Friday, 28 January 2011

Japanese Embassy, "too shy" to complain about this one?

In a recent class on intercultural communication we talked about stereotypes and I showed the students this clip from `Come Fly with Me` with David Walliams and Matt Lucas. I asked the students what they thought of the clip and if they were offended at this stereotypical view of female Japanese high school students. They answered that although it was strange to see two British men portraying Japanese girls they thought the sketch was funny because it was pretty accurate. "Too shy, too shy!" got a big laugh. Because that`s us, the students said.

Two points which were not accurate. I have never seen a Japanese person wearing braces. Crooked teeth are considered attractive here so having them straightened is not considered necessary, although things are slowly changing as more young people watch the OC and Gossip Girl. Having white teeth is certainly becoming more important, for women at least.

The second mistake is that Japanese people do not bow with their hands in prayer position. That`s a Thai greeting.

Still, we all enjoyed the sketch. Little Britain is also popular here. You can buy their DVD with Japanese subtitles. Sebastian is the students` big favourite.

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