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#364361 - 10/07/07 02:30 AM culture differences
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
I got caught-up in a stalemate on the sword arts thread forum regarding a cultural issue. I'm not going back to it because it became obvious to me that some folks have a hard time understanding how other cultures view specific issues & the world in general.

Here is a small offering to how some Japanese adapted to the "Free Hugs" campaign.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Vg8qugxDCwg

(it caught my eye because I know the Harajuku area along w/ Yoyogi & Omote Sando - my old stomping grounds)
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#364362 - 10/07/07 09:13 AM Re: culture differences [Re: hedkikr]
chingei Offline
Member

Registered: 09/10/07
Posts: 61
Mmmmm, a few things were clear from that thread...

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#364363 - 10/07/07 11:39 AM Re: culture differences [Re: chingei]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
I wouldn't hug a sumo wrestler, even if it's for free.

What about kissing? is it another 'western' thing?
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#364364 - 10/07/07 01:10 PM Re: culture differences [Re: ButterflyPalm]
hedkikr Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/28/05
Posts: 2827
Loc: Southern California, USA
...I believe that it originally was.

Don't tell my wife but the best kissers I've had were Hispanic.


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#364365 - 10/07/07 09:53 PM Re: culture differences [Re: hedkikr]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6665
Loc: Amherst, MA
I don't know what this 'free hugs' thing you are referring to, but about waving. Even in the US, there seems to be a 'distance' thing specifically associated with urban environments. Country people always wave, even to strangers.

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#364366 - 10/08/07 11:57 AM Re: culture differences [Re: hedkikr]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

Don't tell my wife but the best kissers I've had were Hispanic.




Obviously your wife don't agree, I assume
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#364367 - 02/24/08 04:38 PM Re: culture differences [Re: ButterflyPalm]
trevek Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/15/05
Posts: 3337
Loc: Poland
As far as I'm aware, public kissing just isn't on in Japan. However, here in Poland it is common to kiss someone on the cheek a couple or three times when you meet.

It's also the custom shake hands with people when you meet, even if you meet them regularly. Damned annoying when some lad comes into class late and insists on shaking hnds with all the other boys in the class.

On that subject, the British shake hands at a distance and at mid height, while the Brazillians, I'm told, shake hands lower and closer. They can find it a little off-putting when they shake with a distant Brit.

In the Balkans it is not unusual for men to touch more than in UK. A colleague once put his arm through mine as we were walking and I stiffened (my shoulders!!).

Eye contac is also an interesting one. When I was teaching in UK I had some teenage Japanese schoolgirls (I'm in my EARLY-40's). In the first class I went to look at one girl's work and give her some little corrections and suggestions. She kept her head down and shouted "Hai!" after each comment.

First thing was "Hey, it's English we're doing... that's 'Yes'"... second thing... "You can look at me when I'm speaking to you... we do that here." I gently pushed her chin up so she was looking me in the eye. I think it was a mixture of terror and shock she had in her eyes!

She got over it.
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#364368 - 02/28/08 12:55 AM Re: culture differences [Re: hedkikr]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
It's good to see such a historically restrained society trying to loosen up. (the fact that they even have these campaigns shows the perceived need of what they are setting out to do, and the simple point they feel the need to make).

The irony though, since it's always fun to point out irony, is that in Japan's ancient history - pre-feudal times 1000+ years ago, the society was more prolific by both men and women in the arts, poetry, literature and was a non-gender dominated society. Women sometimes ruled, and had equal social standing with men. There were men and women Shinto shamans. No social heirarchical distinctions or boundries.

If at any time in her history, I imagine ancient Japan could hug each other then without hesitation....at a time before social stratification and before repression of the 'expression of self'. You only need to read "Collection of 10,000 Leaves" and "Tale of Genji" to appreciate what a modern Japan's 'campaign for hugs' tries to recapture.


thanks for sharing this vid link hedkikr....I passed it along back to Japan.

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#364369 - 02/28/08 10:02 AM Re: culture differences [Re: Ed_Morris]
chofukainoa Offline
Member

Registered: 10/24/07
Posts: 146
Loc: tokyo, japan
Anything is fine as long as you are drunk. Or pay for it. Or at a festival. That's part of the charm...no hugging or kissing in public, but we'll parade this through the streets:
http://namcotravel.jp/user/bubbleb/files/1158341580.jpg

I think there was something in the incense they were sniffing a thousand years ago, too:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/K%C5%8Dd%C5%8D

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#364370 - 02/28/08 10:28 AM Re: culture differences [Re: chofukainoa]
MattJ Offline
Free Rhinoplasty!
Prolific

Registered: 11/25/04
Posts: 15634
Loc: York PA. USA
Quote:

Anything is fine as long as you are drunk. Or pay for it. Or at a festival. That's part of the charm...no hugging or kissing in public, but we'll parade this through the streets:
http://namcotravel.jp/user/bubbleb/files/1158341580.jpg




WTF!
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