They Don’t Call Him ‘Mr Wang’ for Nothing

In the mostly unfairly-forgotten 1990 comedy Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, Peter Falk is brilliant as the titular scriptwriter for a local radio station, in the heyday of radio drama. Falk’s character has an unusual quirk: a rabid hatred of Albanians, whom he regularly inserts into his scripts as knuckle-dragging savages with an unhealthy proclivity for animals. In one scene, a horrified policeman catches an Albanian in flagrante delicto with a German Shepherd. “Is old Albanian custom to love animals in such a way”, explains the sleazy Albanian.

Certain, shall we say, ‘multicultural’ types are turning to similar excuses – and judges are buying it.

A 79-year-old Chinese man who tweaked a toddler’s penis in a recreation centre changing room has avoided conviction because the practice is seen as an acceptable sign of affection in China.

The man has already apologised to the Christchurch boy’s parents and paid them $1000, which will be put towards their child’s education…

Judge Alistair Garland…discharged Ren without conviction under section 106 of the Sentencing Act.

In Australia a few years ago, an Afghan asylum seeker passed off his attempts to first interfere with two boys in a swimming pool change room, and later to try and abduct a four-year-old girl from a sports oval, as just “cultural differences”. “For us, is not an issue,” he said. In the second case, the judge agreed and dropped all charges, citing “cultural differences”.

A would-be child abductor in Bristol similarly claimed that his motive “was not sexual” – despite the fact that the Somali asylum seeker had racked up 20 convictions, including three for sexual assault, since arriving in Britain.

The incident happened at 9.45am on August 18, when he was in the changing rooms. The young victim – who Ren did not know – was getting changed with his father when Ren pointed at him and began laughing.

Ren then reached over and touched his penis in a flicking motion. He continued laughing, and touched the penis again, gently pinching it, when the father told him to stop.

Ren told police he liked the victim because he reminded him of his grandson in China…A cultural report, prepared by Ren’s daughter, said tweaking a child’s penis was a common form of endearment in China.

Well, it’s not like the offender’s daughter would just make up any old excuse, now is it?

Academics specialising in Chinese culture spoken to by Stuff held differing views on the practice.

Victoria University Chinese researcher Dr Christian Yao said he had never heard of such an act, and “wouldn’t call it Chinese culture”.

“I don’t see it as appropriate behaviour regardless of what cultural conduct we talk about.”

[…] University of Canterbury anthropologist Dr Zhifang Song said in Chinese culture, particularly in rural villages, touching a young boy’s genitals was not offensive and would be seen as a sign of affection.

“You seldom see old people touching female children’s genitals – that would be offensive – but for a little boy’s genitals, it is not offensive at all.

Is old Albanian custom…

“It’s an old custom where I’m from” is Joe Biden’s favourite new excuse.