My Filipino housemates say one phrase more often than they wonder how much rice there is left in the rice cooker…That phrase is…In Da Philippines… followed by whatever custom or practice you can imagine…some of the gems are,,,we eat with our hands…we can wear slippers and sandals to school but not shorts…we don’t believe in privacy…it’s rude to be direct…speaking English is elitist and”showing off”…that’s just a sample of the things I learn every day
I guess I can go with the eating with the hands thing, depending on what the food is…it’s not pleasant to watch someone shovel food into their mouths, but things like fried chicken at least have handles, of sorts I don’t want to watch someone eat spaghetti with their hands, or pick up rice soaked in sauce.
They don’t seem to use napkins, or be aware that others do…they clearly do not use or understand Westerners use of toilet paper, and the fact that they are using their hands for toileting and then cooking food freaks me out a little, although I’m certain they do wash their hands very often. They truly believe that only rich people use knives to cut their food at table…and I’ve learned to cut many things with a tablespoon, but sometimes a knife is in order.
I don’t often counter with “in the US”, because I get scolded for being direct, but I’m truly baffled by their ability to remain so insulated in their Filipino bubble that they appear either unaware or indifferent to the culture that surrounds them in their adopted home.Published in