28 November 2007


I came across a real gem while browsing the BBC News web site today. Japanese culture contains the delightful concept of "inemuri" (居眠り), which translates as napping or dozing. What's interesting about it is that it is culturally acceptable, in certain circumstances, to fall asleep in meetings or other social gatherings.

Apparently, it is intended to show that you sacrificed much of your regular sleep in your work, and is considered a type of macho display -- "look how hard I work, because now I cannot stay awake!" Naturally, like many Japanese traditions, it is not for everyone -- only those of superior social status can afford to indulge in front of their underlings, or those who have little status at all.

Now, I just need to figure out how to incorporate this into the university classes I teach.... hmmmm....

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