Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Japanese Ethnic Joke

There are some things that seem to appear in every culture and ethnic jokes appear to be one of them. Students don't generally relate jokes to their foreign teachers because they fear offending them or because their English isn't up to snuff.

One of my husband's students told him the following joke which reflects the viewpoint of some Japanese people about the character of people from a variety of cultures:

"Four men, a Frenchman, a Chinese man, an American, and a Japanese man, go into a restaurant and order soup. When the soup arrives, all four bowls have flies in them. The Frenchman removes the fly, eats the soup, and then demands a full refund anyway. The Chinese man eats the soup, fly and all, and considers it "extra value". The American whips out his cell phone and calls his lawyer so he can sue the restaurant. The Japanese man takes out his cell phone and calls his company to ask what he should do."

I'm not sure where the idea that a Frenchman would eat the food and demand a refund came from since it seems to pre-suppose that French people are cheap and doesn't fit in with the "known" joking stereotypes in the U.S. but the American and Japanese ones (as exaggerated stereotypes for humor) are spot on.

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