Talangka is a very small crab, like a shore crab.

Scientific name: Hemigrapsus sanguineus
Common English name: Asian shore crab

Talangka is much smaller than the crabs referred to as alimasag and alimango.

This shore crab can now be found on the Atlantic coast of the United States!

Taba ng talangka (“fat” from tiny crabs) is a Filipino delicacy. The “fat” is actually crab eggs or roe.

Filipinos are said to have a talangka mentality.

They like to pull down people who are on their way to success.

If you look at a basket of tiny crabs, you will see them all desperately trying to climb out. Each crab is intent on pulling down the crab who is a bit higher up the side of the basket. In the end, very few of them, if any, make it out the their container.

This cultural trait is in contrast to that of, say, the Northeast Asians. In those countries, witnessing someone becoming successful produces a feeling of inspiration. A successful person is someone to be emulated. Children and adults read biographies of famous people in order to motivate themselves to work hard and improve themselves.

In the Philippines, the first instinct when seeing someone succeeding is to feel inggit (envy) and resentment and to think of ways to prevent that person from achieving more than oneself has. Common techniques used include sabotage, ruining one’s reputation by spreading unsavory rumors, or passive-aggressively withholding assistance.

The term talangka mentality has been translated into English as “crab mentality” and “ugly infighting.”

Australians and Brits refer to it as the Tall Poppy syndrome.

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