I had only been in Malaysia a few hours before I found myself in church.
The pastor spoke English in a thick Chinese-Malaysian accent.
I sat a few rows back from the front, straining to listen and understand what he was saying.
The message was about sin, and how it ruins lives.
He began to use an illustration about stepping in dog doo-doo and how that was like sin – messy, smelly, leaving a trace wherever it was tracked.
Except he didn’t use the word “doo-doo”… or even crap or poop. He used the word $hit. He used it over and over and over again.
He seriously used it at least twenty time.s
At first I thought no, surely that’s not what he’s saying. But then, as giggles from the rest of the non-Malaysians began to errupt from my row, I realized he was indeed using a swear word in his message.
I learned something new that day.
Apparently what is a swear word in one culture is not in another.
(Hello and welcome to Malaysia.)
Needless to say I will never, ever forget his illustration abotu sin.
Q for you: Living in Australia I’m faced with this often – words that are considered rude in America aren’t here and vice-versa, but none make me chuckle like the swearing Malaysian pastor. What defines a swear word to you?