What happens when you ask an Indian man what he thinks of Japanese curry?
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?”
大ちゃん (@omosshiro1125) March 13, 2017
▼ “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.'”
クニー (@LeftSystem) March 27, 2017
▼ “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.”
K.K.Ramone (@KkDPTS) July 27, 2016
▼ “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!?”
＼ ⓙⓐⓒⓚ ／ (@jack4520) March 24, 2017
▼ “Foreigner: What’s an ‘ikumen’? Japanese: It’s a man who helps with taking care of his children. Foreigner: …you mean a ‘father’? Japanese: ……….”
外国人「イクメンって何？」 日本人「育児をする(手伝う)男の人だよ」 外国人「？『 father』じゃないの？」 日本人「……」—
むぽむぽ (@mupomupo1) February 20, 2016
▼ “Foreigner: I heard that Asian names have meanings to them. What about yours? Me: This character means ‘one’. Him: Are you the oldest? Me: Yeah. Him: What is that, some sort of child numbering system?”
外人「東洋人は名前に意味があるんだろ？君は？」 ぼく「この文字はoneって意味だよ」 外人「長男なの？」 ぼく「そうだよ」 外人「子供にナンバリングするとかプロダクトかよ」—
ぐっちょむ (@gutchom) June 27, 2015
▼ “Apparently, to foreigners ‘ゅゅゆゅ‘ (yu yu yu yu) looks like a school of fish. ・ゅ．。ゆ.･ゅ・．。ゅゅゆゅ“
DJ SHIGe (@SHIGeDJ) October 20, 2012
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!