Saturday, May 29, 2010

Things that would never work in the US!

There are so many things in the Japanese culture that when compared to the US are quite different. When I think about some of these characteristics in a US environment I laugh. I'm not saying that all of these are bad but things that would never work in America. Most of them are school related because that is where I get most of the culture I have been exposed to but there aren't. So here we go...

  • Kids wondering around school all the time. (This isn't the case with most of them but there are a few kids at my school that I see around the school at times when they should be in class. Sometimes they even come hang out with me in the English room.)
  • School lunch for everyone! Everyone eats school lunch unlike the pack or buy dilemma that we always deal with. Also the kids serve each other. Their classes lunch is delivered to their door and then they pull it out and make an assembly line for everyone to get their food.
  • Indoor/outdoor shoes. The kids have shoes that they where inside and they are all identical but then they have their tennis shoes for outside.
  • 4 outfits a day: school uniforms to school, normal clothes once they get there, gym clothes, lunch clothes and they where aprons for recess and cleaning.
  • Cleaning the school. The Japanese schools don't hire janitorial staff but have the kids do it. So everyday after recess they all have their assignments and so they clean (or act like they do) Normally the school is more dirty after they are finished cleaning.
  • Studying a foreign language in nursery school and elementary schools. I realize that English is the international language but this is prime time for kids to learn a 2nd language and we don't take advantage of that.
  • No central heat or air.
  • Riding bikes to school or anywhere for that matter, especially in the rain! This would never work for America as a whole.
  • Airing out mattresses or futons. Things mold here quickly because of the humidity so everything must be aired out frequently to keep that from happening.
  • There are about 12 different types of recycling. Ok maybe thats an exaggeration but it feels like it. Burnable and Non-burnable are the 2 main categories.
  • Omiage is when you bring gifts back after a trip. Not only for those close family members but for your coworkers and such as well.
  • Chonco! This has only happened to me recently but it is when a child will basically stick their finger up your butt. It's really awkward and odd but they do it to each other all the time and some of my little kids did it to me the other day. Weirdest thing ever!
These are only a few and I realize that these things are just different. Most of them aren't bad they are just things that I'm not used to. I find it interesting things that you learn only from living in the culture. I didn't know half of this stuff when visiting Japan before but this is a chance to learn something new while I'm here.

1 comment:

  1. I am thinking the children would learn two English words very fast: NO CHONCO!!! Wouldn't work so well in the states for sure!

    Love you!

    Thinking about doing a blog too....LOVE reading these!