It’s summer in Japan and that means almost everywhere you go you will hear the screeching sounds of the cicada. Last week, I saw a wiggling cicada trapped on its back on the sidewalk and trying to be a “good person,” I grabbed a stick and turned the bug over.
As soon as the cicada was back on its feet, it flew up and landed on my face!
￼My husband insists that I have the unfortunate habit of getting involved in unrelated things. “I’m American,” I always reply. “As a culture, we tend to get in everyone else’s business.”
However, every once in a while, I have to wonder how much is culture and how much is personality? When you’re dating or married to someone from a different culture, it is surprisingly easy to chalk up all disagreements to inherent cultural difference… after all Japan and America fall in very different camps when it comes to gender roles, religion, volunteering, and unpaid overtime.
I’ve come to realize this simplification can be a bit dangerous.
Do I have the need to flip a trapped cicada back onto its feet because I’m American? Or because I, personally, feel sorry for little animals (because, you know, cicadas already have a terribly short lifespan)?
Does he want to leave the cicadas on the ground because he is Japanese (and therefore used to the short lifespan of the cicadas)? Or because he, personally, doesn’t like bugs? I have no idea how to dissect culture VS personality.
Nonetheless, my husband is milking the “last time you didn’t listen to me, a cicada landed on your face” for all it’s worth.