You wouldn't think war would bring out a people's sense of humour but, in Afghanistan, the cross-cultural interaction between locals and troops actually became the subject for of some very funny stories.
When a country is involved in a war, humour is usually miles away.
Clearly, this has very much been the case of the war in Afghanistan; however, Eileen Guo discovered that some encounters within this devastating war actually formed the basis for a degree of laughter.
People in the country turned some encounters with NATO troops into full-blown anecdotes which were then shared at communal gatherings. Most of these stories were about cultural clashes and miscommunication.
These tales have been culturally very interesting, as they reveal what Afghans say about foreigners when they are all by themselves.
Guo gave the example of a US military trainer who visited an Afghan government official. As he had noticed new computers had been delivered, he tried to make polite conversation about them and asked ‘How’s the system?’
His interpreter, however, had difficulties with the Southern accent of the American and asked the government official, ‘How’s your sister?’ This caused quite some confusion and even resulted in the Afghan leaving the room as he wasn’t very pleased with the fact that his sister was ‘on the agenda.’
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