Sunday, April 01, 2007

Banana (it's the same in any language, kind of)

Life has been wicked busy as of late, and I have opted to sleep during the precious free hours I have rather than do blog postings....please forgive me.

I am trying to get my feet wet again with blogging, so I thought I would do a quick and dirty cultural observation that a Moldovan brought to my attention.

“Americans eat bananas backwards”.

This has been confirmed by independent Moldovan sources who observed our apparent weirdness. In my nearly two years here I had never really noticed it, but Moldovan's typically use a fingernail to pierce the skin on the opposite end of the stem, and just go from there. Nothing radical, they don't eat the peel or anything, but they have a completely different viewpoint on opening a banana. When I tried to explain that it was much easier to open it with the stem end I was greeted with head shaking and a face full of consternation from my Moldovan cultural guide. He felt that it was much more difficult with the stem end, that the stem would break off most of the time, and that it bruised the fruit.

In my eyes of course it seems as if the stem was there just for the opening, as if by divine command a natural pull-tab had been placed there for our convenience. Nothing could dissuade him from his current method though.

I guess my thought is though, if we have such different and unchangeable ideas about how to unwrap a fruit, just imagine how the cultures differ on more complex issues.

My partner teacher and I are doing a class on abortion for our 9th graders this week. Should be interesting.


Kimber said...

my fingernails are too short to pierce banana skins. i guess the pull tab works better when the banana isn't too soft - it's true - it mashes up that end sometimes when we do that. knives are also handy.

i'm reading a great book that you would appreciate: mountains beyond mountains by Tracy Kidder. give it a read when you can :)

Anonymous said...

Proof that there is more than one way to solve a problem. Good to hear from you again. D, Omaha

Lisa said...

One of the new Lady Maryland deckhands also opens his bananas upside down, but he's only from Jersey!

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who also eats them from the "bottom". (She's kind of from all over the states) And actually, it can be easier, especially when pulling the stem doesn't work. She pinches the bottom tip, and then pulls it apart. Works like a charm!