Cultural identity – stereotypes
A plane made an emergency landing on water. The stewardess asked the passengers to slide down to the lifeboats, but the passengers refused.
The stewardess then asked the captain to help. The captain, being very knowledgeable and experienced, guided her –
“You tell the Americans this is an ADVENTURE. Tell the British this is an HONOUR. Tell the French this is a ROMANTIC activity, and tell the Germans this is the LAW. Tell the Japanese this is an ORDER, and everyone will be sorted out.”
The stewardess remembered the flight had some passengers from Singapore too. “What about them”, she asked.
The captain, taking a deep breath, patiently explained –
“You need not tell the Singaporeans anything, my dear. Once they see a QUEUE, they will join in without questions.”
Humour is a survival skill. However, what can be funny to one group can be faux pas in the wrong context.
I am a Singaporean, so I can tell this joke to laugh at myself. But when it is about another group of people, they may take it as racism.
Beneath the surface though, this joke pokes fun at every good who do not question beneath the surface because they are conditioned with positive connotations of a word like “adventure”, “honor”, “law”, “order”. Likewise we can get good people to do bad things because its a badge of honor to keep their word.
Dark humour and reflections beneath this simple joke!