As part of my aim for this Blog, I will be writing more about the differences between the cultures of the country I grew up from – the Philippines and the country I now live in for over twenty years, Scotland.
As a taster, I would like to share with you one of the 'funny' ways I tried to share my integration to a new culture.
Years ago, I joined a Stand-Up Comedy Class, whereby we were required to write our 'material' to act on a Comedy Show at The Admiral Bar in Glasgow. I lived in Scotland for over ten years then, and there were a lot of things I have learned (and still learning to this date) about our ‘culture differences.’
Here is the material I wrote for my Act...And Oh, Yes! I CRINGE whenever I remember those moments at the stage! Here was I, practicing...LOL
Photos taken before going to the Comedy Show at the Admiral Bar in December 2009!!
PS...the expletives used here are purely for HUMOUR purposes, and in no way intended to offend anyone.
The Culture Shock piece (a Stand-Up Comedy Act)
Enters the stage; Rubs/cleans the microphone at the start and says: ‘Sorry, I just love my cleaning job; I can’t help cleaning when possible!’
Good evening everybody! Thank you for coming to hear my PATTER!
I love trees...Oh, yes, I do!
You see, in the Philippines where I originally come from, when you see trees with no leaf at all, that means they’re dead...and we cut them and use them as firewood or for carvings or for any use at home.
I remember when I first came to the UK in December 1995, I was walking in the park with my then-husband and I noticed these ‘dead’ trees all over the place.
‘Why don’t they just cut these trees? They’re all dead anyway.’ T’was my all-knowing, yeah ALL-KNOWING comment.
My then-husband laughed, obviously shocked with my question, and thought I was only kidding, but quickly realised I was not!
‘Silly, they’re not dead...it’s winter, you know.’ He said.
‘Oh! You mean they come alive again?’ I queried more.
‘Oh, yes! Usually, at the end of March, the leaves start to come out.’ He replied with a grin!
Well, that was my first introduction to a culture or rather to a nature’s shock!
POLITENESS vs. GLASWEGIAN HOSPITALITY
In a situation when somebody is staring at you...
Filipino: ‘Excuse me, may I help you?’
Glaswegian: ‘What the fuck are you looking at?’ (does a head-butting act!)
THE FILIPINO ‘YES’
Most Filipinos tend to avoid confrontations or any unpleasant communication, especially at work or in public. In their desire to please, they often cannot say NO openly.
The worst thing for a Westerner is that – by not saying an outright No, Filipinos think that they’ve spared you from being embarrassed face to face, and they actually believe they are considerate of your Self-Esteem! YES, I know it is CONFUSING but it is a fact. Call it a conflict in culture!
So be careful when you’re talking to a Filipino, when they say YES – it may probably mean that. But depending on the situation, it could also mean: ‘Maybe,’ ‘I don’t know,’ or ‘Perhaps.’
Or it could mean: ‘I hope I have said YES un-enthusiastically enough for you to understand that I actually mean NO!’
The Philippines is mostly a Celtic supporter country.... Oops no, no! I mean, a Catholic country! Football is not as popular as basketball over there. And I, for one, is not a footie fan, but if I had to support a team, I’d go for Manchester United!
Anyway, being in a Catholic country, you usually grow up with so many ‘DO NOTS’ in your life. No, no...not ‘doughnuts’ that you eat! I mean things like:
· Do not answer back to your parents. (JUST SULK!)
· Do not argue with your siblings. (JUST PULL EACH OTHER’S HAIR!)
· Do not talk bad about other people. (JUST WHISPER)
· Do not have sex before marriage. (JUST DO IT ANYWAY!)
· And DO NOT SWEAR!
Well, I’ve lived in Glasgow, Scotland, for over ten years now, and you know what? I’ve learned a LOT!
I can f-r-e-e-l-y f-u-c-k-i-n SWEAR all I want! And I love it!
My name is Emikat Jun. Thank you very much. You’ve been fantastic!
(End of Piece)
Till here for now. See you again next Wednesday!
If you like my post today, please don’t forget to Subscribe below so that you won’t miss any of my upcoming posts and videos. Thank you!