Sunday, September 07, 2008
A comment to the previous post about soccer treat mom's possibly kinder ulterior motives reminded me of this website alllooksame I stumbled upon a few years ago. I thought I was more sensitive to the differences between Japanese, Korean and Chinese cultures than the average Joe. By the time I took this test, I attended school at the University of Hawaii for one lovely too short semester where I porked up on Asian food like there was no tomorrow, and there weren't too many tomorrows, one semester was all I got, but you name it, I ate it and I ate a lot of it, with two scoops rice and kimchee. All my roommates were Japanese Americans who shamed me into using chopsticks by telling me that 5 million Chinese pre-schoolers could do it so then so should I. And of course, by the time I took the alllooksame test I had traveled to China a couple of times and had read Red Scarf Girl and Wild Swans and whatnot trying to understand modern Chinese history so I could wrap my head around the genesis of the misbegotten one child policy that ultimately brought me to my children. I figured if I couldn't affirmatively recognize something as Japanese or Chinese, well then, it must be Korean by default and if it looked like bulgogi, I couldn't miss.
So I felt confident as I took the test (you go to the exam room link on the right side of the home page). I would have done okay if the test for cultural awareness had been limited to identifying pictures of food, but it wasn't and as it turned out I am just average at identifying the differences between these three major Asian cultures based on the seven other categories contained in the test. But, hey, I sure know my Asian food. So I guess it's a start.
A well meaning friend (and one who does not for sure read this blog) gave me an antique doll dressed in a unmistakably Japanese costume (and even if she did, wouldn't recognize herself because she wouldn't know that the doll wasn't wearing a Chinese costume) before Ellie came home, truly a thought that counts kind of gift. I'm still not sure what to do with that doll.
So it would not have occured to me that soccer treat mom was making a nod at my kids' birth country because they weren't born in Japan. And of course, I'm too self-centered to ascribe any other motive to soccer treat mom other than
a bald faced attempt to make me feel more inadequate than I feel almost every minute of every day as a parent. To stick the knife in and twist where I'm most vulnerable because it is all about me, always all about me. Next thing I know soccer treat mom will inviter herself over to my house so she can shut the hall door real fast and make the dust bunnies jump. She's diabolical.