How do people in a culture reflect a sense of community? How do they express a need for one another and a giving to one another? In some cultures each person gives a lot to those around them and receives a lot. There is an implicit trust and reliance on the people in their circle and there is an incentive to take care of that circle and make it as large as possible. And maybe in other ways of living there is more independence, more self-reliance. Both can give freedom and inflict restriction.
Tomorrow I return to Japan, a culture known for its sense of community. And yet I can't imagine a more tightly knit culture than the one in which I've been living. It will be interesting to once again become an outsider, to be self-reliant in a tightly knit world. It's been wonderful to experience this other world, a mix of many things familiar, and yet uniquely its own.