I had an interesting conversation with a coworker the other day about what was taboo in our countries, (Germany and the U.S.) Then I happened to have a “lesson” on “Tabu” in my German class this week, so it seems an appropriate topic to bring up in a web full of strangers.
The first conversation started when I made some kind of Jew-ism joke to my colleague, (hush up, I’m Jewish, it’s okay!) I realized that we have a lot of these sayings in the U.S., or at least in New York , that lightly poke fun of Jews for being cheap, or being good with money, or sometimes smarter or craftier then the rest, then of course there are the Jewish American Princess (JAP) jokes. To be honest, some people may find this highly offensive, and if you are one of them, I apologize in advance, but I don’t. As long as it’s told in good humor and not meant to hurt anyone’s feelings, I think it’s all in good fun.
But when I told this to my friend, she looked kind of surprised and said, well I guess things are quite different in Germany – you would never make a Jewish joke! Understandably, of course, given the history! So it just got me wondering what kind of jokes would I find too be in poor taste, that maybe others think are funny or innocent enough?
Do you have any good examples of what’s taboo where you come from?