Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Art of Insult.

The mayor of Shanghai is complaining about its residents who are lounging around the city steets in their pyjamas. It´s bad for the image of Shanghai, he said.

This reminds me of the flea market in front of our house in Sampaloc. Every Wednesday and Saturday, people from remote villages (barrios) come to sell their goods. Some are decent, others in their pyjamas, and there are those who walk around in half-clad bodies. I guess, from where I come, walking around in pyjamas is no big deal. You can wear whatever you want to wear because comfort always comes first. The good thing about this practice is, nobody makes fun of you. You can walk around half-naked, and still have your dignity. I'm talking about men of course! Women don't walk around in half-clad bodies in Sorsogon.

In some cultures, walking around in your pyjamas or half-naked is the ultimate insult. In the northern part of the Philippines, there is a group of people called the Ifugaos. They are well-known for the 8th manmade wonder of the world. The Banaue Rice Terraces.

In Ifugao culture, men always put on a shirt when they talk to each other. Although it is all right for women to walk around in shorts, wearing it to social gatherings like a pre-wedding festival, is definitely inappropriate. It doesn't matter if you're wearing Dolce and Gabbana shorts. It's still a pair of shorts and the host will still be humiliated for your utter disrespect of the occasion.

In Indonesia, one should never hand-over something with his left hand. It´s tantamount to a slap on the face because the left hand is considered the dirty hand. And when you point, better do it with your thumb and never with your other fingers. In the Philippines, some people have the habit of pointing with their lips. LOL

Speaking of pointing and fingers, we all know that showing or giving your middle-finger is reaching the apogee of insults in western societies. It is obscene and is like saying the F-word. In some southern European countries however, they abase you by saying that you are a child of a whore. Meaning, your mother belongs to the lowest caste. A puta.

In India where women are empowered, men never open doors for them. It's a form of insult also. You should also forget about offering your muscled arms to lift or carry heavy bags for a woman. It's simply unacceptable there.

In the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, it is funny to make jokes about their neighboring countries. The more ridiculous the joke, the better. In Africa, it's the highest form of insult. To make fun of other ethnolinguistic groups or what they call as their `neighboring tribes´. In fact, this could lead to an all-out war.

Insults then come in many forms. Some people have mastered the art of it. But I think, it is important to always bear in mind where we´re coming from. After all, our cultural baggage will always dictate what is accepted and unaccepted to us. For what is one man´s meat, could be another man´s poison.

***I wrote this last year around Christmas time, and decided to delete it. I am posting it again. :)

14 comments:

Jesusa said...

pointing with the lips is just classic!

Droomvla said...

@Jesusa: I know! HAHAHAHAHA Nadumduman ko lugod san sadto, nagwawala an Lola ko kun nakikita kami na nagtuturo na an ngudoy an nagpo point. HAHAHAHAHA

buday said...

A puta? Ehodef!! Hahaha.

Nakaabot palan sa balay niyo an saud? Badaw ada na ramuk.

Tho it's normal for men here in the Pinas to walk around with no shirts on, I do everything to prevent my husband from doing this. Kun minsan gusto maki-huntahan sa mga tambayology major sa neighborhood sari-sari store & nalilimutan magsul-ot maski sando, badaw. IABUNGAN ko baga sa pertahan, hehe.

Droomvla said...

@buday: HAHAHAHA... minsan, nalilimot ako magkutsara kaya kikamot ko na lamang! Pareho ngani san p.u.t.a! HAHAHAHAHAHA

Basi didanggahan sa sulod san balay si agom mo kaya gusto man makihuntahan sa mga tambayology. Kay pan-o man baya an ngurodoyan na paaraga! HAHAHAHAHA

buday said...

Pipabayaan ko man makihuntahan basta may sul-ot lamang na pantaas. Sisabihan ko, aysus Baba, maaraton sa mata an wara t-shirt na nagbabalagaw-bagaw sa tinampo, hehe.

Aledys Ver said...

Nice post, Droomvla - it made me laugh out loud with some of the examples.
When you mentioned pointing with your lips, it somehow reminded how I used to signal which direction I'd take when I started riding my bike here in Holland. I couldn't signal with one hand, simply because I could not steer my bike with just the one hand, so what I'd do is signal with my head or sth. :o)

Also, about women in India taking it as an insult if men try to open doors for them, reminded me of my own experience here in the Ned. I am of southern European origin, and where I come from, it's not a question of being independent or not, but if you are a woman, it is a natural reflex for you to wait for the man to open a door in a public building and let you go first. I cannot tell you how many doors have been slammed in my face since I got here!! At first I thought it was downright rude and it made me really angry. I have now come to understand that it's just that people are brought up in different ways.
Cheers!

rwidiani said...

were you insulted lately that you decided to put this on your weblog?;)

Droomvla said...

@buday: ka-strict mo man palan! lol

Droomvla said...

@Aledys: Thanks! I thought it would be nice to post it again. :)

Well, from where I come from, men also open doors for women and it is not offensive. But here, my neighbor almost hang herself when she saw hubby opened the car door for me for the first time. The following day, she gave me a lecture on women emancipation! LOL

Later on, we both discovered that women in my family are more liberated than hers. For example, my grandma raised 3 kids on her own and went to school at the same. She was the first lady principal in our province. Ma was a working mom too. As for me, I also teach at home.

Besides, I like it when men open doors for me. It makes me feel pretty! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Droomvla said...

@rwidiani: Nope. Noone insulted me. I just posted it again because I wanted to. :)

thamarai said...

Very interesting post Droomvla..pointing of lips was really funny..In India too the left hand is sort of considered in appropriate to hand out things..and yes, men half clad in clothes is not unusual at all..it is so hot mostly...

In general women are well taken care of by the families/friends in India..but I guess we don't expect strangers to carry bags or open doors...

Droomvla said...

@Thamarai: The pointing of lips is still in practice. So sometimes, you see Filipinos doing this gesture when pointing at something. LOL

I've never been to India myself, so I really don't know. I have enrolled however in Asian studies graduate program before, and well... our Indian professor told us about these stuff about the Indian woman. :)

Anna said...

natawa ako sa "walking around in half-clad bodies." sa diversion road kaya, i always come across this woman na naglalakat na nakatayod lang tapos nakasupot an ulo sa saro pa na tuwalya. hali yata magkarigos sa sapa. pan-o kaya kun ma hit-and-run ini, hehehe.

Droomvla said...

@Anna: Ay bongga, may sapa dida na gin kakarigosan? Nanu kay dili ko ini aram! Para maka walking-walking man ako sin di tayod nan naka pungos an buhok! HAHAHAHAHA