Thursday, August 26, 2010

Will Miss #223 - modesty about children

One of my students was looking for some English blogs to read to gain experience with "real" English. I chose a blog written by a foreign woman married to a Japanese man who who is currently living in Japan. I made this choice so she could relate to the experiences and perhaps understand the subjects being discussed more easily. When she looked at the blog, she was shocked by the way the woman had pictures of her children plastered all over it. She found it boastful and immodest and said that a Japanese mother, generally speaking, wouldn't be so over the top in promoting her children. I have noticed in my many years in Japan, that Japanese people don't bore people by going on and on about their kids. This is part of a culture which values modesty, but also I've noticed that Japanese people tend to be more sensitive to the interests of the person who is being spoken to. If you're not a parent, they are aware of the fact that you may not be enthralled listening to how wonderful potty training has been going.

I will miss this sort of modesty and restraint when it comes to parents and talking about their children.