Cultural Awareness

Anthony overheard the word “culture” (bunka文化) during a conversation between me and Fumie, and asked what it meant. It's a difficult concept for a five year old, but I tried to explain a bit, then gave the example that one doesn't wear shoes at home in Japan, but they do in America.

He thought about it for a bit, and as it set in, he said in the most incredulous tone of voice: “they wear shoes inside the house?

I said yes.

His reply to that was the single word “why?”, but if only I could possibly convey the tone of his voice and the look on his face as he said it. It gets one only a short way there to imagine that he actually said "for the love of all things holy, who on earth would be that freaking moronic?"

I couldn't disagree with him, but anyway, that's often the case with cultural differences. Also the case is that it tends to make more sense doing as the Romans when you're actually in Rome. When we visit my folks in The States, he marches right into the house without a second thought about not taking his shoes off, but he seems to have forgotten that today.

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