Friday, November 16, 2007

More on Japan

Politeness is extremely important; a direct “no” is seldom given, but a phrase like “I will think about it” can mean “no.” Also out of politeness, a “yes” may be given quickly, even though it only means the person is listening or understands the speaker's request. The Japanese feel an obligation to return favors and gifts. They honor age and tradition. “Losing face,” or being shamed in public, is very undesirable. Gaman (enduring patience) is a respected trait that carries one through personal hardship.What is amazing to me is that these same concepts, the concept of "Losing Face" is almost the same thing as "Shame" in Arab countries. In Arab countries, shame or shaming someone can and often will bring on strong emotions. Unfortunately, if you shame someone in an Arab country they may not react to it then and there but the will get even. What is also almost the same is the idea that out of politeness someone may say "yes" to something but it may not mean they will do it. Please if anyone has more information on this it would be greatly appreciated.

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