Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Um, Culture Differences?

I had a good laugh the other day. I was telling my friend (she is Japanese) how in Canada when I want to get to know someone, flirt, etc., I know exactly what to do and how I come off as based on my behaviour (too pushy, too shy, easy-going, etc.). In Japan though, I told her, I don't really know what kinds of behaviour mean what, and whether the standards are the same. For example, in Canada if I ask someone questions about themselves it is usually pretty normal and not taken as being too pushy (well, within reason, obviously), but in Japan, would a girl be considered too pushy? As I was telling this to my friend, I was sort of asking for advice, because there is this guy at a store next to my school, and all we talk about when I go there (and I go every week because I always get a drink before work) is weather, so I kind of wanted to ask some more personal questions but didn't want to come off as too pushy. So anyways, my friend goes, just give him your phone email address, this way you'll know too if he's interested in talking to you more or not. I was totally floored. So much for shy Japanese girls eh?

These past few months here have made me think that the whole thing about culture differences is total BS. There really is no such thing. I mean, of course there are differences, but most of them you can figure out if you have common sense and observe other people. I can't think of one instance of a big culture difference... Maybe for me it's easy to say, coming from two different cultures already, and maybe because most of my friends are first and second generation Canadians so they have their own mixed culture too, maybe that's why I am used to differences and I don't even notice them... But in general though, these three months confirmed my belief that as long as you consciously try to be open-minded, you will be fine.

This reminds me. Joanne gave me some songs before I left, and recently I listened carefully to the lyrics in one of them, and I thought it was quite something.

P.S. Yes, if you follow this blog you would know that I am a big fan of Yoshiki (and of Queen for that matter, and the singer is from Queen), but this is besides the point. I really like this song. It's funny though, it makes me think of Canada, not Japan, when I hear it.

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