Sunday, January 27, 2008
Cultural observation #23
To me, a cherry is a cherry, Bing or otherwise. A plum is a plum, be it Damson or Italian. As for a mandarin, it's basically a type of orange that's easier to peel.
Once I went to the store and bought some mandarin oranges for my co-workers. "Help yourself to the oranges on the table," I says. A couple hours later, the tangerines are untouched and I comment on that. Says the secretary: "Oh, did you bring in the mandarinid, too?" She didn't make the connection, and she's not dumb.
I have had similar things happen with cherries (kirss or murel) or plums (ploom or kreek). "That's not a kirss," a little kid will tell me, looking at me as if I am daft. "Need on murelid."
In late Soviet culture, tangerines were commonplace, while oranges were special, something rare, on the order of bananas. So Estonians have an appreciation for good premium quality navel oranges...
Nowadays, with the market offering clementines and hybrids like tangelos, I will continue to follow a policy of calling all orange citrus fruit "oranges".
Posted by Kristopher at 2:04 AM