Monday, December 22, 2008

The age factor

I noticed that people in Japan like asking other people their age. I wouldn't say it's annoying but I think it's a bit weird, Like one time I met a Japanese guy and no one was making introductions and so I said, "Hi, I'm Jenny."

Just a bow; no response.

"What's your name?" I prodded.
"My name is XXX. How old are you?"

What the...?

Baffled, I tried looking for the logic behind the manical affixation the Japanese have for age.
One couldn't quite explain himself; another said that way he can decide how to address and talk to the person he meets (formal, casual, polite, etc)

Okay, that makes sense.

Although I'm still trying to memorize how to say, "I'm whatever age you want me to be" in Japanese.



Thunderthud said...

I believe that the novel "Rising Sun" by Michael Crichton mentions the need for people in the japanese culture to know how to relate to others based on their relative status based on age, family, education, social standing, etc.

James n_n said...

Hmm.. sounds complicated... hehe

Booyah! said...

hmm, interesting cultural thingy