Thursday, October 13, 2005

Another Culture Note

highlighting another cultural difference
Click for the full size version.

This is a shot of a page in one of my books. In this exercise, we were supposed to describe the pictures using our most recently used grammar pattern. When I looked at the bottom right drawing, I couldn't figure out what exactly was going on. I couldn't tell if the woman was in the process of standing up, sitting down, or dancing.

When I got to class, the westerners all seemed hesitant to answer this question. The other students, however, started talking about how fat the woman was. They were using the grammar incorrectly, but still getting the point across that there wasn't space in the chair for her.

The answer, roughly translated, ended up being that she couldn't fit in the chair. My class was roaring with laughter. This is fairly typical, as far as I can tell so far. People seem to find being overweight completely unacceptable. This is obviously not the case in my own country, as several health reports on obesity will indicate.


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