Pinterest: teaching cultural differences

Oh, Pinterest, is there anything you can’t do? This afternoon I thought about two cultural differences between Hungary and America, based on two Pinterested images.

First image, from a pin called Unintentionally Inappropriate Test Responses From Children:

I find it funny that anyone would find this picture inappropriate. In fact, it took me a minute to figure out what is supposed to be wrong about it. It’s a Mexican guy in traditional costume playing some traditional instrument, right? But there must be something un-PC about it – is that really a Mexican poncho? Is it racist that he has a mustache? Does the cactus imply that he lives in a barren, poor area?

The idea of PC (political correctness) doesn’t exist in Hungary. Sometimes you’ll get a politician or bureaucrat using certain words, but for the most part people don’t bother with nuances. Sometimes people can sound overly blunt, but overall I think it makes communication cleaner.

Next there was this:

The pin was labeled: “A tailgating must have! You sneaky drunks! Perfect for the golf course, the beach, the park, sporting events, your dorm, wandering your neighborhood, in front of children, in front of your wife…

Hungary is a country of drinkers. Depending on what statistics you read, they are somewhere in the top 5 countries for alcohol consumed per capita. And they don’t have any shame or coyness about it. People will drink, openly, in just about any situation. The idea of a beer being something that you should be ashamed of, that you would have to hide in certain places, or in front of certain people, is definitely a foreign concept.

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