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fairfarmhand

S/o International people views on Americans

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12 hours ago, MercyA said:

Oh, I am ALWAYS ready to talk up rats. 🙂

Those who have already read MercyA's Favorite Rat Story a dozen times, please skip this part. 😉 Probably there are one or two people who haven't heard it yet, so here goes (again). My friend had a pet rat when she was young. The rat's very most favorite treat was chocolate, and he had received a chocolate egg for Easter. He ate part of it and squirreled 😉 the rest of it away in his cage. The rat was getting on in years and fell ill. My friend took him to the vet, who said the rat didn't have long to live. My friend went home, held her rat, and began to cry. The rat went in his cage, retrieved his treasure--his half-eaten chocolate egg--and dropped it in front of my friend to comfort her. True story. 

Not surprising, actually, since rats have been found to display empathy:

https://www.nih.gov/news-events/nih-research-matters/rats-show-empathy-too

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2015/05/rats-forsake-chocolate-save-drowning-companion

Other studies have shown that rats also respond empathetically to companions' physical pain, but I'm not going to link them here, since they make for disturbing reading (and shame on those researchers).

Rats are incredibly intelligent, very clean, and enjoy human company. They can be taught to come when called and have been found to "laugh" or chirp during play.  

Just FYI, male rats tend to love cuddling, while females tend to be more active and ready to explore. 🙂 

If your daughter and her girlfriend end up getting rats, we will need pics! (What rabbit trails this thread has gone on... 😉)

2 years ago this month my son bought 2 rats. The box popped open on his way home and they escaped in his car. He drove to his apt and was able to catch one. He spent all night in his car, with only one restroom break, trying to get the other. He was miserable, had to keep the heater on due to snow, cut his hands reaching into tiny spots, and kept calling me ALL NIGHT LONG to tell me he still couldn’t get her. His dad said “It’s a Volvo! She’s not getting out, go to bed!” The next morning, with his shirt buttons torn from wriggling around the seats and baby rat poop on his pants, he drove  to Lowe’s and got a have a heart trap. Two years later, Opal’s an old fat Dumbo who has episodes where she freaks out and bites the cr@p out of his hand. Rat trauma is real.

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1 hour ago, madteaparty said:

I can’t address the “muzzle and leash” comment without being accused of being an egocentric and humorless American. But I will answer personally for trump as soon as all the Italians answer for Berlusconi, and say, all the Australians for the idiotic things their Pm says, and on and on.  🙄

Not sure the Australian PM has the nuclear code at his kooky little fingertips, tho.

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29 minutes ago, Dotwithaperiod said:

Not sure the Australian PM has the nuclear code at his kooky little fingertips, tho.

For real.   And that fact should scare the ever loving hell out of every single American- whether R or D or independent.  

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12 hours ago, fairfarmhand said:

I’m the op. Thank you for answering honestly. I’m not offended. Just puzzled by how things went. And disappointed that I started something that bothered so many people.

i wasn’t trying to set up anyone. 

crawling back under my rock now.

I think this thread has been really interesting to read. Yes, I think it was was a given that "feathers would fly." And that's mainly because there have been honest comments from all sides of the oceans, that is quite refreshing. It's also pretty clear that most people have trouble hearing negative comments directed at them or their homeland. Shocking that we are all human. 😉 

I'd rather hear the good and the bad, though. It's all educational and often makes one think beyond our original assumptions and view points. 

So, good on ya, non-Americans for being willing to be honest, and also very willing to stick around and respond to both positive and negative comments.

And, for the Americans, thanks for your honesty as well, and your willingness to go through this process. 

And for the moderators, thanks for not shutting down the dialogue! 

Edited by wintermom
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8 hours ago, kiwik said:

 

Also stop getting involved in other people's wars and expecting us to follow.  We probably will but we won't be happy about it.  And no you didn't ride in on a white charger in the second world war you just came in at the end when you could no longer ignore it.

 

 

I'll do my best, but I'm open to suggestions to get the other 327 million people here on board.  Has your vote managed to get all of your preferred politicians seated? While we can read the thread and be more careful about our individual behaviors, there is a limit to what your boardies can do on a national scale.  I get your frustration.  We're frustrated too.  Your last sentence illustrates how we can't get it right anyway. I'm hearing "Stay out of it and what took you so long." We'd need a whole new thread to discuss how we and the world might be better off if we closed up shop internationally and brought everyone home. 

If animosity about our politics is what is really bothering you about Americans, then toning down the gesticulating and lowering our voices won't actually help how we're seen abroad.  I would never "just tell people I'm Canadian."  That's silly and dishonest. I was also raised in a culture where I was taught never to "put people out."  My voice is quiet.  I take up as little space as possible and can read a room.  I wouldn't ask for a glass of water if I was on fire and would always just wait until you offered. My looks prevent me from 'blending' in half the world so that's not a realistic goal for me, but I am considerate in social situations. I do what I can, but I'm no match for a culture that's hanging on to anger about how the WWII generation behaved on leave. I have been very interested in all of the tips on how to do better and cultural differences absolutely fascinate me.  This thread has been very interesting.  I do wonder though, if we got ALL American tourists on board and successfully managed ALL of the offensive behaviors, would it actually help how we're viewed?

We've been taught to accept cultural differences.  As long as people are considerate, really trying, and apologize when the inevitable goof-up occurs, that's all that can really be expected and we have to meet them half way.  Where I live (and this is regional) it is not socially acceptable to be galvanized against a whole group of people.   That seems like out-dated cold war thinking that you'd lump with xenophobic old people and not a currently acceptable behavioral norm.

 

 

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Please note it wasn’t an Australian who brought in politicians. Us Aussies mostly know you can not judge a country by their politicians. In fact it is a national sport here to have a go at  politicians. I guess left over from being a penal colony.

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1 hour ago, KungFuPanda said:

 

I'll do my best, but I'm open to suggestions to get the other 327 million people here on board.  Has your vote managed to get all of your preferred politicians seated? While we can read the thread and be more careful about our individual behaviors, there is a limit to what your boardies can do on a national scale.  I get your frustration.  We're frustrated too.  Your last sentence illustrates how we can't get it right anyway. I'm hearing "Stay out of it and what took you so long." We'd need a whole new thread to discuss how we and the world might be better off if we closed up shop internationally and brought everyone home. 

If animosity about our politics is what is really bothering you about Americans, then toning down the gesticulating and lowering our voices won't actually help how we're seen abroad.  I would never "just tell people I'm Canadian."  That's silly and dishonest. I was also raised in a culture where I was taught never to "put people out."  My voice is quiet.  I take up as little space as possible and can read a room.  I wouldn't ask for a glass of water if I was on fire and would always just wait until you offered. My looks prevent me from 'blending' in half the world so that's not a realistic goal for me, but I am considerate in social situations. I do what I can, but I'm no match for a culture that's hanging on to anger about how the WWII generation behaved on leave. I have been very interested in all of the tips on how to do better and cultural differences absolutely fascinate me.  This thread has been very interesting.  I do wonder though, if we got ALL American tourists on board and successfully managed ALL of the offensive behaviors, would it actually help how we're viewed?

We've been taught to accept cultural differences.  As long as people are considerate, really trying, and apologize when the inevitable goof-up occurs, that's all that can really be expected and we have to meet them half way.  Where I live (and this is regional) it is not socially acceptable to be galvanized against a whole group of people.   That seems like out-dated cold war thinking that you'd lump with xenophobic old people and not a currently acceptable behavioral norm.

 

 

 

Providing historical context does not equal 'hanging on to anger'

Re the second bolded, as have we.

I live in a diverse multicultural city, which by world wide standards, is relatively harmonious, and multiculturalism has been accepted as our national approach since the 1970's. 

Ironically, some cannot accept cultural differences in this very thread. 

Edited by StellaM
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21 minutes ago, StellaM said:

 

Providing historical context does not equal 'hanging on to anger'

Re the second bolded, as have we.

I live in a diverse multicultural city, which by world wide standards, is relatively harmonious, and multiculturalism has been accepted as our national approach since the 1970's. 

Ironically, some cannot accept cultural differences in this very thread. 

I am starting to think the key difference is we have a very diverse multicultural country, where we embrace others cultures etc, whereas many people on this thread have stated that USA is a melting pot , I guess meaning that people have to melt off their culture and conform.

 

off to research the difference between multicultural and melting pot

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53 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I am starting to think the key difference is we have a very diverse multicultural country, where we embrace others cultures etc, whereas many people on this thread have stated that USA is a melting pot , I guess meaning that people have to melt off their culture and conform.

 

off to research the difference between multicultural and melting pot

All my school days growing up and Canada we were taught that the US was a cultural "melting pot," where immigrants were encouraged to conform to the new country they have chosen to live in. And apparently in Canada we are multicultural, where immigrants balance conforming to Canada's laws, languages of English and French, and culture, with pride of "the old country" culture, language and customs. Having never lived in the US yet, I don't know how the "melting pot" plays out, and if it's actually true that there is a significant difference from other countries will large numbers of immigrants over the decades and centuries.

This promotion of multiculturalism in Canada is supported by various levels of government through direct funding and other support for things like: international languages education is offered to children and adults in schools and community settings, and community cultural festivals. There are also the private cultural parts of cities (e.g., China town, Little Italy), private language and culture classes, and many business who sell international foods.  

In contrast, I lived for 4 years in Norway in the 1990s at a time when there were very few international immigrants. I know what it's like to live in a country with a mostly unified language, culture and religion. I also experienced the tensions that arise with the rise of "foreigners" coming to live in a very homogeneous culture that has existed for a very long time. It's eye opening! Uff a meg! Some interesting times being a foreigner, that's for sure. My saving grace was the fact that my grandfather came from Norway, so I was sort of welcome, as long as I could prove my job skills were unique and could not be equally filled by a Norwegian person. Very beautiful country and very nice people. They are getting a lot more used to immigrants and refugees now, but there are definitely still tensions.

Edited by wintermom
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2 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

I'm hearing "Stay out of it and what took you so long." We'd need a whole new thread to discuss how we and the world might be better off if we closed up shop internationally and brought everyone home. 

I'm no match for a culture that's hanging on to anger about how the WWII generation behaved on leave.

Just to address these two points — it has nothing to do with how GI's acted on leave 70+ years ago, it's about the number of Americans who, to this day, insist that all of Europe would be speaking German if it weren't for Americans. When the French and other allies refused to join the US in a totally unprovoked war against Iraq, there was an incredible amount of animosity towards the French ("Freedom fries" anyone?) and tons of media saying how ungrateful they were and the French "owed" us for saving their asses in WWII, they'd all be German if not for us, etc. That crap was all over the media in Europe, and I presume the rest of the world. I have heard Americans — including my own relatives — say those things. I have known many many people, including my relatives, who believe that America is better than any other country, that everyone in the world would rather live here, that only Americans really love freedom. Heck, I have seen posts on this very board saying some of those things. 

As for "stay out/what took you so long"... there's a difference between joining a war to defend innocent people who are being slaughtered, and starting a war that slaughters innocent people for the benefit of oil companies. The "what took you so long" refers to the first, and "stay out" refers to the latter. The US used 9/11 in a very cold and calculating way — including blatantly lying to other countries — in order to invade a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

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9 hours ago, madteaparty said:

I can’t address the “muzzle and leash” comment without being accused of being an egocentric and humorless American. But I will answer personally for trump as soon as all the Italians answer for Berlusconi, and say, all the Australians for the idiotic things their Pm says, and on and on.  🙄

Luckily for me NZ is not part of Australia but I suspect a lot of Australians agree.  Italy is not important enough on the international stage right now for it to matter.  You see you have influence so it matters what your president says.  What the NZ prime minister says isn't that important in the great scheme of things but what the US president says is.  We simply don't have the means or strength to start world war 3.  In fact we would struggle to mount an attack on anyone.

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

All my school days growing up and Canada we were taught that the US was a cultural "melting pot," where immigrants were encouraged to conform to the new country they have chosen to live in. And apparently in Canada we are multicultural, where immigrants balance conforming to Canada's laws, languages of English and French, and culture, with pride of "the old country" culture, language and customs. Having never lived in the US yet, I don't know how the "melting pot" plays out, and if it's actually true that there is a significant difference from other countries will large numbers of immigrants over the decades and centuries.

This promotion of multiculturalism in Canada is supported by various levels of government through direct funding and other support for things like: international languages education is offered to children and adults in schools and community settings, and community cultural festivals. There are also the private cultural parts of cities (e.g., China town, Little Italy), private language and culture classes, and many business who sell international foods.  

In contrast, I lived for 4 years in Norway in the 1990s at a time when there were very few international immigrants. I know what it's like to live in a country with a mostly unified language, culture and religion. I also experienced the tensions that arise with the rise of "foreigners" coming to live in a very homogeneous culture that has existed for a very long time. It's eye opening! Uff a meg! Some interesting times being a foreigner, that's for sure. My saving grace was the fact that my grandfather came from Norway, so I was sort of welcome, as long as I could prove my job skills were unique and could not be equally filled by a Norwegian person. Very beautiful country and very nice people. They are getting a lot more used to immigrants and refugees now, but there are definitely still tensions.

 

Seeing as you were apparently not taught the truth is part of the problem. We here in the U.S. were told that it was called a melting pot simply because all of the cultures of the people groups were kind of in one pot in that we were all in the same country. The many immigrants in my area were not taught that they needed to conform to "American culture" especially since we were taught that there truly is no American culture. It varies heavily from place to place and depends heavily on what people groups live in the area. See, not conforming to a culture, at least not in the last few decades in the places I've lived. The "melting pot" actually is extremely similar to what others call "multiculturalism" but just heavily misunderstood.

People will also get absolutely nowhere telling those in the country that my husband grew up in that the U.S. wasn't a huge reason why WWII was won. They would actually be very upset at that idea and will quickly tell you how grateful they are for the fact that we came and got rid of the Japanese. (The U.S. obviously isn't the savior of the world, and most Americans don't think it is.)

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

All my school days growing up and Canada we were taught that the US was a cultural "melting pot," where immigrants were encouraged to conform to the new country they have chosen to live in. And apparently in Canada we are multicultural, where immigrants balance conforming to Canada's laws, languages of English and French, and culture, with pride of "the old country" culture, language and customs. Having never lived in the US yet, I don't know how the "melting pot" plays out, and if it's actually true that there is a significant difference from other countries will large numbers of immigrants over the decades and centuries.

This promotion of multiculturalism in Canada is supported by various levels of government through direct funding and other support for things like: international languages education is offered to children and adults in schools and community settings, and community cultural festivals. There are also the private cultural parts of cities (e.g., China town, Little Italy), private language and culture classes, and many business who sell international foods.  

In contrast, I lived for 4 years in Norway in the 1990s at a time when there were very few international immigrants. I know what it's like to live in a country with a mostly unified language, culture and religion. I also experienced the tensions that arise with the rise of "foreigners" coming to live in a very homogeneous culture that has existed for a very long time. It's eye opening! Uff a meg! Some interesting times being a foreigner, that's for sure. My saving grace was the fact that my grandfather came from Norway, so I was sort of welcome, as long as I could prove my job skills were unique and could not be equally filled by a Norwegian person. Very beautiful country and very nice people. They are getting a lot more used to immigrants and refugees now, but there are definitely still tensions.

 

I don’t think there’s a huge difference between USA and Canada in multicultural aspects—aside from the Quebec part.  USA also has Chinatowns, Little Italies, and various cultural communities and festivals and microcosms. 

USA is tends to be very poor at foreign language instruction, however, IME/IMO. 

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2 minutes ago, kiwik said:

Luckily for me NZ is not part of Australia but I suspect a lot of Australians agree.  Italy is not important enough on the international stage right now for it to matter.  You see you have influence so it matters what your president says.  What the NZ prime minister says isn't that important in the great scheme of things but what the US president says is.  We simply don't have the means or strength to start world war 3.  In fact we would struggle to mount an attack on anyone.

And for all those things, not least the fact that NZ is not part of Australia, I as an American take full responsibility and will thoroughly revise my future travel plans so as to specifically not launch WW3 🙂 

 

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1 minute ago, kiwik said:

Luckily for me NZ is not part of Australia but I suspect a lot of Australians agree.  Italy is not important enough on the international stage right now for it to matter.  You see you have influence so it matters what your president says.  What the NZ prime minister says isn't that important in the great scheme of things but what the US president says is.  We simply don't have the means or strength to start world war 3.  In fact we would struggle to mount an attack on anyone.

 

I wonder if people thought Serbia and Bosnia were too small to have impact on world stage prior to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand...   

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7 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Seeing as you were apparently not taught the truth is part of the problem. We here in the U.S. were told that it was called a melting pot simply because all of the cultures of the people groups were kind of in one pot in that we were all in the same country. The many immigrants in my area were not taught that they needed to conform to "American culture" especially since we were taught that there truly is no American culture. It varies heavily from place to place and depends heavily on what people groups live in the area. See, not conforming to a culture, at least not in the last few decades in the places I've lived. The "melting pot" actually is extremely similar to what others call "multiculturalism" but just heavily misunderstood.

People will also get absolutely nowhere telling those in the country that my husband grew up in that the U.S. wasn't a huge reason why WWII was won. They would actually be very upset at that idea and will quickly tell you how grateful they are for the fact that we came and got rid of the Japanese. (The U.S. obviously isn't the savior of the world, and most Americans don't think it is.)


In the area where I grew up, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai refugee culture heavily influenced the community. Everybody knows how to pronounce Nguyen and Vinh, for example. There was definitely some friction but we also had/still have some of the best, most authentic food for miles. Wouldn’t trade that ‘melting pot’ for anything.

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1 minute ago, Sneezyone said:


In the area where I grew up, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai refugee culture heavily influenced the community. Everybody knows how to pronounce Nguyen and Vinh, for example. There was definitely some friction but we also had/still have some of the best, most authentic food for miles. Wouldn’t trade that ‘melting pot’ for anything.

 

The area I grew up in was heavily influenced by immigrants. We had Vietnamese who escaped their home country, Romanians, Hispanics from all Latin American countries, etc, and it was an absolutely amazing way to grow up.

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1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

Just to address these two points — it has nothing to do with how GI's acted on leave 70+ years ago, it's about the number of Americans who, to this day, insist that all of Europe would be speaking German if it weren't for Americans. When the French and other allies refused to join the US in a totally unprovoked war against Iraq, there was an incredible amount of animosity towards the French ("Freedom fries" anyone?) and tons of media saying how ungrateful they were and the French "owed" us for saving their asses in WWII, they'd all be German if not for us, etc. That crap was all over the media in Europe, and I presume the rest of the world. I have heard Americans — including my own relatives — say those things. I have known many many people, including my relatives, who believe that America is better than any other country, that everyone in the world would rather live here, that only Americans really love freedom. Heck, I have seen posts on this very board saying some of those things. 


This reflects the attitudes of (Max) half of Americans over 65 and fewer than half of those under 50. These perspectives are not universal. Foreign policy and military action do not reflect the entirety of the nation, neither are they written on the sleeves of all tourists. Maybe the over 65 set are over represented as tourists simply because they have the means. It’s equally possible that the boorish Asian tourists I met were overly represented because they were nouveau riche. I am not sure what accounts for the boorish Australians in Mauritius tho.

Edited by Sneezyone

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3 minutes ago, Sneezyone said:


In the area where I grew up, Vietnamese, Cambodian and Thai refugee culture heavily influenced the community. Everybody knows how to pronounce Nguyen and Vinh, for example. There was definitely some friction but we also had/still have some of the best, most authentic food for miles. Wouldn’t trade that ‘melting pot’ for anything.

 

Nguyen was a common name where I grew up also.  And I  miss Vietnamese and Thai food.  We didn’t have much Cambodian influence that I recall. 

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My parents were born during World War II in Asia. Not everyone agrees that the atomic bombs should be used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My schoolmates read that even Einstein regretted his letter to President Roosevelt. People have differing opinions of the US involvement in the Vietnam War and Afghanistan War. 

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1 minute ago, Arcadia said:

My parents were born during World War II in Asia. Not everyone agrees that the atomic bombs should be used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My schoolmates read that even Einstein regretted his letter to President Roosevelt. People have differing opinions of the US involvement in the Vietnam War and Afghanistan War. 


Of course! All the more reason to actually talk to people and ask vs. stereotype them. In my school years, these topics were hotly debated...was a prolonged war better than the bombs? What kind of precedent was set? Etc.

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27 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

Seeing as you were apparently not taught the truth is part of the problem. We here in the U.S. were told that it was called a melting pot simply because all of the cultures of the people groups were kind of in one pot in that we were all in the same country. The many immigrants in my area were not taught that they needed to conform to "American culture" especially since we were taught that there truly is no American culture. It varies heavily from place to place and depends heavily on what people groups live in the area. See, not conforming to a culture, at least not in the last few decades in the places I've lived. The "melting pot" actually is extremely similar to what others call "multiculturalism" but just heavily misunderstood.

People will also get absolutely nowhere telling those in the country that my husband grew up in that the U.S. wasn't a huge reason why WWII was won. They would actually be very upset at that idea and will quickly tell you how grateful they are for the fact that we came and got rid of the Japanese. (The U.S. obviously isn't the savior of the world, and most Americans don't think it is.)

Actually there is a big difference between melting pot and multiculturalism. A quick google search will point out the main difference . I checked multiply sources to make sure that it wasn’t just a translation difference between US English and Commonwealth English.


USA apparently is a melting pot, where people are encouraged to conform, or are viewed negatively, many US citizens on this thread have stated that the attitude of people they know is if you don’t like it there then leave

multiculturalism is quite different. And is found in countries like Canada and Australia

Edited by Melissa in Australia
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2 hours ago, wintermom said:

All my school days growing up and Canada we were taught that the US was a cultural "melting pot," where immigrants were encouraged to conform to the new country they have chosen to live in. And apparently in Canada we are multicultural, where immigrants balance conforming to Canada's laws, languages of English and French, and culture, with pride of "the old country" culture, language and customs. Having never lived in the US yet, I don't know how the "melting pot" plays out, and if it's actually true that there is a significant difference from other countries will large numbers of immigrants over the decades and centuries.

This promotion of multiculturalism in Canada is supported by various levels of government through direct funding and other support for things like: international languages education is offered to children and adults in schools and community settings, and community cultural festivals. There are also the private cultural parts of cities (e.g., China town, Little Italy), private language and culture classes, and many business who sell international foods.  

 

The Canadians I know refer to it as a quilt, which I find apt. Meaning the pieces are separate but (kinda) equal in creating the whole.

In US multiculturalism, the melting pot blends cultures (kinda) equally together to create a whole.

IME It's a subtle but distinct difference. Very little on the surface is unique.

What feels more comfortable is probably mostly a matter of what one is accustomed to. And undoubtedly perceptions on both sides of the border depend on ones location within our vast countries.
 

 

 

Edited by MEmama

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8 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Actually there is a big difference between melting pot and multiculturalism. A quick google search will point out the main difference . 
USA apparently is a melting pot, where people are encouraged to conform, or are viewed negatively, many US citizens on this thread have stated that the attitude of people they know is if you don’t like it there then leave

multiculturalism is quite different. And is found in countries like Canada and Australia


I dare you to find an indigenous (or immigrant) Canadian/Australian who has not also felt pressure to conform to ‘Canadian/Australian’ (read WASP) norms. A country may espouse multiculturalism and not actually practice it with fidelity.

Edited by Sneezyone
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Sorry, I wasn’t saying that multiculturalism was superior. ☹️ I was trying to explain it is different  to melting pot based on my google search . I wasn’t meaning to suggest that we are perfect or anything. Sorry if I worded it poorly

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15 minutes ago, Arcadia said:

My parents were born during World War II in Asia. Not everyone agrees that the atomic bombs should be used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. My schoolmates read that even Einstein regretted his letter to President Roosevelt. People have differing opinions of the US involvement in the Vietnam War and Afghanistan War. 

 

Of course they do. However, disagreeing with the bombs doesn't mean that the U.S. entering the war didn't have a large impact on it. 

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11 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Actually there is a big difference between melting pot and multiculturalism. A quick google search will point out the main difference . I checked multiply sources to make sure that it wasn’t just a translation difference between US English and Commonwealth English.


USA apparently is a melting pot, where people are encouraged to conform, or are viewed negatively, many US citizens on this thread have stated that the attitude of people they know is if you don’t like it there then leave

multiculturalism is quite different. And is found in countries like Canada and Australia

 

As someone who lives in the melting pot, I disagree with your definition of it, though. You guys can keep misusing the word if you want, but that's not what it means. We did also have many people who wanted to stop using the term "melting pot" because people misunderstood the meaning of the word (mainly people not from the U.S.)

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Just now, kdsuomi said:

 

Of course they do. However, disagreeing with the bombs doesn't mean that the U.S. entering the war didn't have a large impact on it. 


I haven’t run into a Hawaiian or Hawaii-native of Asian descent (they weren’t interned) who felt the same moral qualms that we debated in my school years.

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23 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Sorry, I wasn’t saying that multiculturalism was superior. ☹️ I was trying to explain it is different  to melting pot based on my google search . I wasn’t meaning to suggest that we are perfect or anything. Sorry if I worded it poorly


Thanks. This is how it often comes across tho and I wonder if there aren’t some real blinders WRT to the lived experiences of others. The WASP experience tends to define western culture and dominate international perspectives about our traits.

Edited by Sneezyone

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28 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Nguyen was a common name where I grew up also.  And I  miss Vietnamese and Thai food.  We didn’t have much Cambodian influence that I recall. 

 

I learned that there are actually two big pronunciations of Nguyen because we started hearing it pronounced a different way. My sister said, "No Nguyen I ever knew growing up pronounced it that way.", so I looked it up and discovered it's a difference between the Northern and Southern dialects. I love other cultures and learning about them, so that was a neat find.

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23 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

As someone who lives in the melting pot, I disagree with your definition of it, though. You guys can keep misusing the word if you want, but that's not what it means. We did also have many people who wanted to stop using the term "melting pot" because people misunderstood the meaning of the word (mainly people not from the U.S.)


In my community, we learned multiculturalism was a tossed salad vs a boiled stew. I don’t actually know if any countries that meet that test.

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1 hour ago, wintermom said:

All my school days growing up and Canada we were taught that the US was a cultural "melting pot," where immigrants were encouraged to conform to the new country they have chosen to live in. And apparently in Canada we are multicultural, where immigrants balance conforming to Canada's laws, languages of English and French, and culture, with pride of "the old country" culture, language and customs. Having never lived in the US yet, I don't know how the "melting pot" plays out, and if it's actually true that there is a significant difference from other countries will large numbers of immigrants over the decades and centuries.

This promotion of multiculturalism in Canada is supported by various levels of government through direct funding and other support for things like: international languages education is offered to children and adults in schools and community settings, and community cultural festivals. There are also the private cultural parts of cities (e.g., China town, Little Italy), private language and culture classes, and many business who sell international foods.  

In contrast, I lived for 4 years in Norway in the 1990s at a time when there were very few international immigrants. I know what it's like to live in a country with a mostly unified language, culture and religion. I also experienced the tensions that arise with the rise of "foreigners" coming to live in a very homogeneous culture that has existed for a very long time. It's eye opening! Uff a meg! Some interesting times being a foreigner, that's for sure. My saving grace was the fact that my grandfather came from Norway, so I was sort of welcome, as long as I could prove my job skills were unique and could not be equally filled by a Norwegian person. Very beautiful country and very nice people. They are getting a lot more used to immigrants and refugees now, but there are definitely still tensions.

 

You're going to find every example you listed represented in different parts of the United States.  I happen to live in a culturally diverse area, but I wouldn't have to drive more than an hour to reach a more homogeneous area.  The county I lived in voted for Sanctuary status. Our county executive vetoed it and he was voted out in the next election cycle.  Most of us hold very little political power and we do what we can at the local level.  

1 hour ago, Corraleno said:

Just to address these two points — it has nothing to do with how GI's acted on leave 70+ years ago, it's about the number of Americans who, to this day, insist that all of Europe would be speaking German if it weren't for Americans. When the French and other allies refused to join the US in a totally unprovoked war against Iraq, there was an incredible amount of animosity towards the French ("Freedom fries" anyone?) and tons of media saying how ungrateful they were and the French "owed" us for saving their asses in WWII, they'd all be German if not for us, etc. That crap was all over the media in Europe, and I presume the rest of the world. I have heard Americans — including my own relatives — say those things. I have known many many people, including my relatives, who believe that America is better than any other country, that everyone in the world would rather live here, that only Americans really love freedom. Heck, I have seen posts on this very board saying some of those things. 

As for "stay out/what took you so long"... there's a difference between joining a war to defend innocent people who are being slaughtered, and starting a war that slaughters innocent people for the benefit of oil companies. The "what took you so long" refers to the first, and "stay out" refers to the latter. The US used 9/11 in a very cold and calculating way — including blatantly lying to other countries — in order to invade a country that had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11.

 

But Stella said it has everything to do with it:  "I grew up in a culture of some pretty explicit anti-Americanism, that grew out of US soldiers during WW11 taking their R&R in AU cities (Just for historical context). " So you can see the problem of taking what SOME people say or believe and applying it to everyone from that country.  I was replying to her, not to the entire nation of Australia.  Of course you've heard Americans say ALL of those things.  There are just as many Americans saying the opposite and their voices don't count as much because it's just not interesting news. I really believe that most people don't think having national pride means you're the best at everything and there isn't a lot of room for improvement.  Lots of people have an affinity for home whether or not it's the very best home in the world.  I hear people from other countries talk about how their fill-in-the-blank is The Best.   I don't see how that's remotely upsetting or insulting to me.  It's just how people feel about their team.

So my question stands.  Does this list of tourism tips we've been given even matter? Is the truth that we are globally so disliked that the behavior of tourists can only hurt us, but can't really help us?  Most likely the answer changes depending upon who you ask.  As interesting as it is to play Monday morning quarterback years after a botched military situation, being mad at Joe Accountant while he's on holiday seems misplaced. I promise you that there are more Americans that are displeased with our Middle East involvement than there are Australians.  

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34 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

As someone who lives in the melting pot, I disagree with your definition of it, though. You guys can keep misusing the word if you want, but that's not what it means. We did also have many people who wanted to stop using the term "melting pot" because people misunderstood the meaning of the word (mainly people not from the U.S.)

Wasn’t my definition. It was the definition that was found in a quick google search. It wasn’t me misusing the word. I looked it up to learn what the difference are.

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3 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

I am starting to think the key difference is we have a very diverse multicultural country, where we embrace others cultures etc, whereas many people on this thread have stated that USA is a melting pot , I guess meaning that people have to melt off their culture and conform.

 

off to research the difference between multicultural and melting pot

Where in this thread did you get the impression that the US does not like other cultures?

I thought it was about other cultures not liking [some or many or all] people visiting from the US?

IME people in the US are accepting of visitors even without all these "rules" I'm hearing like "at least learn how to speak some of the local language" and "dress as they do" and "only eat the standard local type of food."  IME nobody here expects that of a tourist.  Nobody actually cares.  I don't hear anyone saying "gosh look how that tourist is dressed" and "why are they speaking Japanese?" and "Well the least they could do is eat a meat-and-potatoes meal."  People vary in their level of interest in other cultures, but they are not opinionated about visitors' personal style / preferences short of breaking laws and crossing moral lines.

We have many cultures here, and although the goal for some at some time was "melting pot," this "goal" was never universally embraced nor entirely succesful.  To some extent, yes, people have left behind parts of their culture that were not helpful in the USA.  Like my grandmother stopped speaking Hungarian, lost most of it, and did not care.  But on the other hand, there are many vibrant communities who are multilingual and continue their cultural activities, pass down language, etc.

Not sure what this has to do with the OP, but I wanted to clarify that.

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1 hour ago, kiwik said:

Luckily for me NZ is not part of Australia but I suspect a lot of Australians agree.  Italy is not important enough on the international stage right now for it to matter.  You see you have influence so it matters what your president says.  What the NZ prime minister says isn't that important in the great scheme of things but what the US president says is.  We simply don't have the means or strength to start world war 3.  In fact we would struggle to mount an attack on anyone.

I rather wish NZ had a bigger influence on the world. You struck me as an eminently sensible country before visiting, and even more after spending a few weeks there. And I wish we could clone your PM, because she seems amazing. 
 

I really would not be surprised to see my DD eventually end up in either Australia or NZ. She was pretty impressed with the work done in both countries. 

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

USA apparently is a melting pot, where people are encouraged to conform, or are viewed negatively, many US citizens on this thread have stated that the attitude of people they know is if you don’t like it there then leave

multiculturalism is quite different. And is found in countries like Canada and Australia

Note the words you chose to quote "if you don't like it here then leave."  This refers to people coming here and finding the existing culture / multiculturalism intolerable.  It is not about people in the US telling others they have to abandon their culture, unless of course their culture can't coexist, for example because we won't fire or re-assign a woman colleague because a guy from another country doesn't believe in working with women.

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52 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

As someone who lives in the melting pot, I disagree with your definition of it, though. You guys can keep misusing the word if you want, but that's not what it means. We did also have many people who wanted to stop using the term "melting pot" because people misunderstood the meaning of the word (mainly people not from the U.S.)

The way I was taught, the idea of the melting pot was that folks from all cultures take and give different cultural things to a new mix ... ideally each person tries to take the best from each culture he's exposed to, including his own heritage.  Like when you melt together a red and blue substance, you end up with neither red nor blue but a true mix.  In no way did it mean that the blue disappears and the red survives.

That was an ideal, but as mentioned, the reality is more complex and varies from place to place within the USA.

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59 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Actually there is a big difference between melting pot and multiculturalism. A quick google search will point out the main difference . I checked multiply sources to make sure that it wasn’t just a translation difference between US English and Commonwealth English.


USA apparently is a melting pot, where people are encouraged to conform, or are viewed negatively, many US citizens on this thread have stated that the attitude of people they know is if you don’t like it there then leave

multiculturalism is quite different. And is found in countries like Canada and Australia

 

45 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

As someone who lives in the melting pot, I disagree with your definition of it, though. You guys can keep misusing the word if you want, but that's not what it means. We did also have many people who wanted to stop using the term "melting pot" because people misunderstood the meaning of the word (mainly people not from the U.S.)

 

I blame School House Rock and their catchy tunes for the "melting pot" idea never going away even though it was never really a thing.  Even though kids have been taught for generations that "It's really more of a salad bowl" nobody believes it.  If Americans were THAT good at blending in this thread wouldn't exist.  Anyone can become a "real" American without being expected to give up their culture of origin.  It's why you can't throw a rock with out hitting an ethnic festival with awesome street food.  Maybe our enthusiasm for every type of food is why everyone thinks we're fat.  I may have to slow up on the food posts.

4 minutes ago, dmmetler said:

I rather wish NZ had a bigger influence on the world. You struck me as an eminently sensible country before visiting, and even more after spending a few weeks there. And I wish we could clone your PM, because she seems amazing. 
 

I really would not be surprised to see my DD eventually end up in either Australia or NZ. She was pretty impressed with the work done in both countries. 

 

I have a plan. Hear me out.  We'll trade leaders! Then everyone will be less worried.  How can they say no.  It's for the greater good!

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9 minutes ago, SKL said:

Note the words you chose to quote "if you don't like it here then leave."  This refers to people coming here and finding the existing culture / multiculturalism intolerable.  It is not about people in the US telling others they have to abandon their culture, unless of course their culture can't coexist, for example because we won't fire or re-assign a woman colleague because a guy from another country doesn't believe in working with women.

I'm sorry but I find the bold to be a bunch of bs and I'm American. I feel like I see "if you don't like it, leave" on almost a daily basis and it isn't because the people being told to leave find multiculturalism intolerable. My mouth actually flew open when I read this. It's just so far from the truth. 

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23 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

So my question stands.  Does this list of tourism tips we've been given even matter? Is the truth that we are globally so disliked that the behavior of tourists can only hurt us, but can't really help us?  Most likely the answer changes depending upon who you ask.  As interesting as it is to play Monday morning quarterback years after a botched military situation, being mad at Joe Accountant while he's on holiday seems misplaced. I promise you that there are more Americans that are displeased with our Middle East involvement than there are Australians.  

Yes, I think this depends on the individual in whatever country.  Some are biased to the point of looking for faults the instant they suspect a US person may be in the vicinity.  Others are open-minded or have better things to think about.  And still others are positively curious about the US culture(s) because cultures are fascinating.

The same is true of US people too.

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4 minutes ago, Joker said:

I'm sorry but I find the bold to be a bunch of bs and I'm American. I feel like I see "if you don't like it, leave" on almost a daily basis and it isn't because the people being told to leave find multiculturalism intolerable. My mouth actually flew open when I read this. It's just so far from the truth. 

Well maybe you live in a different kind of community than I do.

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Of course today some people would call "melting pot" "cultural appropriation." 😛

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1 hour ago, kdsuomi said:

 

I learned that there are actually two big pronunciations of Nguyen because we started hearing it pronounced a different way. My sister said, "No Nguyen I ever knew growing up pronounced it that way.", so I looked it up and discovered it's a difference between the Northern and Southern dialects. I love other cultures and learning about them, so that was a neat find.

 

Interesting.  Where I was it sounded like “win” - what’s the other way?

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49 minutes ago, Melissa in Australia said:

Wasn’t my definition. It was the definition that was found in a quick google search. It wasn’t me misusing the word. I looked it up to learn what the difference are.

Do you mind linking where you found that definition?  Because it isn't what was taught here IME.

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9 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Interesting.  Where I was it sounded like “win” - what’s the other way?

 

It's along the lines of "new-win" but obviously not exactly. Your pronunciation from what I learned is the Southern pronunciation and not what people I knew with that name said. However, it makes sense with the Vietnamese demographics we had that they used the Northern pronunciation.

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15 hours ago, kiwik said:

  And no you didn't ride in on a white charger in the second world war you just came in at the end when you could no longer ignore it.

The war lasted almost 6 years and the US entered after around 2 1/3 years and had been providing significant material assistance prior.  "Came in at the end" is both petty and wrong.

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10 minutes ago, Pen said:

 

Interesting.  Where I was it sounded like “win” - what’s the other way?

My family sponsored a Vietnamese family around 40 years ago, they were called ‘boat people’ then, in Houston. Their 8 year old boy eventually moved in with us. They said the name was pronounced Wen or N-wen, depending on what part of the country you were from.

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3 minutes ago, kdsuomi said:

 

It's along the lines of "new-win" but obviously not exactly. Your pronunciation from what I learned is the Southern pronunciation and not what people I knew with that name said. However, it makes sense with the Vietnamese demographics we had that they used the Northern pronunciation.

It is a sound that reminds me of the "gb" sound in certain African languages. Not that it sounds like Nguyen, but rather that it is a blending of the letters and mouth position that we dont have in English that I know of. So it mostly sounds like Win, but the initial w has something more in it that is like blending an n and a w together. But I am not Vietnamese, so I could just be talking out my rear.

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27 minutes ago, ChocolateReignRemix said:

The war lasted almost 6 years and the US entered after around 2 1/3 years and had been providing significant material assistance prior.  "Came in at the end" is both petty and wrong.

 

Probably less about being petty than poor or different history teaching. Understandably, US history doesn't feature highly in the curriculum in other places. Any US history I know I've learned in my own time.

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