesting one, but I don't see how it's relevant to your travels, unless you're planning on marrying an Indian person. If you are, you may wish to rephrase your question with more specifics, such as "Will I need to get parental permission to marry an Indian person?".

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    It's relevant in the sense that I like to understand the "other". It makes me understand what I see and organize my thoughts. The 3rd paragraph of your answer doesn't apply. – nsn Sep 18 '15 at 14:07
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    @nsn By that logic, any question about sociology, anthropology, psychology, history or geography must be acceptable. Does that make sense to you? – Relaxed Sep 18 '15 at 14:10
  • @Relaxed yes, if it's travel related somehow. It's the same as the white house example you gave. All sciences are partly the sum of other sciences. The travel "science" is not that different. If people on the field don't know how to answer It should move to where it fits better. – nsn Sep 18 '15 at 14:22
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    @nsn Well, that certainly doesn't make sense to me! We should not make travel.SE a site about everything human because all sciences are the sum of other sciences and understanding is nice. But I think you should offer this as an answer to your own question and we'll see how it fares with the rest of the community (I would certainly down vote it). – Relaxed Sep 18 '15 at 14:26
  • @Relaxed, that's why I opened the discussion here. If the that's the general feeling, either I didn't express myself well, or it really doesn't fit here and I just have to respect it. – nsn Sep 18 '15 at 14:27
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    @nsn Well, you have to write up your own answer and let the votes decide instead of arguing with others then ;) – Relaxed Sep 18 '15 at 14:28
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    So you'd be happy with it if the question was exactly as written, but began, say, "I'm staying with an Indian host family and I gather the parents met through an arranged marriage. I'd like to better understand romance and relationships in India to avoid saying something foolish. I recently saw an interview...[rest of question is as written]"? Personally I don't see the need to grill every traveller on their itinerary to ensure each question fits it. – user56reinstatemonica8 Sep 18 '15 at 15:21
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    @user568458: Adding that context makes it more relevant, but more importantly, it helps to mitigate the XY problem; a good answer to that improved question might not actually say whether romantic love exists in India (or might touch on it only briefly), if this is not actually relevant to how to avoid saying something foolish on the subject. – ruakh Sep 21 '15 at 5:20
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I think that it falls in the same category as “why” questions. We do have some and probably will continue to do so but they are clearly less appropriate than pure travel questions and the lenient standard applied in the past can't possibly justify accepting anything going forward.

This site (and the original Stack Overflow) are dedicated to practical problems someone faces, so that there should be in principle an answer that objectively solves the issue. Not so with background/trivia questions, which invite discussion and speculation or a completely different type of knowledge (namely, in this case, expertise in anthropology rather than travel experience).

I probably contributed to the confusion myself by answering some borderline trivia questions in the past but if this fuzzy standard feels too subjective and too arbitrary, then I'd rather close all trivia questions than turn the site into a generic resource on anything cultural or geographical.

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    I disagree. I think the question can be objectively answered. I am not asking for opinions. I know the theme "love" is very subjective, but I am asking for facts. Is it a common practice or not? are there any other places where this happens? It's a fact that it's not taking me from A to B in the ' practical' world be is sure taking me from A to B in knowledge and understanding. – nsn Sep 18 '15 at 14:04
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    @nsn I did not want to add to the discussion as I found it unnecessary but I find your question very confused and full of questionable assumptions, which is part of the problem. For example, the existence of arranged marriages does not preclude romantic love. And in a country like India, marriage practices are necessarily varied and changing so even covering only the “does it exist” part of the question would be a challenge. And you originally did not even want to restrict yourself to India ! – Relaxed Sep 18 '15 at 14:09
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    In fact, you raise half a dozen issues that would need a whole treatise to be disentangled, basically a course on marriage and love in general. Social science just isn't that easy. Surely you must recognise that you are not asking about some verifiable solution to a practical problem? – Relaxed Sep 18 '15 at 14:09
  • "existence of arranged marriages does not preclude romantic love" true, but you would expect that a society where the concept exists would slowly change since teenagers would probably question their parents choice (this is very debatable I know). Anyway, that's not even my question. I simply want to know from a statistic perspective the reality. And if there are other countrys/regions in the same situation. – nsn Sep 18 '15 at 14:14
  • @nsn This is very debatable… but not incidental. It's very difficult to measure, not a simple either/or situation, to the point that a simple “yes” or a number would be meaningless. I really feel that you need/want a crash course in anthropology without even realising/admitting the complexity of the notions you invoke. Do you realise entire books have been written on the tiniest aspect of this subject? – Relaxed Sep 18 '15 at 14:18
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I believe the essence of travelling is about knowing different cultures and learning from them. "Getting there" questions are definitely very important but it's just a way of arriving to the destination. Discarding questions about culture and habits would be discarding a very important aspect of travelling.

In some way the community seems to accept this questions. We have a tag for factoids, for cultural aspects and we have several questions that reflect this. For some reason the question about love I mentioned was considered border line and therefore I would like to clarify if these type of questions are acceptable or not.

For me as important as arriving from A to B physicaly is to arrive from A to B in the understanding of the world. In this sence I think the question is in scope. Others disagree saying this question could be better suited somehwere else like a possible "sociological stack exchange" for example. This may be true, but since the question arose in a "traveling context" and I also believe this community may bring very good answers by it's own experience, heterogeneity, global experience, social and geographical knowledge and dispersion I decided to make it here.

I think in general cultural questions should have a place here. I agree that this may not be clear and some will be border line. In this sense I think the best it to hear the others.

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    My personal view is that I don't think the fact that a question arose in a "travelling context" is a sufficient nexus to bring it into this site. Indeed, the question could easily arise in a non-travelling context, in that it could be interesting to someone who's never been to India. If we look at travel.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic, questions about cultural understanding do not fit under any of the seven heads there. – Calchas Sep 20 '15 at 12:21

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