Asian countries are known for their rich history, beautiful landscapes, and their friendly people. Sometimes though, they can also be known for the culture shock that happens to visiting Westerners. From the crazy products offered in Chinese Wal-Mart’s to the traditions of the indigenous tribes in Southeast Asia, there are several things many of the people in the world would find bizarre. These are 10 weird things that only happen in Asia.
Over the years there have been many news stories about workers in Chinese factories being mistreated and even subject to slave labor. One company in China has such horrible working conditions that 14-17 people ended up taking their own lives while on the job. Known for working 36 hours straight and not having much compensation or contact with the outside world, workers took matters into their own hands. While at work, over a period of time, 14 workers jumped out of an IPhone factory building and plummeted to their death. Instead of taking the time to regulate their working conditions, the company instead invested in anti-suicide nets. The nets were placed on floors higher than the second floor, in hopes to deter future factory workers from committing suicide.
From crazy working conditions in China, to the loyalty of companies in Japan, it can be a little confusing to western cultures. Because Japan prides itself on hiring workers for life, having mass worker layoffs is considered taboo. Instead of laying loyal workers off, Japanese companies will offer pretty excellent compensation packages, as well as counseling to potential workers who’s job security is in question. Sometimes, the workers don’t accept, and the companies take a different route to get rid of their unneeded staff. They send these workers to places called ‘banishment rooms” where the workers still get paid their full salary, but aren’t given any work or tasks. The idea for these “banishment rooms” is to make the conditions so terrible, that the workers eventually quit.
Not all things that can only happen in Asia are work related. Take Santisuk, a monkey police officer, for example. After being found with a broken arm, Santisuk, the word for “peace” in Thai, was adopted by a police officer. The officer taught the pig tailed macaque how to fetch coconuts, with the award being a bottle of milk. Santisuk became such a pleasure that soon his new owner began bringing him on patrol daily. Santisuk has improved the community relationship with the officers and citizens, and people are more cooperative when dealing with him. He has been such a hit, that many other local Southern Thailand precincts are considering getting their own patrolling monkeys.
Another completely bizarre experience one will have in Asia is paying a visit to Chinese Wal-Marts. Now, Wal-Marts already have the reputation of being pretty out there in the Western world. From questionable products to crazy shoppers, Wal-Marts in America are a spectators dream. The ones in China also don’t disappoint. The meat section alone is what nightmares are made of. People actually buy whole shark heads, and crocodiles in the frozen meat section of Chinese Wal-marts. They also have a large collection of dried animal parts as well: reptile parts, turtles, squids, and pig faces. If there wasn’t already a protein overload, Chinese Wal-marts offer a refreshing meat flavored water to wash it all down.
What sounds more fun for kids than a friendly game of Russian roulette? Though it may sound a little dangerous to Western cultures, there was actually a Russian roulette game marketed for children introduced in Japan. The game is pretty simple; the player holds a plastic gun to their head and pulls a trigger. Instead of a bullet, the toy gun has a plastic pair of feet that will knock the player in the head when fired. The idea is to pull the trigger without getting shot, and who ever does this receives points, until whoever has the most points wins!