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The countries of the world are quite different! Each nation has its own values, attitudes and customs. One famous story that illustrates these differences is the “sinking ship” joke. Here’s how it goes.
An international cruise ship was sailing across the ocean. Suddenly, it struck an iceberg and began to sink. The captain put the women and children in lifeboats. But there weren’t enough boats, so he had to convince the men to jump into the water.
One by one, the captain called up each national group, said something to them, then they jumped. Later, a reporter asked him, “How did you persuade each nationality to jump?” “It was easy,” explained the captain.
“I told the Americans that, if they jumped, they’d be heroes. For the British, I appealed to their sense of fair play and told them a true gentleman would jump. For the French, I appealed to their sense of reason and told them it was the most rational thing to do.
Germans are trained to obey commands, so I ordered them to jump. The Italians, in contrast, don’t like to obey rules. So, instead, I used reverse psychology and told them it was forbidden to jump. Finally, for the Japanese, I appealed to their sense of conformity. Everyone else has jumped, I told them, so they jumped, too.”
Of course, these are all cultural stereotypes. But they do hint at differences in national character!
This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.