Today was the last Japan/US Comparative Culture class of the 2007-08 school year. We ended with individual presentations on topics that the students chose. They were to choose a point for comparison based on our discussions in class, or after consultation with me. They did a pretty good job, talking about manners, a general overview of the class, tipping, food culture, and language varieties respectively. The manners topic was a little thin and focussed mostly on table manners with the presenter finally decrying the state of Japanese manners.
The food culture topic was lots of fun, with the presenter discussing sugar consumption in the US and Japan. He said that sugar provided about 8.4% of the total calories consumed in Japan, and 16 to 20% in the American diet. One of the students exclaimed, “Let’s Diabetic!” I had to laugh. It was the perfect combination of bad English grammar and timing. Had a great time with this class this year.