Recently there was a piece that did the rounds about Japanese buying sheep whilst thinking they were poodles. As is right, this was found to be an “urban myth” picked up by the news services (including CNN – not sure about BBC as the cable was playing up in my hotel room).
This was even picked up by a couple of my favourite Korean based Blogs. There is a blog in Japan called Cerebral Soup which is written by an Aussie and which was one of the debunkers of this myth. MJ on her blog goes on to note that:
Oh yes we published a story that was complete crap and xenophobic – but hey it’s ok because gosh we could then make silly puns and have a jolly laugh!
I must agree with her. Having spent a period of time in Mongolia, I have spent a fair bit of time debunking myths about Australia there (and at the same time having to shamefacedly admit some truths as well). I also spent time correcting myths about Mongolia from some foreigners.
I have even seen some of the racism working and it really piddles me off as well. Some of the worst though has been between the Asian nations. Korean attitudes to the Japanese. Japanese men’s attitudes to Korean women (I have not met many Japanese women so have no experience from that quarter). Chinese attitudes to the Mongolians (and that was made doubly worse as it was happening in front of my eyes).
So MJ, feel free to wear your citizen journalist boots. In the meantime, I am getting Pancho to saddle up the mule as there is a windmill turning just over there.