Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Sinophobe slam-dunk

Is there a medal on offer for cultural faux pas?

The Spanish basketball players who made "slitty-eyed" faces for the photographers have reacted with a combination of contrition and hurt feelings; it was simply a gesture of "affection, friendliness and recognition".

And now the torch of affection has been passed to the Argentine women's football team, who would appear to have been reading from the same joke book.

The International Olympic Committee has expressed its displeasure, which has been echoed in much of Europe and North America. But in Asia, home to most of the people who might be seen as targets for this casual racism, the response has been rather more laid back...

Further fortune cookies herein.


Charles Edward Frith said...

My Chinese friends tell me no offence was taken by this but any reference to genital sizes might have been different. Straight up squire.

garfer said...

The Duke of Edinburgh should be flown over instantly to mollify the Chinese.

He's noted for his sensitivity in such matters.

Geoff said...

I'm sure Benny Hill's Chinaman was meant to be affectionate.

Is Benny Hill still big in Spain?

Tim F said...

Charles: in an earlier Cif post about Asia I referred to "myths about relative potency" or somesuch. Think I got away with it.

Indeed Garfer. I did note that the Evening Standard was bollocked for insensitivity by announcing that he had cancer. Poor, fragile soul that he is.

Funnily enough, Geoff, I nearly called this post "Sirry irriot".