Wednesday 11 May 2022

The Food Shortage Joke

We keep receiving surveys to be filled from time to time. Have received many over the years- from marketing agencies, banks, food delivery partners, students, companies etc. Our responses and answers are valuable for them.

I know the importance of surveys and have personally got many questionnaires filled as part of my research for my PhD work. Feedback from the genuine sources and local respondents is very essential for study. 

As the mailbox of my Gmail account was full today, I got a warning.

I would be unable to send or receive mails till I took the necessary action.

It has happened many times in the past and every time it happens, I end up spending a lot of time trying to delete old mails and to free up space.

The other option is to purchase extra space. To avoid doing that, I chose the tough option and start deleting past mails.

While deleting old mails, many of which are still unread, I get a chance to review and reflect.

As I had received a lot of surveys, many of which had attachments, I thought deleting them would be a great idea now that their purpose had been served.

While searching, I found this "UN survey" email too sent by my sister in the year 2008!

The following is the "joke" that she had forwarded a good 14 years ago-


"A world wide survey was conducted by the UN. The only question asked was:

'Would you please give your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?'

The survey was a huge failure. 

In Africa they didn't know what 'food' meant, 
In India they didn't know what 'honest' meant,
In Europe they didn't know what 'shortage' meant, 
In China they didn't know what 'opinion' meant,
In the Middle East they didn't know what 'solution' meant, 
In South America they didn't know what 'please' meant,
And in the USA...they didn't know what 'the rest of the world' meant!"


I remember having read this "joke" and seen a cartoon version of this many times forwarded in so many WhatsApp groups over the years.

However, I do not think I had seen "India" in those recent messages.

There are far more nations more dishonest than India.

In the last couple of years, the image of India has been enhanced manifold. Though there are some self-doubting Indians who are ready to attack anyone who praises our nation, the fact is that the world is acknowledging our India more, and also holds our Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi with high regard.

Coming to the forwarded message, I agree that anything related to a serious topic like- "food shortage", can never be a joke. This has to be taken with a pinch of salt.

Still, there are many such jokes about food shortage. For me, they are "wake-up calls". 

This particular message is more like a stereotype where the perceptions about nations are expressed. 

The stereotype has been shared here.

A simple Google search shows some cartoons of the same joke.

As I have written earlier, India is not a part of the cartoons:

Images Courtesy: Google

Some citizens may disagree about why their nations have been included, and they may argue that the rest of the world does not know how great their nation is.

I do agree with that. Still, stereotypes exist.

Such jokes and cartoons help to make the sentiments, attitudes and beliefs stronger. Many who personally do not know, tend to learn and agree, and that in turn, creates and strengthens their views!

If you are asked- "Which is the most hardworking nation of the world?", what answer comes to your mind? 

To mine it is- Japan. The Japanese have shown how industrious they are. They have rebuilt their atom-bomb ravaged nation with painstaking effort and are an inspiration for their cultural values and the super community spirit they have nurtured.

The Japanese will never be shown as intolerant or dishonest or in poor light.

I guess most people, who are aware of World War-II, will answer Japan as their reply to the question  asked above.

This shows that we need to work hard and try to earn the respect.

If jokes are ever created about us, we must still win, and have the last laugh! 

Moreover, our world has to work on important goals like poverty and hunger eradication so that no citizen or country of our world ever has to face "food shortage". 

Had you read this joke or seen these cartoons before? Please share in the comments below.

1 comment:

  1. Good food joke. Better food joke is by Matie Antoinette....let them eat cake.


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