My Spiel:

If anyone mentions my dreadlocks to me, I tell them the following spiel:
"Thank you for mentioning my hair. Anyone who is kind enough to mention my hair..."

at which point I pull the scissors from my pocket
" asked to cut off one of my dreadlocks!"

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Encounter 15: The Third Refusal

As I rounded the more touristy section of the island on my way back from the windy cape, there was still a rather a buzz in the air. I walked along the seafront past the shops which were doing a roaring trade with the people going to and from a music festival along by the harbour. A lady dressed in black said something along the lines of "long hair" as I passed by, so I stopped to thank her, and presented my usual spiel. Despite taking hold of the scissors, the and her daughter were very convinced that to cut any of my dreadlocks off would be "mottainai" - a terrible waste. 

I told her that I had already had 12 removed in this way, and she would be doing me a favour, since I hoped to get rid of my dreadlocks as soon as possible using this method. I begged her - I even got down on my knees as I proffered my dreadlock, and she got as far as brandishing the scissors... 

...but they both finally refused, giving the excuse that, "we don't do that in Japanese culture." 

The ladies were not convinced.
 Of course you don't, I thought: we don't do that in any culture! This is about going beyond boundaries of what is thought of as regular human cultural behaviour and seeing what happens if we do things in a different way.

 Before we parted, the ladies asked me *why* I was having other people cut my dreadlocks off for me. I almost said "because I can't bring myself to cut them off," and while there may be a certain truth in that, there is a deeper reason to do this act by proxy, some of which I explained to these ladies: this is a more social method. It gets people involved, and widens the effect of the haircut. Many stories will come out of these encounters, and stories are what we humans thrive on. 

I gave up on the ladies who refused, and went off to sit on a bench, past which a flow of people wandered back to the mainland.

Please Click Here to view the following encounter.

No comments:

Post a Comment