sábado, noviembre 12, 2005

Japanese Interview

Japanese Interview

The purpose of this interview was to find out how a foreign person perceives Mexican culture from an outsider point of view. I interviewed my Japan teacher, who has been living here for a couple of years.

Interview on: Sato Tomohiro, from Japan.
Interviewed on: November 2nd, 2005.

  1. What are the main cultural differences you noticed when arriving to Mexico?
( Unpunctuality. [didn’t hesitate for a second]. People are far more unpunctual than in Japan. Also, food is a lot more greasier, in Japan we don’t use that very much.

2. What was one of the biggest cultural shocks you had when you arrived?
( Abusive cab drivers, if they think you are a stranger, they charge a lot more and possibly they’re corrupt.

3. What values different did you observe?
( Uhmm.. I don’t mean to be rude, but you Mexicans lie a lot. The book fro the class.. I ordered it a long time ago, and they said it might come tomorrow, it might come next week… well, it never came. My point is, if it’s not gonna be here, there’s no problem, but don’t say it will if it won’t. Another one would be that you throw garbage everywhere. You are very dirty.

After saying goodbye and walking a little bit after the interview, I started thinking about what Sato Sensei had said. It sounded a little rude, generalizing for “all you Mexicans”. But that’s exactly what’s worth analyzing.
First of all, we Mexicans aren’t used to having the truth spitted directly at us. We modify a lot of comments in order to sugar-coat it. It’s what we call ‘cordiality’ and ‘kindness’, which sometimes can be confused as hypocrisy.
Secondly, this quick interview was useful to actually realize that we’re used to all those ‘bad’ habits he mentioned. There are social guidelines for punctuality, food is greasy, authorities are corrupt and most of us don’t care that much about living in a place where garbage is thrown anywhere but the trash can. Saying it like that, who would want to come to live here?
On the other hand, there’s no doubt Mexican society has a lot of good things such as family and solidarity values, it’s just that there are some vices that are daily overlooked by us, but highly impress foreigners.

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