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Chinese Hysterics

obama gum


I've never been to mainland China, but was completely amused at all the press attention our respective leaders received yesterday. First, the Chinese are offended that Obama was chewing his Nicorette gum, which the American public is used to seeing. The President was an avid smoker before entering the White House, and I have no doubt he will resume the habit once he's out of the White House. In the interim, he tries to curb his cravings with this gum. I assume his desire for a cigarette is at its highest during stressful events, like yesterday, when he is on the world stage. But, I'm most amused, and confused, that the Chinese censored Putin putting the shawl on the wife of the Chinese President. Why??

Last night, when I was watching the news, I heard several American commentators call Putin's act "noble" and "gentlemanly". Why did the Chinese consider his act censor worthy? I don't know who would ever want to enter politics in today's age, where almost every single moment of your life is put on display, and analyzed by social media, body language experts....the list is endless. Politicians - they are still humans. Some good, some bad, some evil. I think the public sometimes loses sight of this.

Who knows a lot about Chinese culture? Explain this situation to me. I have no interactions with the Chinese in my lawyer life, or thus far in my travel life. Now I'm very curious to explore the customs and culture of this mysterious land...because they seem very unique and quite formal. The opposite of American culture, and I'm always attracted to the strange and unusual. In travel and almost all aspects of life.


Nov. 12th, 2014 04:40 pm (UTC)
I'm sure they are advised about local customs before they arrive in the country, but perhaps they forget. For Americans, it's especially hard because our culture is not really formal at all. But I think you should abide by the local rules as a foreign guest, at least in most situations. Btw, you know a lot of American politicians love to be photographed with cute babies. Holding them, hugging them, or smiling at them. Has Putin ever been photographed like this? Seems out of character for him.

Edited at 2014-11-12 04:41 pm (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2014 04:46 pm (UTC)
He has :)

and a lot of criticism followed

Nov. 12th, 2014 04:48 pm (UTC)
It's an amazing photograph! If a Western leader did this, Russian press would probably call him a pedophile. :)))
Nov. 12th, 2014 04:52 pm (UTC)
for some reason I guess that this was another mistake of them advisors. Like, someone told him to do exactly wht you wrote, to get photographed with a cute kid, for an image of a "cute leader" (his photos with his dog usually were taken very positively). So, I guess he overdid it :)
Nov. 12th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
ahem, when I first saw the picture I remembered a joke where a kid tells his mom in the street - "Mommy, look, a boy is eating a girl!". His mother says, "Why, they're just kissing... wait a minute... no, you're right, he is eating her, really!.."

Edited at 2014-11-13 09:00 am (UTC)
Nov. 12th, 2014 05:08 pm (UTC)
Russia to pretend that this photo does not exist
Nov. 12th, 2014 05:51 pm (UTC)
почему ты ВРЕШЬ?

просто никому и в голову придет обвинять Путина в педофилии
ну разве что людям с особо больным воображением как вы)
Nov. 12th, 2014 10:23 pm (UTC)
ты или вы, уже определитесь))))
Nov. 12th, 2014 05:48 pm (UTC)
No of course)
Nov. 13th, 2014 08:56 am (UTC)
Actually, it would be normal with a baby (for a relative) to kiss a baby's belly, or blow while touching that belly wityh one's lips. But this kid is too big for such treatment, he looked flabbergasted :)
Nov. 13th, 2014 04:01 pm (UTC)
It's the same in America. Who can resist a cute baby? :) We always hug and kiss them, squeeze their cheeks, blow on their bellies, tickle their feet....
Nov. 12th, 2014 06:54 pm (UTC)
I misread as "American politicians love to be photographed with cute babes" :) I try not to follow Putin's photo-ops.
Nov. 12th, 2014 06:58 pm (UTC)
That too. :) There's a famous photo of Obama checking out this babe's backside.

 photo obama_zpsf8f8c004.jpg

Nov. 12th, 2014 07:53 pm (UTC)
our culture is not really formal at all

No, you just don't see it from inside.
While hugging and backslapping are almost obligatory in the US, kissing is not :)
Back in 2000 we had a female American manager who interacted with our team in Moscow.
Once our guys instead of backslapping just kissed her into a cheek.
She was very surprised :))

In a Russian mind kissing is not far from hugging :)

cyclowiki. org/wiki/%D0%9F%D0%BE%D1%86%D0%B5%D0%BB%D1%83%D0%B9_%D0%91%D1%80%D0%B5%D0%B6%D0%BD%D0%B5%D0%B2%D0%B0

Nov. 12th, 2014 07:59 pm (UTC)
When was the last time you were in the U.S.? Kissing on the cheek isn't so strange in American culture now, but definitely not the norm and not in the way Brezhnev did. Immediate law suit for sexual harassment or assault. :)) And it's definitely not accepted in business situations here. I love when my male European friends give me kisses on each cheek when greeting me. :)


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