At the end of the day, no matter where we’re from, we’re all human and each have our own views and personalities. But at the same time it’s hard to deny the fact that the culture in which we were raised can play a huge part in shaping the way we see the world.
For many, this fact makes travelling and meeting people of different countries and cultures so fascinating, and can even further change our own views. In a largely homogeneous island country like Japan, extended contact with foreigners is generally limited to their own experiences studying abroad, travelling, or working in a field that deals with foreign clients or tourists.
Below are a number of stories that Japanese tweeters shared of their contact with foreigners, and the resulting surprise, shock, change of mind, or just plain silliness that ensued.
▼ “A friend of mine asked his Indian acquaintance ‘What do you think of Japanese curry?’ to which his acquaintance replied with a stern expression: ‘Japanese curry isn’t curry!’ My friend felt a bit downhearted when his Indian friend continued, saying slowly, ‘Well, it isn’t curry, but… it is really good. What is it, really?”
▼ “A friend of mine told me that on the subway in France, most people were reading books, and no one was playing on their phones. ‘Such a sophisticated country,’ my friend was telling her French friend. The French friend then apparently replied, ‘Oh, that’s because it’s hard to get reception down there.'”
▼ “Today, our guest – a geologist from the Netherlands – said in surprise, ‘I hear that there are almost no high schools in Japan that teach geology! You know that 10 percent of the earth’s volcanoes are in Japan? Geology should be required here more than anywhere else in the world.’ That’s the most I’ve been inclined to agree with an opinion for a while.”
▼ “I was asked directions by a foreigner carrying an iPad in front of the station. Even though it was the beginning of spring he was wearing a long scarf and a big heavy coat. I asked him, ‘Where are you from?’ to which he replied, ‘From Norway. Japan is really cold.’ Um, I’m pretty sure your country is colder!?”
▼ “Foreigner: What’s an ‘ikumen’? Japanese: It’s a man who helps with taking care of his children. Foreigner: …you mean a ‘father’? Japanese: ……….”
▼ “Apparently, to foreigners ‘ゅゅゆゅ‘ (yu yu yu yu) looks like a school of fish. ・ゅ．。ゆ.･ゅ・．。ゅゅゆゅ"
I’ve never thought about that before, but now that I see it I can’t see anything else.
Alright readers, now we’d like to hear from you. Do you have any anecdotes involving your Japanese (or other foreign) friends or acquaintances? We’d love to hear them!
Source: NAVER Matome
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