Thursday, December 6, 2012

Will Miss #504 - being forgiven for bad manners

I haven't been to Europe, but I really would like to go some day when my collective blogging earns me more than about a dime a post. Those who have been there have told me that, when you commit a faux pas, especially in certain countries (I'm looking at you, France), that you are treated like the uncultured scum that you are believed to be. America, is, of course, no better, but what is good and bad manners is individually determined and a minor breach can result in major incidents. In Japan, at least for the Caucasians, bad manners often yield forgiveness. The Japanese don't expect outsiders to understand their customs and are quick to conclude that you aren't acting poorly out of a malicious attempt to thumb your nose at their culture, but rather that you simply do not know their ways. This forms part of the complex mosaic of attitudes which non-Japanese detect as the "shiny, happy people" mentality they experience in Japan.

All manner of rudeness on the part of foreigners, sometimes even that which is willfull, is frequently (but not always) forgiven in Japan and I miss that.


  1. lovely country.. how nice.. beautifull.. cartoon is no 1.. i like.. i hope can go to japan.. not 2 longer.. ameen

  2. I've never had any notice about that kind of thing here in Spain (the most similar thing I've seen to this post is laughing at foreigners wearing socks in the beach) nor in France, where I've been a couple of times. Could you ellaborate on what kind of cultural differences you mean? :)

  3. In Japan, it would be things like how you hold your chopsticks or place them when pausing to eat, how deeply you bow, how you handle gifts, and business cards.

    In Europe, I've heard many people will mock Americans for their hand-swapping while using a knife and fork. Americans will hold the knife in their right hand and cut the food then place their fork in their right hand to eat whereas Europeans will keep the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right for the duration.

    I hope that provides a few good examples!


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