Our economics Professor's mother has passes away, and today he flew back to Sri Lanka to attend her funeral. Over the weekend, Manisha made a condolences card to be passed to him when he come back the next week. I was the 2nd person to write on it.
We used the passing method to distribute the card to everyone. Once you get it, sign it & find another coursemate who has not signed & pass to him/her. Soon, the card reached back to me again in the kitchen & I passed it to Yoichiro, a Japanese.
We struck conversation, he was quite surprised that we made the condolences card. According to him, Japanese would not send such card when someone has died, because it shows disrespect to the person whose family member passed away. I explained to him that in the west or other countries, it is courtesy to send the card to show that we cared for such person.
Such a difference in Japanese culture.