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Putputt
04-24-2014, 09:31 PM
I came across this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQJ0b7lSoXU) today and I found it so interesting because there's actually an equivalent to Aegyo in Indonesian culture. We call it "Manja", and like Aegyo, it is mostly used by girls, although boys do it as well at times. Then I asked around and found out there are equivalents in Japanese culture (Kawaii) as well as Chinese culture (Sajiao). I was just wondering if there are equivalents across other cultures? I find it funny that we actually have terms for it. :D

Little Ming
04-24-2014, 11:48 PM
I knew what kawaii and aegyo were, but shamefully had to look up sajiao. :o

After a little more research:

kawaii = 可愛

aegyo = 愛嬌

sajiao = 撒嬌

So definitely some overlap there.

kuwisdelu
04-24-2014, 11:53 PM
I know about kawaii, but hadn't heard of the others.

I like the culture of cute. The Western world tends to prefer hot and sexy.

I prefer cute.

Putputt
04-25-2014, 12:14 AM
I knew what kawaii and aegyo were, but shamefully had to look up sajiao. :o

After a little more research:

kawaii = 可愛

aegyo = 愛嬌

sajiao = 撒嬌

So definitely some overlap there.

That's interesting, I didn't even think to look up the characters. And eh, don't worry about not knowing sajiao. I didn't know about it until I dated a Taiwanese-American. We fail at being Ayshun. :D


The Western world tends to prefer hot and sexy.

I prefer cute.

Heh, me too. In Indonesia it's not limited to boy/girl relationships, girls sometimes do it to one another. My closest cousin and I do it to each other, albeit in a jokey way. But when I see someone I don't know well do it I'm all "Blurgh, gross." :D

J.S.F.
04-25-2014, 12:58 AM
I live in Japan so I'm surrounded by cute all the time. Babies of both sexes are called 'kawaii' and little children, too. Young girls up until teenagers/early adulthood are often seen as kawaii if they convey that particular brand of 'charm'. That means if others think they're cute.

Me, I find it forced half the time. When I first came here years back--half my lifetime ago, actually--I saw the cutesy style of dress and the way of acting. Not for me. None of the women I ever dated acted that way around me or anyone else. They acted...grown up. Cute looking is one thing; cute acting is another.

kuwisdelu
04-25-2014, 01:21 AM
Me, I find it forced half the time. When I first came here years back--half my lifetime ago, actually--I saw the cutesy style of dress and the way of acting. Not for me. None of the women I ever dated acted that way around me or anyone else. They acted...grown up. Cute looking is one thing; cute acting is another.

Burikko (adults fake-acting like children) is only one manifestation of kawaii; it doesn't completely define it. I agree, most of the time burikko isn't for me, either.

But the culture of cute extends beyond that to things like local mascots. In general, I just like that everything isn't infused with machismo like everything seems to be here in the states.

J.S.F.
04-25-2014, 01:29 AM
Burikko (adults fake-acting like children) is only one manifestation of kawaii; it doesn't completely define it. I agree, most of the time burikko isn't for me, either.

But the culture of cute extends beyond that to things like local mascots. In general, I just like that everything isn't infused with machismo like everything seems to be here in the states.
---

Yeah, I never liked burikko, either. Thankfully, though, it's been limited in my experience. The problem I have with kawaii is that it extends to everything and seems out of place at times. Nothing wrong with it as a cultural phenomena per se, but when it's overdone (IMO) then it's just too much. My wife is Japanese and even she thinks it can be overdone.

kuwisdelu
04-25-2014, 01:32 AM
Yeah, I never liked burikko, either. Thankfully, though, it's been limited in my experience. The problem I have with kawaii is that it extends to everything and seems out of place at times. Nothing wrong with it as a cultural phenomena per se, but when it's overdone (IMO) then it's just too much. My wife is Japanese and even she thinks it can be overdone.

Oh, I'm sure it can be.

Still, seems to me to be a refreshing change from the unrelenting machismo of American culture.

Certainly too much of anything can be bad.

Little Ming
04-25-2014, 01:47 AM
That's interesting, I didn't even think to look up the characters.

You mean you didn't do hours of extensive research before posting something to the internet. I'm shocked.

But yeah, my understanding of the terms is that kawaii can be more generally and broadly used to mean "cute"; whereas sajiao and aegyo refer more to how one behaves or acts.

撒嬌 does not mean 可愛. If anything "撒" makes me think there's some, um, pretending or unnaturalness to the "嬌"

愛嬌 is... ah, I have to think about that one a little more... Damn you, hippo, why are you making me think?!

Putputt
04-25-2014, 02:04 AM
Burikko (adults fake-acting like children) is only one manifestation of kawaii; it doesn't completely define it. I agree, most of the time burikko isn't for me, either.

Yuh, there are different levels of kawaii/manja. In Indo, for example, I call my older brother "koko" (it means "older brother"). When he talks to me, he refers to himself as "koko". Even when we're around friends he'd refer to himself as "koko" when he talks to me. This sounds really weird but it's the way the language and culture work. My parents would refer to themselves as Mama or Papa when they talk to us too, and they'd say, "Does Putt want water?" when they talk to me instead of "Do you want water?" They'd address me using "you" only when they're angry or when we're in a business setting.

It's kind of interlinked with manja I think, because you only do it with close family and some people grow out of it.

We don't do it when we're speaking English to one another though. :D

The other factors such as making your voice high-pitched and using the physical gestures like making "paws" with your hands are a bit more extreme and are less popular in Indonesian culture.


You mean you didn't do hours of extensive research before posting something to the internet. I'm shocked.

But yeah, my understanding of the terms is that kawaii can be more generally and broadly used to mean "cute"; whereas sajiao and aegyo refer more to how one behaves or acts.

撒嬌 does not mean 可愛. If anything "撒" makes me think there's some, um, pretending or unnaturalness to the "嬌"

愛嬌 is... ah, I have to think about that one a little more... Damn you, hippo, why are you making me think?!

Yea, I think sajiao is a little bit more...negative? I mostly see it being done in a negative way, like a fake-angry kind of way.

Wilde_at_heart
04-25-2014, 02:28 AM
I watched the video and it's almost like ... coquettishness, acting coy, or flirting (more in the sense of getting what you want from someone than necessarily wanting to date them)? I've seen similar behaviour but never analysed to that extent. But there's the face tilted downwards, rapid blinking of puppy-dog eyes, covering mouth, etc.
Men will sometimes pout, looking wide-eyed if they can get away with it.

For the French, coquette or maybe 'gamine', but the latter is as much about teasing as being cute...

Xelebes
04-25-2014, 02:33 AM
The English term for it, as best as I know, is Twee.

Twee is sometimes perjoratively used, but a whole movement of British indie pop during the 1980s became known as Twee Pop.

Wilde_at_heart
04-25-2014, 02:52 AM
The English term for it, as best as I know, is Twee.

Twee is sometimes perjoratively used, but a whole movement of British indie pop during the 1980s became known as Twee Pop.

It's always derogatory though, isn't it? I'd always taken it to mean sickly sweet cute but also a bit idiotic.

I'm not sure if the Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese etc. terms have negative connotations at all ... do they?

ETA: now that I think about it is there a Japanese/Chinese/Indonesian/Korean/Taiwanese etc. term for when it's overdone, like 'cloying' or even perhaps 'twee'? I've been in enough Hello Kitty-type shops (and my friend's brought some craaazy stuff back from Japan ) that suggests there might not be such a concept in some places :D

Putputt
04-25-2014, 03:14 AM
ETA: now that I think about it is there a Japanese/Chinese/Indonesian/Korean/Taiwanese etc. term for when it's overdone, like 'cloying' or even perhaps 'twee'? I've been in enough Hello Kitty-type shops (and my friend's brought some craaazy stuff back from Japan ) that suggests there might not be such a concept in some places :D

That's an interesting question! I'm not sure about Korean and Japanese, but manja can be used as a term of affection (I.e. "Awww s/he's so manja.") or in a negative way ("Stop being so manja!")

In Chinese culture I know of the phrase zuang ke ai, which means "to act cute", which I think is used in a less favorable way than sajiao. I could be wrong though...

But yurrr, at least in both Indo and Chinese cultures, there are definitely many factors which affect the reception of manja. The wise people know when to do it and when to use their serious voice. I always think of my cousin, who is one of the head bankers at an international bank. When on the phone to his clients, he is the most professional person ever. But he still likes having his dad pet him on the head and still calls his parents Mami and Papi (the equivalent of Mommy and Daddy). :D

kuwisdelu
04-25-2014, 03:57 AM
Yuh, there are different levels of kawaii/manja. In Indo, for example, I call my older brother "koko" (it means "older brother"). When he talks to me, he refers to himself as "koko". Even when we're around friends he'd refer to himself as "koko" when he talks to me. This sounds really weird but it's the way the language and culture work. My parents would refer to themselves as Mama or Papa when they talk to us too, and they'd say, "Does Putt want water?" when they talk to me instead of "Do you want water?" They'd address me using "you" only when they're angry or when we're in a business setting.

Is that really manja or just how the language works?

I ask because, while I don't know about Indonesian, in Japanese, the use of personal pronouns and personal names is pretty similar. Personal names are used in place of "you" most of the time. It's just how the language works, rather than kawaii. Lots of languages work this way, actually. In Zuni, a person's relationship is usually used in place of personal names, too.


It's always derogatory though, isn't it? I'd always taken it to mean sickly sweet cute but also a bit idiotic.

I'm not sure if the Korean/Japanese/Taiwanese etc. terms have negative connotations at all ... do they?

In Japanese at least, I've never heard "kawaii" used as a derogatory term.


ETA: now that I think about it is there a Japanese/Chinese/Indonesian/Korean/Taiwanese etc. term for when it's overdone, like 'cloying' or even perhaps 'twee'?

In Japanese, burikko would be an example of that. Burikko is the overdone fake childish behavior.

Here is a pretty good article about kawaii in Japan. (http://www.tofugu.com/2012/08/09/japan-why-so-kawaii/)

Putputt
04-25-2014, 11:06 AM
Is that really manja or just how the language works?

I ask because, while I don't know about Indonesian, in Japanese, the use of personal pronouns and personal names is pretty similar. Personal names are used in place of "you" most of the time. It's just how the language works, rather than kawaii. Lots of languages work this way, actually. In Zuni, a person's relationship is usually used in place of personal names, too.


I think it's both, because many parents tend to call their kids "you" when they're in the company of people they want to impress. It shows that they don't spoil the child. My own parents do this. In front of my mom's dad, my mom would say, "What do you want to do" instead of "What does Putt want to do". So in terms of language, either could work.

I also have adult friends who refer to themselves in 3rd person when talking to people older than they are. This isn't the norm, but it's socially acceptable and they don't get made fun for it or anything. I have both female and male friends who refer to themselves in 3rd person while addressing my parents, which I think is cute. I can't help grinning every time I see my friend Shirley going, "Hi Mr. and Mrs. Putt! How are you? Yes Shirley's fine..." I just want to reach over and pinch her cheek. :D

kuwisdelu
04-25-2014, 11:17 AM
I also have adult friends who refer to themselves in 3rd person when talking to people older than they are. This isn't the norm, but it's socially acceptable and they don't get made fun for it or anything. I have both female and male friends who refer to themselves in 3rd person while addressing my parents, which I think is cute. I can't help grinning every time I see my friend Shirley going, "Hi Mr. and Mrs. Putt! How are you? Yes Shirley's fine..." I just want to reach over and pinch her cheek. :D

Yeah, the referring to oneself in third person happens with kawaii in Japan, too.

I don't think it's particularly widespread outside of anime and maybe idols, though.

(Past a certain age, anyway.)

Xelebes
04-25-2014, 09:07 PM
It's always derogatory though, isn't it? I'd always taken it to mean sickly sweet cute but also a bit idiotic.

Never really considered it persistently derogatory. Twee is considered above cheese or schlock in terms of respectability in my books.

J.S.F.
04-26-2014, 01:44 AM
Referring to oneself in the third person doesn't happen all that often here, entertainment world or not. I've heard it on occasion, but it's seen as being more fake and affected than the burikko 'tude, which most people can see through and don't particularly care for. It may be necessary in business, but often it just doesn't wash and will only get you so far.

The article itself (tofugu) was interesting and largely jives with my own experiences. The fascination with cute--particularly in the entertainment world of girl idols--borders on the obscene (Lolita complex or 'Rori-con' as it's romajicized) and it's something I could never understand due the level of 'fakeness'. Just not for me.

Ken
04-27-2014, 04:19 AM
I also have adult friends who refer to themselves in 3rd person when talking to people older than they are. This isn't the norm, but it's socially acceptable and they don't get made fun for it or anything. I have both female and male friends who refer to themselves in 3rd person while addressing my parents, which I think is cute. I can't help grinning every time I see my friend Shirley going, "Hi Mr. and Mrs. Putt! How are you? Yes Shirley's fine..." I just want to reach over and pinch her cheek. :D

I refer to myself in the 3rd too. No grins or cheek pinches though. Just looks conveying, "what's up with this weirdo?" Neat there is a place where I would find a degree of acceptance.