Living in Japan – Culture Shock
by Abroad in Japan
Doesn’t speak Japanese.
Stages of culture shock.
Irritation and hostiility
He says he feels like he is in a huge theme park. He finds he is being driven to learn Japanese.
Vending machines are everywhere, and in the middle nowhere. The non-existance of crime make this possible.
Convenience stores are everywhere. You can buy airline tickets there or pay or your bills.
Hanko Stamp is your own personal stamp that you use to stamp the many documents you get each day.
Hi living quarters include a kitchen that’s too small (he says) to use. So he eats out a lot. This causes him to get out and walk, and this helps his fitness.
He takes us through a restaurant that delivers your meals on a conveyer belt.
It’s been 14 years since we first met Toula on screen, and she has aged well. This sequel is as strong as the first, and it’s due in no small part to the wonderful ensemble cast that it features. I was surprise to see that the cast featured just about everyone from the original movie.
Without spoiling the fun, I can tell you that this movie is NOT about Toula’s daughter getting married, but it still focuses on her large, noisy and nosey Greek clan. The writing and acting make for snappy dialog and wonderful moments.
From an intercultural perspective, what I like the most about this movie are the scenes where either one-by-one or en masse, her outsize family shows up. For me, that really captures a key part of the family dynamic. It’s one thing to say a family is close, but to see them so enmeshed in one anothers’ lives really illustrates this type of extended family. More than that, the movie is really about identity. Toula’s mother has a scene whether she wonders what her life would have been like had she not had a big family. Toula wonders what it will be like if her only daughter goes away to college, and Toula’s dad and uncle argue about who is a “real Greek.” (Toula’s uncle still lives in Greece, when her dad left for America 50 years ago.)
I won’t spoil any key moments, but as with all comedy, this movie is about what happens when things go wrong. And plenty of things do.
Worth your time, and for class assignments related to family and culture, a better choice than the original if only because we see more current technology–cell phones and Twitter. 🙂