Dave Barry Does Japanese Culture Essay

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Culture is an interesting concept. It is the traditions of a type of people as well as their arts, manners, and many other things. It’s essentially the collection of a peoples’ intellectual achievements. Your culture is with you from the time you’re born. It’s all around you, and shapes who you are as a person. One’s perspective of the world can be influenced by their culture because their culture is what they consider normal, and tend to judge everything else based on it. An excellent example of how culture shapes one’s perception of the world manifests in an excerpt from “Dave Barry Does Japan.” In this excerpt, Dave Barry details his immense culture shock when visiting Japan. First off, he says this in his work, “one of the biggest problems… is that the Japanese are extremely reluctant to come right out and say no, a word they generally regard as impolite” (Barry). This shows how Barry’s culture influences his view of Japanese culture. From an American’s view, it’s preposterous to think the word “no” is rude. Americans say it many times a day, but the Japanese refrain from saying it as much as possible. Barry shows his perception of it because of his diction in this quote. He says the word “problem,” showing that he’s judging the politeness of the Japanese people based on his own,…show more content…
In the story, she explains that “... there are more invisible guidelines for politeness than I could fathom” (Kingsolver). Some of the guidelines she details includes “...one does not spit out anything” (Kingsolver), and “the Japanese language does not accommodate insults, only infinite degrees of apology” (Kingsolver). This is again, an example of an American looking at Japanese culture, in awe. This person who grew up in America, where it doesn’t take much to be subtle is amazed by the mannerisms that come as naturally as breathing to the Japanese
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