Please or Register to create posts and topics.

"Live and let live" cultures

Hello everyone,

Freedom is an important value to me. As in social freedom over economical freedom. When you can be who you are without being judged. I'm talking about self-expression here.

I'm looking for countries/cities/culture with a "live and let live" mentality as in: "do whatever you want as long as you're not hurting anyone". So I think I'm talking about openness and an accepting attitude.

It might look like an obvious statement but in many cultures social norms and traditions (group) has more value than harmless self-expression (dancing in the streets, dressing in an unusual way, etc.)

Of course, there are more chances that it will be a city as traditions and social norm are often more valued in countryside. I value them as well of course.

3 places that I'm thinking about:

  1. Amsterdam
  2. Montreal
  3. Copenhagen

We could also put Stockholm, Rejkiavik and Oslo on the list. However, it's in smaller amount I think.

If you have any other idea, that would be welcome!

Below a video explaining what I mean.

I put the time stamp at 6:35 where the guy speaks about the warmth, openness and non-judgmental attitude of people from Montreal.

I think this might also have to do with the size of the city as "live and let live" probably also overlaps with "just another stranger" -which would be its negative cousin-.

So while smaller communities tend to be tightly knit, but also more judgmental, bigger cities are more impersonal.

Berlin is super and non-judgmental by the way.
Just the other day there was some gay parade and a guy walking another guy fully masked in leather, on a leash. Nobody around batted an eye, just another weirdo.

TheDucas and John Freeman have reacted to this post.
TheDucasJohn Freeman
Check the forum guidelines for effective communication.
(Book a call) for personalized & private feedback

Yes, I would now change it to "socially liberal cultures".

There is the impersonal part, true. So there's a continuum with: "I don't give a shit what you do because I don't care about you" on one side to "I don't give a shit what you do because I care that you can do whatever you want as long as it's not hurting me (or anymore)."

About the size: I had an "Aha" moment as I was going to compare metro area of Montreal and Paris: Montreal 4 million people, Paris 11 million people (and London 15 million). So Paris is 3 times bigger and I do feel there is more anonymity there compared to Montreal. So there's a size where people don't feel connected to one another anymore.

As a judge said in "Dredd": "Mega City One is a meat grinder and all that we do is turn the handle".

So there a sweet spot size of a city where there is enough anonymity for reputation to allow for social liberties and not so anonymous that you feel that you're just a number and so are other people.

leaderoffun has reacted to this post.

I second Berlin as a place that may check the box "non judgmental because people care about each other's freedom." I've lived in Montreal, and while people are indeed warmer and friendlier, the place feels a bit 'dead'; not much cultural activity, startups, creativity... compared to Berlin. It's a 'wannabe' city. Wannabe cool, progressive, advanced, a tech city. But... it's not. It lacks ambition, leadership. Canada has had one problem since forever: if you are any good at anything, you just move to the US. I love Canadians; would rather spend time with them rather than with mostly anyone else in the world. But I wouldn't recommend Montreal over Berlin, unless being French speaking scores major points.

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman

Since we are comparing both cities: in the women department my experience was that Montreal has more beautiful girls than Berlin.

Was that your experience as well LoF?

Not in my experience.

John Freeman has reacted to this post.
John Freeman

Alright! So I have to explore more of Berlin then. 😛


there's a new concept that I don't think I already talked about here: "tight and loose cultures".

Switzerland being a tight culture of course. That explains to me the "judgy" feeling of some cultures. If those cultures have more (formal and informal)rules then as soon as one steps outside of them judgment will come in the shape of social shame as everyone is supposed to conform to the norm.

I've seen the data collection and it's quite heterogeneous in terms of city size where the data has been collected. However the concept is interesting to understand cultures given the limit described above.

Also the idea that tighter cultures are tighter due to more existential threats is an interesting ideas. Rules being a safety measure of course.

Scroll to Top