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Multicultural Manners

CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 12, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER, Norine Dresser is a folklorist and author of "I Felt Like I Was From Another Planet," (Addison Wesley). Tell her your experiences c/o Voices
Claude, a Nigerian reggae star on tour in the U.S., uses American pick-up bands. During a club date in Texas, enthusiastic members of a largely West African audience come on stage during the performance to stick dollar bills to Claude's forehead, on his head and onto his clothing. Many of the bills fall to the stage. By the end of the set, Claude and the floor are covered with money.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 22, 1995
Regarding the April 10 Multicultural Manners column "The Risk of Judging on Looks," Norine Dresser remarks upon Americans' assumption that one is foreign-born if that person appears, essentially, non-Aryan. The problem, I suggest, is not one of callousness; rather, one of linguistic ignorance. When I meet someone who appears to have come from a different country, my query is, "What is your heritage?" Not everyone is aware of how to state such a question. HILARY A. CEJKA Lomita
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 14, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER, Norine Dresser is a folklorist and author of "I Felt Like I Was From Another Planet," (Addison Wesley). Tell her your experiences c/o Voices.
Two weeks before Passover, Helen, an observant Jew, begins ridding her house of all traces of chometz, or leavening. Every crumb has been removed for the eight-day festival commemorating the exodus of Jews from Egypt and the Passover Seder, or ritual meal, to which she has invited Natalie, a non-religious cousin. When Natalie arrives, she hands her hostess a cake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 10, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER, Norine Dresser is a folklorist and author of "I Felt Like I Was From Another Planet" (Addison Wesley). and
When Sen. Alphonse D'Amato (R-N.Y.) put on a fake Japanese accent to criticize O. J. Simpson case Judge Lance Ito last week, what he did was rude but not rare. For instance, D'Amato's Congressional colleague Rep. Norman Mineta (D-San Jose) tells this story: Mineta, a second-generation Japanese American and former mayor of San Jose, was invited to speak at a trade meeting in San Francisco.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 31, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER, Norine Dresser is a folklorist and author of "I Felt Like I Was From Another Planet," (Addison Wesley). Tell her your experiences c/o Voices.
Mrs. Buranen's normally well-behaved seventh-graders are exceptionally noisy and boisterous this April day. In the hall and on the playground, numerous students keep throwing water at each other. Back inside the classroom, an exasperated Mrs. Buranen is about to reprimand them when her excited teacher's aide steps forward urges her to "Wait." What went wrong? The aide, a Cambodian immigrant, pointed out to Mrs. Buranen that it was April 13, Cambodian New Year. Throwing water at Mrs.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 22, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER, Norine Dresser is a folklorist and author of "I Felt Like I Was From Another Planet," (Addison Wesley). Tell her your experiences c/o Voices.
A historic moment occurred last week when, 250 miles above Earth, American astronaut Norman E. Thagard stepped from a Soyuz space capsule into the Russian space station Mir. The cosmonauts immediately offered him bread and salt. What did it mean? According to Russian traditions of hospitality, when visitors enter a home, the hosts bow and present them with their best platter covered by a white cloth. The platter holds a whole round loaf of bread, preferably black, and a mound of salt.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 17, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER
Miyumi waits tabls in her father's Japanese restaurant. Frequently, non-Japanese customers rest their chopsticks upright in the rice, making her feel uneasy and alarming her father. What went wrong? According to Japanese custom, chopsticks are only placed upright in rice at wakes. At the wake, a bowl of rice sits on a small table at the foot of the body. The chopsticks stand striaght up in the rice as an offering to assist safe crossing through the gates of heaven.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 22, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER
After recently leaving Cape Town, South Africa, Irene feels fortunate to have landed a job in a legal firm. One day, her boss asks, "Can you work on this report?" Irene answers: "I'll do it just now." But when he returns 10 minutes later and asks for the report, she is puzzled by his question and he doesn't understand why it isn't ready. What went wrong? Even though Irene's native language was English, she used South African idioms.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 13, 1995 | NORINE DRESSER
Carol teaches English as a Second Language. Her latest class is all women, except for one 72-year-old man who enrolls with his wife. At the end of the first meeting, two of the women ask Carol if there will be other men in the class. Carol says she doesn't know. The two women leave, never to return. What went wrong? The two women were from Yemen. Their conservative Muslim culture prevents them from attending class if men are present.
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