Ah... But you forget that in Asia, the older you are the more respect you can command - almost immediately. Old(er) age is so much more revered here than in the West.TriciaG wrote:OK, that's not Leacock's reasoning. LOL! He says:In China conversation, between strangers after introduction, is always opened by the question, “And how old are YOU?" This strikes me as singularly apt and sensible. Here is the one thing that is common ground between any two people, high or low, rich or poor–how far are you on your pilgrimage in life?
This goes so far as to, when the big noodle is speaking (and I don't necessarily mean "giving a speech"), then everybody else has to STFU. That's considered completely normal, no matter what the big noodle is actually talking about (can be any type of garbage really, you're not allowed to voice opposition). You get extra points for nodding at appropriate points, and if you want to really suck up, you should take notes (I'm serious, I've seen that in Japan!).
It's a very fine hierarchy here, with a lot of (not always very explicit) implications: The younger one pays respects, the older one for dinner.