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International Symbols, Archetypes and Visual Literacy by Don and Alleen Nilsen 1.

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Presentation on theme: "International Symbols, Archetypes and Visual Literacy by Don and Alleen Nilsen 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 International Symbols, Archetypes and Visual Literacy by Don and Alleen Nilsen 1

2 In investigating International Humor, consider the following metaphor Life is a Journey There are many metaphors to explain life. Life is a box of chocolates. Life is a river. Life is an uphill battle. Life is a walk in the park. Life is an automobile wreck. The best metaphor is that “ Life is a Journey.” Here is proof. 2

3 3 Physical Humor Translates Well from Culture to Culture This is one of the reasons that comedians in America’s silent films had international audiences. Examples include: Charlie Chaplin Laurel and Hardy The Three Stooges Buster Keaton

4 Visual Humor? Helen Keller and Charley Chaplin 4

5 5 Political Cartoons also Cross International Boundaries as when New York’s Boss Tweed was recognized by customs agents in Spain and sent back to the U. S. BECAUSE... Cartoons are caricatures in which the salient features are exaggerated, so that people are easily recognized. The cartoons provide epiphanies, i.e. sudden insights. The point is made quickly and succinctly, much like the punch line of a joke.

6 6 Afghanistan at the Crossroads Ghenghis Khan came to Afghanistan. Marco Polo came to Afghanistan. The Silk Route went through Afghanistan. The British came to Afghanistan. The Americans came to Afghanistan. The Russians came to Afghanistan. The Kuchis travel through Afghanistan; north in the summer, south in the winter. However, Afghanistan is like New York. It’s a great place to visit, but nobody wants to live there.

7 Our Afghan Web Site: The Nilsen family lived in Afghanistan from Don taught English at Kabul University, and Alleen taught at the American International School in Kabul (A.I.S.K.) Here is Alleen’s web site called “Afghanistan for Kids” 7

8 8 Humorous Metaphors in Farsi (Iranian Persian) NOTE: In Farsi, these are dead metaphors and are therefore not funny. But to an outsider learning Farsi, they are amusing. Walking is “baa Xate yazdah” (going by bus line number 11). The 11 stands for your two legs. Ladybird is “kafsh duzak” (little shoe-smith) Ostrich is “shotor-morgh” (camel-hen)

9 9 Metaphors in Dari (Afghan Persian) Popcorn is “chos e fil” (elephant’s fart)-- recently changed to “pof-e fil” = puff Turkey is “fil morgh” (elephant chicken) Turtle is “sang posht” (rock back) Walnut is “chahar maghs” (four brains) Thanks to our Dari and Farsi consultants: Sajida Kamal Grande of the University of Nebraska, Omaha and Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari, University of Tehran

10 Mullah Nasruddin 10

11 11 Afghan Mullah Nasruddin Stories NOTE: Each story about the Mullah teaches a lesson in logic. Tying a balloon to his ankle. Looking for a valuable coin in the wrong place Stealing watermelons Lifting a heavy boulder Shooting a hole in his own shirt His donkey, the salt, and the wool carpet His three Friday sermons

12 Australia Welsh Comedian and his lost luggage in Australia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSFmipc_60s 12

13 Melbourne and Adelaide, Australia 13

14 Bruxelles, Belgium 14

15 15 Bulgarian Humor A yearly humor festival in Gabrovo, Bulgaria, attracts visitors from around the world. They have a museum called the “House of Humour and Satire” with tanks and guns made out of soft cloth. In front of the House of Humour and Satire is a statue of Don Quixote and Sancho Panza. They make fun of the fact that they are cheap. They erected a statue of their humorous founder Racho Kabacho (Racho, the blacksmith) in the middle of the river, because that was where the land was cheap. During the festival, dozens of people dress like Charlie Chaplin with mustaches, top hats, tuxedos, oversized shoes and canes. They walk in straight lines and make right-angle turns.

16 Bulgarian House of Humour and Satire Icons: 16

17 Toronto, Canada 17

18 Beijing, China 18

19 Prague, Czechoslovakia 19

20 Oxford and London, England 20

21 Equador’s Pailon del Diablo Two Spanish Proverbs: He who stumbles twice over the same stone Deserves to break his neck. “En boca cerrada No entran moscas.” 21

22 French Humor A French Proverb He who lends money to a friend, Loses both. 22

23 French Phonology Joseph (21 Ans): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c3_GEPq9-o 23

24 Marseilles, France & French Exceptionalism 24

25 25 German “Schadenfreud” Humor Germany has “Der Struevelpater,” a dark figure who burns up little children who play with matches and cuts off the fingers of little children who play with scissors. This dark figure is designed to teach children that there are serious consequences for doing bad things.

26 Nurenberg & Potsdam, Germany 26

27 Hawaii’s Haiku Scale in Oahu 27

28 Budapest, Hungary 28

29 Reykjavik, Iceland 29

30 Klaipeda, Lithuania 30

31 India’s Cand Baori Fountain 31

32 32 Indian Humor: Trickster Tales, Pourquoi Stories & Cautionary Tales Most American Indian tribes, like many African tribes, have trickster tales. The tales are cautionary, and they are also explanatory. African Anansi tales tell why mosqitoes buzz, and why the elephant has a long trunk. Indian Coyote stories and other trickster tales tell how a person should act often by demonstrating how not to act.

33 33 The Irish Rogue The Irish Rogue is not a criminal, but he is bright, charismatic, and subversive. Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl (written for young readers) is a typical Irish Rogue, in the tradition of Christy Mahon in John Synge’s Playboy of the Western World, Mr. Boyle in Sean O’Casey’s Juno and the Paycock, Finn MacCool in James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, and Sebastian Dangerfield in J. P. Donleavy’s The Ginger Man. Jonathan Swift was even being a bit roguish when he wrote “A Modest Proposal.”

34 34 Rogues are revered in Ireland, because it was the Rogues who fought back when the English were taking over Ireland. Rogues break rules and laws, but it is always for the greater good. Rogues are “entertaining and high spirited, and they diffuse violence with their use of humor. Although they are flirtatious, they seldom form any lasting alliances with women.”

35 35 Many rogues are linked to an aristocratic figure, usually an Irish rebel chief, for whom they risk their lives. The ‘rogue’ is articulate, good natured, fun loving, and exhibits an irrepressible élan vital. Rogues tend to be imaginative and resilient comic figures.

36 Israeli Humor “Chanukah Song” by Adam Sandler: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KX5Z-HpHH9g 36

37 Italy “What time is it?”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mHyRCeKxhss Italian Auction: https://www.youtube.com/embed/3e0yZCLjwfU?rel=0 37

38 38 Japanese Humor The Japanese are very serious during working hours. They consider their bosses and their fellow workers part of their family, and they do their best to be productive and impress their working companions. But after working hours, they go to Karaoke bars, drink saki, and make fun of their bosses and their companions. Such humor is usually slapstick and silly.

39 Japan: Picachu 39

40 40 Navajo Humor In contrast to Japanese humor, Navajo humor is part of everyday life. It tends to be physical, and it involves many practical jokes. Navajos will often parody white men by talking loudly, boasting, and interrupting others. When a child is born into a Navajo family, everybody tries to make the child laugh, and the first person who is successful in doing so becomes a part of the family. There is even a formal ceremony to induct this laugh- inducer into the child’s family.

41 41 In Native American cultures, “contraries” or “ritual clowns” do things backwards, as demonstrations of what not to do, e.g. they Ride their horses backwards. Wear little clothing in the winter and much clothing in the summer. Lift great weights with ease and have difficulty lifting light weights. Attack a powerful enemy, and cower at a lesser power. Say the opposite of the truth.

42 Amsterdam, Netherlands 42

43 Norwegian Statue 43

44 Peru’s Wayna Pichu at Machu Pichu A Spanish Proverb Beware of enemies reconciled, and of meat twice boiled. 44

45 Wroclaw, Poland 45

46 Romanian Humor When a group of Romanians came to our ASU humor conference in 1986, they sent us this news story about the event published in their home town newspaper. All we recognized was the sketch of Gammage Auditorium on the right. 46

47 Onesti, Romania 47

48 Russian Humor These men from the Soviet Union came to our 1986 humor conference at ASU. Our closing dinner was at Rawhide and they slipped away to have their pictures taken with an American barmaid. 48

49 A Russian Statue 49

50 Singapore, Singapore 50

51 Bratislava, Slovakia 51

52 Madrid, Spain & Gulliver Park: Valencia, Spain 52

53 Stockholm, Sweden Finger Points to a Hotel 53

54 Switzerland’s Elbsandsteingebirge Stairs 54

55 Taipei, Taiwan 55

56 Eceabat, Turkey 56

57 Kharkiv, Ukraine: A Goodbye Kiss! 57


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