Tuesday 29 November 2022

My biggest cultural faux pas in Japan

Potato-selling car cultural faux pas(cultural misunderstanding).

Potato-selling cars in Japan


                                       Freshly roasted potato on wheels 


I don't know about you guys but there are some things in foreign countries that you just don't get it.

I came from a country that is predominantly Christian. Now, I know you might be asking, what does religion have to do with potato-selling cars in Japan. 

Well!, this is the interesting part, Back home I am so used to specific ways in which Christians' sermons are conducted like how the priests tone their voices to conduct their sermons in churches. This background of mine created the longest cultural faux pas for me with potato-selling cars in Japan.

I came to Japan at end of the winter of 2019. This is the time of the year when the cars that sell potatoes are very active. Every afternoon these cars usually drove very slowly by the street where I lived and there were always songs coming from them. No one at that time told me what they were, so I quickly came up with my own answer. 

At that time I had not a single clue about the Japanese language so when I listened to the songs coming from the cars. To me, it sounded exactly like how priests usually conducted their sermons every Sunday in churches back home.

At the same time, I lived next to a mosque, and where I lived there are many shrines and temples. These surroundings gave me a very strong impression that these cars definitely have to do with some kind of religious blessing ceremony that goes around blessing people. But it was just a big cultural misunderstanding.

Since the day I first saw the potato-selling cars and heard their songs  I  started believing that the potato-selling cars are a religious medium where Japanese temple priests go around carrying out their blessing rituals.  I started giving all my respect to these cars. 

Whenever I am in my room and these cars passed by I always stop whatever I'm doing and be still. Whenever  I am walking and these cars passed by I always stop and be still. I did not know at that time that I was wasting all my precious respect and good energy on potato-selling cars. 

At the same time, I always wondered why the Japanese are not respecting these religious cars. They say Japanese people are very respectful, but why are they not respecting these cars. In fact, they seem to be avoiding these religious cars. After all, these cars go around blessing their neighborhoods.

These potato-selling cars always played the same song on a loop and the songs usually sounded like prayers from Christian churches. At the same time, I always saw smoke coming out of the cars' jimmies. The smoke reminded me of the incense that priests burn on alters to bless people at Sunday's church service. So,  whenever I saw these cars,   heard their songs, and saw the smoke. Deep inside my heart I always felt so blessed. I truly felt that the lord has not forsaken me in this strange land and I am not alone. 

From 2019 to 2021 I was strongly convinced and believed these cars are religious cars going around blessing people. So I gave my full respect to them. I literary bowed to these cars and took off my cap whenever they passed by.

Then I moved to Fukushima at the end of 2021. That year my Japanese partner came from Hokkaido to spend her Christmas with me. One afternoon in snowy December while coming back from Benimaru supermarket in Hobara. Out of nowhere, one of the potato-selling cars droved past us. I said, stop! be still!.  My partner was shocked so she asked why?. I said,  don't you see it. It is a  religious car and we have to show our respect. I was already in my full respect mode.

She said what!. No way, it's not. It is a potato car. They sell potatoes in the cold months. I still did not believe her. So I asked her to explain further what she meant. I looked at her with so much shock after she finished explaining. I could not believe her. I said,  so you are telling me that for 2 years I have been bowing and respecting potatoes selling cars. She laughed the whole way back home.

Still to this day. I still can not comprehend my huge cultural faux pas with the potatoes selling cars in Japan for 2 years. Every time  I told my Japanese colleagues about it they always die out laughing.

Wednesday 23 November 2022

Young entrepreneur sustainable sharing and support development group

 Dear fellow young Papua New Guineans.

The Young Entrepreneur Sustainable Sharing and Support Development Gr.


Ignition

  • Are you a young leader,  an innovator, and a thinker?
  • Are you concerned about climate change, pollution, and your people.
  • Do you have a novel, innovative, or sustainable idea but don't know how to develop your ideas.

 Then we are in the same boat!.


I am starting a small co-working group to help share ideas and find directions to grow our ideas together.


The Young Entrepreneur Sustainable Sharing and Support Development Gr. 

Main Goals:  To help support thinkers and innovators to develop our sustainable conceptual ideas into reality.

Target: Young people who have conceptual ideas on solutions to environmental, economical, and social issues facing their communities and towns.

Objectives: 

  1. Work together as liked mined young leaders to share ideas and help each other develop these ideas further into reality.
  2. Creating  and establishing  a support group to help pave the way to develop our embryo idea into the full conceptual idea 
  3. Provide support, guidelines, and advice on how to develop our ideas into full conceptual ideas.
  4. Help seek support from various sector actors like university professors and experienced business entrepreneurs for their time to mentor and shape our ideas.
  5. Seeking various international and national venues to present our conceptual ideas 
  6. Develop sustainable and innovative ideas to secure funding and support from either international or national organizations to kick-start our conceptual idea into reality
Please Note.

Join if you have sustainable innovative ideas and wanted to work together through sharing ideas and seeking venues to develop your ideas into reality.


Please subscribe by email.



Wednesday 16 November 2022

6 benefits of cycling .

Hello, my followers and readers.

Today, I would like to mention the 6 benefits of cycling in this article. There are lots of benefits to cycling but we are going to look at only 6.

So, bugle up, and let`s ride !.



1. Cycling may help you lose weight.

Cycling habitually, especially at high intensity, can help lower your body fat level, which promotes healthy weight management.   


2. Cycling may lower your cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made by the liver, and its found in the cells.

Cycling helps improves cholesterol levels, which then boosts your cardiovascular health and lowers your ricks stroke and heart attack.


3. Cycling boosts mental health and brain power

Cycling ease feeling of stress, depression, and anxiety. Cycling makes you focus on the road which then takes away the metal chatters of your day.

Research  shows that biking improves the cognitive function and well-being of  older adults 

Just 10  minutes of cycling will boost your brain performance.

Regular exercising like biking help releases the feel-good harmonies called endorphins which help you feel better and relaxed. 


4. Cycling improves balance, posture, and coordination.

As you balance your body upright while cycling it helps improves your overall balance and coordination and even your gait(the process of walking and balancing).

As one ages the balance decreases. Cycling will help improve it and reduce the risk of injury and fractures. 


5. Cycling may reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases 

Cycling raises your heart rate,  improves cardiovascular function, and enhanced your overall fitness level.


6. Cycling is environmentally friendly.

We all are talking about climate change but have you done your part in helping to reduce climate change. Well, if you have not yet, then start cycling.

Cycling reduces your carbon footprint. Researchers in Europe found that commuting by bike one day decreases your transport carbon footprint by 67%

Cycling also reduces your chances of getting  stuck in traffic jams 

When it comes to parking spaces. You have no problem at all. There will be always space available.



Reference 

Healthline,2022.Benefits of cycling plus safety tips Healthline Media. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/cycling-benefits.


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