Posts Tagged ‘arab’

Here’s a clear example of how quick generalizations develop. In case you missed it last Sunday, an Iraqi reporter flung his two shoes at U.S. President George Bush, apparently in outrage.

What I find more interesting, is how quickly the idea of “shoes in Arab culture” has grown almost overnight. A quick google search on “Arab, Shoe, Culture” instantly calls up literally hundreds of articles covering the Bush incident and the reference to shoes in Arab culture: (just a few below say the same thing)

Telegraph: Showing the sole of your shoe has long been an insult in Arab culture.

BBC: In Arab culture it’s considered rude even to display the sole of one’s shoe to a fellow human being

Daily Star: Soles of shoes are considered a harsh insult in Arab culture.

Bloomberg: In Arab culture, throwing shoes is a grave show of disrespect.

Which was the saying? If you hear something often enough, you believe it? Or it ceases to have any meaning? Meanwhile, in addition to the above examples of split-second cultural insight, there have been some very interesting “analysis” done on the cultural reference to shoes in the whole affair. (more…)

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