Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Electioneering, Okinawan Style

by Pa Rock
Cultural Explorer

There is an impending election of some sort in my neighborhood.  The past two evenings I have been entertained by the sounds of a young lady barking campaign promises in Okinawan through a loudspeaker on a car.  Coming home from work tonight the vehicle drove past me, and a lovely lady sitting in the backseat waved a white gloved-hand at me.  When I ignored her, she began waving insistently, so I finally relented and waved back - an act of contrition that seemed to appease her.  (I don't look like the typical Okinawan voter, at least I don't think that I do, so I'm at a loss to explain her vehemence in soliciting my acknowledgement of her presence.)

There are also numerous photographs of candidates going up on all of the local  light poles.

I remember Okinawan electioneering from the last time I was here - cars with bullhorns, candidates standing on flatbed trucks at busy intersections harassing anyone within earshot, and photo posters going up everywhere like out-of-control blooming Okinawan weeds!  If there has been a significant change in the process over the last forty years, it is that more women seem to be running for office.  That is a good thing - but the white gloves are a bit much!

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