Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Culture Clash: Nigeria, Russia and the West

Warning: this is an unserious post

American culture is world culture

Supposedly we are living in One World with One World Civilization. And when this World Culture must be specified its American Pop Culture.

How universal is American English really?

Everybody knows American English. Apart from the French.

But it seems that Russians have a problem with American English too. Read this:
Russia's energy giant Gazprom has signed a $2.5bn (£1.53bn) deal with Nigeria's state operated NNPC, to invest in a new joint venture.
So far so good.
The new firm, to be called Nigaz, is set to build refineries......
Boardroom prank?

This made my imagination run wild. What happened in the boardroom? Do those Russian Tycoons really not understand which connotation "Nigaz" has? Or do they know and do they think they would get away with playing a prank on their Nigerian counterparts? A 2.5 billion prank?

And what about the Nigerian board room? The Nigerian upper class is supposed to be English speaking. The must know that "Nigaz" or "Niggaz" has an off-colour connotation. Why do they put up with this?

Nigaz. Let's just file this under weird stuff.

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