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Our sense of humor

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    Our sense of humor

    I know, it's a cliche. Comparing cultures all the time. The practices, beliefs, customes etc. However, we don't talk much about differences in senses of humor among different cultures. Why is that?

    I personally believe that sense of humor is actually one of the most important aspects of a culture that should not go amiss in our conversations.

    It seems to me that we are a bit too careful about humor. We get offended easily on humor for all the wrong reasons. Some of the main reasons could be taking a comment too personally, suspecting the intentions of others as being disrespectful if they make a joke, and inability to laugh at one's own blunders and human errors (Generally speaking, of course).

    I think the main difference between our and Western sense humor lies in the level of objectivity given to the matter. Our approach is a bit too subjective. That's why we take it so personally so easily. Secondly, we don't forget a joke done on us so easily. We take it longer with us than probably it should be.

    On the other hand, humor seems a bit too objective in Western culture on times. The easiness in letting it go can make things stereotyped very easily and eventually offensive and disrespectfull. This is most evident when the humor involves among people from different cultural backgrounds (And no, I am not talking about Arab camel jokes). It's just the tendency of how different things are looked upon among different cultures.

    #2
    Dear Roman,

    Is this a joke? You do seem to have a sense of humor, I only wish that you used it once a while!

    Joking aside, I think your point has merit. Even though, I believe that there is no such thing as East or West sense of humor, but generally speaking Westerners show a little more objectivity. However, with increasing “political correctness” I would argue that the “objectivity” is slowly being influenced. I believe that SOH is something that you either have it or you don’t. It comes in different styles, different emphasis, and different levels of severity. In England, for example, the best comedians (i.e., most popular) are Oxford educated, whereas in the US, the best comedians tend to be either HS dropouts, or with little college education (Cosby being an exception). I know that the SOH is not just about comics, but they are a good indicator of a society’s “comfort” level.

    At a different level, I would also argue that Jewish humor is also one of a superior kinds of humors. Jews (particularly New York Jews) of Eastern Europe ancestry are hilarious. They tend to laugh more at themselves (their own community) than rely on stereotyping others. I always enjoy Jewish Humor.

    Germans on the other hand appreciate “physical humor” more so than verbal. I was once in a car accident where the car behind hit the Taxi that I was riding in. My driver comes out of the car and see his bumper and says silently “Oh, you big bad boy”. I just imagined what would a New York Cab Driver will say to someone if he were hit from behind. “O, you.. son… of …..frek….. azz….mother…….”.

    I agree with you that we tend to take jokes personally. I think we should be at least as open to receiving as giving.


    Comment


      #3
      well Roman and NYAhmadi;
      **kohal is stunned**
      at the fact that you guys presented your 'observations' on SOH very well.
      (does anyone else feel young at mind since reading their views..?)
      oh btw, mei makkaan nahi lagari hu! *wink*
      ..that's not me.

      it's interesting to the note which culture finds which topic(s) humorous to them.
      but NYAhmadi, are you sure all usa comedians are dropouts ?? (other than cosby). i'm sure not all of them are; rosie o'donnell seems very intelligent to me. Then again, loosers like Jay leno & letterman seem to have very shallow lives (other than the fact that yeah..leno has some sweet cars).

      Roman..you said:

      [block]We get offended easily on humor for all the wrong reasons. Some of the main reasons could be taking a comment too personally, suspecting the intentions of others as being disrespectful if they make a joke, and inability to laugh at one's own blunders and human errors[/block]

      I know i'm one of those ppl who has the character "i take jokes seriously." i can't help it; i am who i am. You have to be a close friend of mine to actually KNOW that, "oh, he/she didn't have the intention of disprespecting me."

      anywayz, like as mentioned before, ppl have a diff. style & emphasis & outlook on jokes.
      ah well, "laughter's the best medicine."

      Comment


        #4
        oh shoot, don't you use the .[block][/block] in an actual html program when you want a typing writer font and
        instead for here, the . is used. aiight anywayz,
        i just noticed this ...wow, i actually took/showed an INTERST!! in these comp programs right now...

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          #5
          NYA,

          My applaud to that German cab driver. Interesting what you said about Jew humor, I personally have not been exposed to it so can't say anything, but will keep an ear open next time I see two Jews sitting next to me.

          Along the same lines as your mentioning of "Physical humor" for German, I personally think (and my assessment could be wrong) that Desi SOH tends to involve more of obvious subject matter for humor than the subtleness of it. I find the element of wit a bit less in Desi culture than in its Western counterpart.

          Another thing I have noticed that mostly, Desi SOH depends on selective content to get humor out of it while Western SOH tends to get humor out of anything possible.

          My observation could be a bit biased as I personally like Western SOH more than Desi one. To me, it simply appears more lightened and witty to encourage greater opportunities for humor.

          Kohal:

          I think it's not only the 'type' of topic that differs and matters among different cultures but the elements of 'how' and 'why' as well constitute the greater form of their respective SOHs.

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            #6
            Just a thought...

            The day one looses his/her humour, is the day when he/she is really and truly happy.

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              #7
              Dear Shpooki, I don’t understand your logic. Do you think that ‘humor’ is another term for virginity? Are you happy or sad?

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                #8
                Shpooki, count me in on not getting your logic as well. Please elaborate.

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                  #9
                  As I see it, many people, not all, use humour as their way of forgetting about every day worries on their mind. So, the day I loose my humour, I'd probably be a happy person.

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                    #10
                    On the flip side, however, if people don't use humor to forget every day worries then all they would be left with will be worries alone -- That's even more unhappy state of mind.

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                      #11
                      Let me put it this way...

                      The day I am happy, I wont NEED humour no more.

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                        #12
                        Desis have abundant supply of various sorts of humour. Whether it is Shafeeq Ur Rehman, or Ibne insha or Ibne Safi or Pitras.

                        On the other hand we have our xrated humour which is actually rather funny.

                        Humour in pratice is a bit different though. in practice desis need to be atleast 3. that way 2 can gang up and totally pick on the 3rd one. but in these scenarios loyalties change rapidly, and one of the 2 picking on the third one will soon become a victim.

                        Humour in observation is different too. If you see a mixed group just laugh out loud its probably polit humour. If it is a single gender group and the laughter is accompanied by high fives or hands slapping, its probably the more street version of the humour.

                        But offcourse then we have the humour that no one laughs at.. like this one :>
                        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.

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