Learning to Laugh again

A sense of humor is something that is very cultural.  Often, jokes (like the one above) include plays on words.  Other times, cultural references are utilized.  Sometimes, it is just that we think different things are funny.

I lived in Chile in high school and my parents came to visit.  I remember clearly passing a whole afternoon with some Chilean friends and my parents. I would translate jokes back and forth.  Things funny to my parents were not funny to my friends. Things funny to my friends were not funny to my parents.

In college, I returned to Chile for another year.  About 1/2 way through the year (so 1.5 years living in Chile), I went to see a Chilean movie with a group of 12 Americans.  We saw El Chacotero Sentimental.  I laughed and laughed.  The other Americans didn’t.  As we left, I was told that I had spent too much time in Chile as I was the only one who got it. It was a proud day for me!

Over the years, I have read Mafalda and come to love the humor so I thought I should share it on the blog (I picked something that I think, while not translatable, is funny across cultures).  Of course, I can’t quote Mafalda the way many of my friends in Chile can.


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