Monday, May 10, 2004

Can you tell the difference?

A recent discussion on Hunkabutta about how people can have a hard time telling the difference between other cultures brought up some interesting information. For instance, it's not just that white people have a hard time telling Asian differences apart. They have the same problems. It's just natural to make generalizations, even visual ones, about things (and people) that we are around a lot. Just as many a redneck Ford/Chevy drivers couldn't tell the difference between a Kia/Suszuki/Hundai, if the tags were removed, the same can be said for people.

Enough of my blathering, just go take this test for yourself and see how you do. I was surprised at my results I honestly believed I could tell the difference between Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. With a score of 7 out of 18, apparently I can't as well as I thought. I wonder however if the author of the website picked difficult faces on purpose though. Just like any other close cultures, there will be some mixing and the differences will blur. Could you tell the difference between a German and a Swede, even if you were from one of those countries? In some cases perhaps, in others the differences would be so small if they existed at all that it would be impossible to tell.

And for anyone who reads this as something racist, please believe me when I say it's not. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Asian peoples and cultures. I also hold onto the fact that there is as much genetic difference between my father or my sister and I as there is between me and any stranger on the street, regardless of their skin color or region of birth. The difference between me and Jackie Chan is that he is a kick ass movie star and I'm just some dude with a blog. Well, it's more than that, but our skin tones don't mean a thing.

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