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Indian and Chinese voices trade sarcastic barbs: humor spot

ASIANS CAN BE FUNNY. We are not just math-loving nerds. Well, some of us are. But this weekend, Ashok Swain, an Indian academic, revived the long-running rivalry between China and India with a photograph of a road in India which was basically a string of huge potholes.

“India’s Road with Swimming Pools. Can China build a road like this?” he asked. He was being sarcastic, of course, mocking his own country.

Then Shen Shiwei, a media-man from China, replied, saying that he was right. China could not do this. “It is too difficult,” he wrote.

Then Arslan Yousofzai from Pakistan joined in. “Only the Modi government has this technology,” he wrote.

Anyway, it was nice to see Asians having a sarcasm fest.

Sarcasm can be tricky when you are working across multi-cultural borders.

I once wrote in my South China Morning Post column that “half the people on the Hong Kong stock market are crooks”.

The following morning the editor said there had been complaints.

So in the next day’s column, I printed a correction. I wrote: “Half the people on the Hong Kong stock market are not crooks”.

No problems after that.

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