Friday, June 30, 2006

Kyomo yoroshiku onegai shimasu

Beyond the lectures on Java, one of the interesting aspects of this training program are the segments on inter-cultural appreciation and impromptu Japanese language lessons. The course, you see, is conducted by AcrossGate Global Software, a Japanese company, under the sponsorship of PhilNITS and JETRO.

Kyomo yoroshiku onegai shimasu is one such greeting that we've been introduced to. Literally, it means: "Let's do good work today. Please cooperate with me whatever happens." It also means, "I hope we have a good relationship." It's a standard greeting among Japanese co-workers, especially from superior to subordinate.

"Do you have an equivalent term in Bisaya?" our Japanese instructor asked. A dozen- and-a-half Cebuanos, myself included, scratched their heads. Hmmm, apparently one of those areas which we don't find important enough to come up a special greeting for.

Stock phrases are our crutch for ideas that we find important. There's that old saw about the Inuit having a hundred different words for snow. I suppose it applies to cultural identity, too. It's not so much to say that one culture is superior than the other, but more that there are things that one culture holds more important than the other.

The Japanese value cooperation and good work, and kyomo yoroshiku onegai shimasu emphasizes that concept.

What about us? What do we find important?