Cultural Moment

I am asked many questions here that would be considered rude in the USA. I’m starting to think that is just conversational here. For example: “How old are you?” “How much do you weigh?” “Is your hair color natural?” “Did you forget to put on your eyebrow pencil today?” Some other questions are just too personal to type here. Be warned…if you visit this country and you have an illness, you might not want to discuss any of your symptoms with someone. They might be announced from the pulpit as a prayer request! We might say, “Pray for so-an-so who is suffering with the flu.” Here they might say, “Pray for so-an-so as she is suffering with (all the unmentionables that go with the flu.)” I know I am adjusting to this, because I am starting to answer some of the questions without displays of embarassment. For example, “I am ;lkdfj years old.” “I weigh lskdfj kilo.” 😉 Until the next time….

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7 thoughts on “Cultural Moment

  1. Sue

    Ha ha! So true. I have to say, though, that in my 14 years of living here no one has actually asked me my weight. Whew! I have had people comment when I had gained weight, though. It can be hard not to feel hurt by that. I think the age thing is somewhat connected to the necessity to know where you “stand”with some one in Japanese society. My husband speaks differently with his friend that is only one year older than he does with a friend that is a couple of years younger, for example (I’m talking levels of politeness here). It used to catch me off guard when my students (back when I used to teach) would give me way too much information about why they had been absent the week before! I had to teach them that in English “I was sick” or “I had an upset stomach” was about as much information that anyone would ever want to know;).

  2. Debbie

    Oh, I so understand what you are saying. One of the things they do here is use terms of affection – gordita (fat little one) is one that was hard to get past. Fine for a baby but for me..a few weeks postpartum. 😦

  3. Carolyn

    Where I live a complement goes like this, “You look so good, you have gained weight”! That is NOT the kind of complement I like to receive!

  4. Scooter Finazzio

    HEY! your blog was “open”to me.Up until now it has been blocked. :)I understand this all too well. I lost alot of weight while in the states and whenI returned they all acted shocked and talked about it. I did not want to be reminded how fat I was before 😦 I hope you are well!

  5. cookiehawk77

    Three years post partum, I had Haitian women patting my tummy & saying "baby". Doesn't that make you feel great about yourself? I'm sure these folks from other cultures would feel just as out of place in our world as we do in theirs.

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