In the early 60's an American reporter going around pre-war Vietnam was surprised to see a peasant riding a donkey while his wife, loaded down with bundles, trudged several yards behind. Shocked at this lack of chivalry, the American approached the Vietnamese and asked, "Aren't you ashamed to ride this donkey while your poor wife walks behind carrying all those goods?"
"Tradition!" said the Vietnamese, holding up an admonitory finger; "Tradition!"
Came the Vietnam War, and the reporter was back again as a war correspondent of his New York newspaper. Walking along a village road one evening he came across the same peasant he had met a few years earlier. While the man was still riding his donkey, this time his wife walked several yards in front.
"I thought tradition demanded that your wife should be walking behind you," said the American. "Why the change?"
And the Vietnamese replied with a shrug, "Land mines!"
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