Its definitely a cultural thing to brag.
In the US and Canada if you are good at something (or have something) its OK to tell others.
"I'm good at basketball. I'm good at cooking. I'm good at math".
Or maybe, "Look at my car! Look at my watch! Look at my genitals! (Well, hopefully not)".
Unless you are blessed to be elephant sized. And some of us are.
As the expression goes,
"If the shoe fits wear it".
|Try this on your lover, maybe they laugh, maybe they kill you.|
In Japan its opposite world (like Bizzaro in Superman. Bizzaro is Superman but an evil mirror copy)..
You should always.... I repeat always play down what you are good at (or have, such as your elephant genitals).
If someone asks do you speak Japanese? You should answer "a little".
Are you 7 feet tall? You should answer "just pushing 5 feet".
Are your genitals elephant sized? You should answer, "no, like a mouse".
|That one is the exception to brag about.|
Even though I knew this, I didn't understand slang completely and that was part of the problem.
I become obsessed with Judo groundwork. You know, rolling around sweaty, doing chokes, armlocks and other fun things (that doesn't sound quite right).
In Japan this is known as NEWAZA. I thought it only meant ground work. But it also means sleeping skills, as in "bed skills".
I started to brag about how good I was, not realizing I'm going on and on about my bed skills (when in reality they are clean and church-like).
When I first met someone the conversation often started off on the wrong foot (cause the maybe the shoe didn't fit as my joke above went. Funny? Yeah it is!).
After the normal pleasantries we'd get deeper into discussion.
"What do you do for hobbies?", I'd be asked.
"I'm really into bed skills (ground), quite rough, really sweaty, long periods. I'm getting better with practice".
Everyone seemed dumbfounded. Most would respond "You understand our language well."
Little did I know I was an idiot and telling them about my sex life (whoops!).
This happened quite often until after a year about doing this a friend told me.
"Normally you shouldn't brag about that stuff, I know you are a foreigner (and I forgive you <for being a demon sent from hell>), but you might want to change your approach at introductions."
I still didn't really get it.
Finally a Japanese lady I met who had studies abroad told me in English, "You are very forward aren't you?"(and you are also a demon sent from hell).
Am I? I thought to myself.
She let me know that newaza had two meanings, but the context I'm using it (without explaining Judo and sports) has only one meaning and I'm coming off as a pervert (probably not something new as well).
I realized my error.
At that point I realized how funny it had been so told everyone the story of my mistake and stupidity (again as I've said many times very common in my life). Most people enjoyed the story.
If I was meeting was for the first time I continued to go on about my bed skills for amusements sake to see their reaction. I considered throwing in a few comments about elephant sized genitals.
After returning to Canada whenever someone asked me if I was good at anything I'd play it down.
"No, only a little".
Do you speak Japanese ? "Yes, a few words".
I realized that the only thing I shouldn't play down was my stupidity.
"Are you an idiot?"
I realized I should answer,"Yes 100%".
|LOL, its true. I saw a movie about the future.|
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