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The Lounge: Chat. Relax. Unwind. > How cross-cultural is humor?

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message 1: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Since it's Sunday, I thought a lighter theme would be more appropriate..
I don't know how often you meet foreigners (or extraterrestrials maybe?), but I bet many of you had such encounters be it in real or virtual life. While some things may be universal, in humor there are subtleties that something funny in one culture may be considered rude, idiotic, silly or dull in another. Hollywood, Bollywood or French comedies, I think have lesser international success than action or drama, but I might be wrong.
What's your impression: would you be able, for example, to cause Shaolin Monk to p..s his pants from laughter?

Right, it's not exactly pants that they wear -:)


message 2: by J.J. (new)

J.J. Mainor | 2101 comments When I moved the the American South, I expected a huge African American population compared to the nearly white New England I grew up in, but I was actually surprised by the diversity in the Raleigh area. There is a large Hispanic population as well, but there are so many communities, it's fascinating. Morrisville is basically Little India. There is a huge Asian population in the region. You encounter a lot of Africans. I hear European languages spoken. I almost liken it to the kind of diversity you see in New York City.

And the sad part is, all these immigrants with their accents and sometimes broken English are easier to understand than some of the white rednecks you encounter. Maybe when our own citizens learn how to speak English we can discuss making it the official language, until then, who cares what language someone wants to speak in their home...


T. K. Elliott (Tiffany) (t_k_elliott) Couple of years ago, I was one of the drivers for the UK HMB team; speaking to one of the Ukrainian organisers (in English - I know about three words of Russian and none of Ukrainian), I managed to make her laugh. And all I'd done was remarked that it was lovely of them to have organised constant rain in the south of France, just to make us Brits feel at home.

Apparently, Brits have the reputation of being humourless (at least, in the Ukraine). Can't imagine why.


message 4: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments T. K. Elliott wrote: "Apparently, Brits have the reputation of being humourless (at least, in the Ukraine). Can't imagine why..."
I don't think it's true. To the contrary, there is an idiom in Russian and Ukrainian 'English humo(u)r', referring to a more subtle type of humor. The stereotypes are more around English cuisine, but having visited UK a couple of times, I don't remember any traumatic experiences, nor losing much weight -:)
BTW, speaking of 'full contact combat' and 'France', the scenes of hooligans' battles, especially between Russians and Brits, broadcast from Euro-2016 are pretty bad. I remember last Euro hosted in 2012 by Ukraine was one of the most peaceful events ever....


message 5: by Mike (new)

Mike Robbins (mikerobbins) | 264 comments The Germans also have a reputation for having no sense of humour, but none of my many German friends have been deficient in that area!

I work in an international environment and have learned the hard way not to make a joke unless I am sure it will be understood; sarcasm and irony, in particular, don't travel well. But some humour does travel, though I haven't worked through this with a Shaolin Monk lately.


message 6: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Mike wrote: "But some humour does travel, though I haven't worked through this with a Shaolin Monk lately..."

-:)
We have at least a few people from Germany here in the group, hope someone from Shaolin will join too...


message 7: by Matthew (new)

Matthew I had a German girlfriend once, nothing wrong with her sense of humour, I mean, she went out with me for starters!


message 8: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Matthew wrote: "I had a German girlfriend once, nothing wrong with her sense of humour, I mean, she went out with me for starters!"

I'm a little less excited with Germans this morning, but that's because they won 2-0 yesterday, although I have to give them a credit for a solid performance -:)


message 9: by Matthew (new)

Matthew Haha I don't support any national team, just club so I get to watch these tournaments as a neutral. Though my grandad is Polish so I have a soft spot for them.


message 10: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Matthew wrote: "Haha I don't support any national team, just club so I get to watch these tournaments as a neutral. Though my grandad is Polish so I have a soft spot for them."

In this case, you can set up a pillow fight with the German girl, because next round is precisely German-Poland -:)


message 11: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments With a lot of new members from various locations, expats, relocated folks, how do you find your humor 'works' on aborigines? -:)


message 12: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Humor, anyone? Some global events are more likely to spur tears, but we won't succumb and laugh instead -:)


message 13: by Leonie (new)

Leonie (leonierogers) | 1579 comments We Australians like to think we're pretty funny. However I suspect our sense of humour may not be appreciated quite as completely as we'd like by those we're taking the Mickey out of.

Having said that, I really enjoy British humour.

And this is something we've been enjoying recently...http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017...


message 14: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Leonie wrote: "And this is something we've been enjoying recently...http://www.9news.com.au/national/2017... ..."

Not bad at all -:)
I'd say some parodies on Trump from the members here on the group were even better


message 15: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5181 comments Melinda, my Black neighbor, and I share a sense of humor based on our common Southern heritage and our understanding of each other's culture. Mainly, though, we laugh about our wacky families and the things that happen to us in our daily lives. We have running jokes about my irrational fear of Cirque du Soleil and her fear of all bugs, lizards, and snakes.


message 16: by Nik (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Scout wrote: "my irrational fear of Cirque du Soleil..."

That sounds like an unusual phobia -:)


message 17: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5181 comments I'm sure there are some more unusual ones. If something gives you the shivers and makes you shrink away, I guess it's a phobia.


message 18: by Nik (last edited Dec 07, 2018 09:39AM) (new)

Nik Krasno | 13063 comments Trump's humor is well understood everywhere, except maybe it's not always humor..
So, tied to the pole, about to be eaten by a bunch of cannibals, would you be able to make them laugh and cause them look for an alternative lunch?


message 19: by Ian (new)

Ian Miller | 9203 comments It is very difficult to be funny in cannibalese :-(


message 20: by Holly (new)

Holly (goldikova) In spite of being American, I think most American comedies are stupid and not very funny. I only appreciate American comedies when they are over-the-top offensive, like the HBO comedy, Eastbound & Down.

I definitely prefer British humor, and Tracey Ullman can always make me laugh, I love her show. Benny Hill, Monty Python.....more of the same. Canadian comedies are wonderful too, I really enjoyed both the Red Green Show and the Trailer Park Boys.


message 21: by Scout (new)

Scout (goodreadscomscout) | 5181 comments It's always the unexpected that makes me laugh. I remember a Saturday Night Live episode in which Steve Martin leaves a party drunk, and people are worried about him. Then he climbs onto a steamroller.


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