Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Watch what you wear 

Photos of Japanese grandmothers wearing T-shirts embroided with English-language obscenities, unaware of their meaning, have been doing round on the email for as long as I can remember. Even older are the urban legends of high society ladies wearing charming Oriental pendants whose Chinese calligraphs, it is eventually explained to them by a knowledgeable traveler, spell "prostitute" or some such.

But if you're a well-known celebrity, the risks are even greater - and in the long run unavoidable. Take Ricky Martin:
The "Livin' La Vida Loca" singer was in Jordan yesterday (25 July 05), where he attended the silver jubilee of the Arab Children's Congress, which was set up 25 years ago by the country's Queen Nour to promote creativity, peace, cross-cultural understanding and tolerance.

And at one point while posing for photographs with fans, he draped the kaffiyeh over his shoulders, without being able to understand the statement it carried.
In case you were wondering, the slogan written in Arabic said "Jerusalem Is Ours".


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