Friday, February 27, 2009

The Big "Can You Cross Cultures Successfully" Quiz

Lena here. I have a little quiz for all our friends out there that find the thought of living cross-culturally to be intriguing. This will separate the seriously cultural experience-craving from those who just like to try a little curry on their chicken once in a while (if you only eat macaroni and cheese, and it HAS to come out of a little blue box, DON'T EVEN TRY).

OK, now you are curious.

If you are hanging out with some friends, and someone turns to another mutual friend, and calls them (and this is an exact translation) “Little fat one,” you:"

a) launch into a hysterical tirade on how damaging that is to your friend's psyche.

b) decide to do the cultural thing and call her, “little dark one.”

c) make a mental note to ask a close friend who is a cultural native about this practice next time you are together.

This has been one of those things that us Americans walk around scratching our heads about. In our country, you will almost go to jail over this sort of stuff. Here, they are affectionate names. “Gordito,” “Negrita,” “ Flaquito,” (fatty, dark one, skinny). They even do the racial thing and if someone has a more Asian look.

So, if you answered "a," you probably need to stick to your curry or consider not taking a big jump until you are a little more cross-culture experienced. If you answered "b," you probably need to not be too hasty lest you jump to familiarity too quickly (or make a really big mistake!), and if you answered "c,"you will probably do just fine.

I am not sure if we will ever understand it, or if there is even anything to understand, except for to recognize that it just isn't interpreted the same in this culture. I am just really glad that no one has called me, “Little Fatty” yet. Gotta keep an eye on that one.

1 comment:

Ruth Chowdhury said...

LOL. Shew. Good. I answered "C". Love you, Flaquito! ;)