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fairfarmhand

S/o International people views on Americans

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37 minutes ago, soror said:

I think it is unfair to be upset about opinions given when they were asked for. There are good and bad stereotypes of every group and usually a bit of truth behind those views. Naming stereotypes and views is not saying that every person from that place does those things. Different cultures value different things, what is acceptable one place won't be in another. When we traveled overseas we did our best to be courteous and follow the norms of where we visited but I'm sure we unwittingly caused offense at some point (likely many). Oh well. 


It’s not unfair to be upset.  Everyone is entitled to opinions. Maybe if OP, who asked for input, got upset?  Sure.  But everyone answered knowing this is a large community and not just OP would reply.  

Ducking behind   “But she asked and we are simply answering her question“ (innocent eyes- blink blink) doesn’t fly with me as a defense of sharing broad generalizations. 

 

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59 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

I'm interested in the use of the word 'stereotype'.  If you experience things yourself and report them, is that still stereotyping?

Possible stereotype of British abroad: uptight, reserved, expecting British food, unadventurous, looking down on people

My observation of common British behaviour abroad: drunk, uninterested in local culture, thinking that if you speak louder and slower people will understand English, complete lack of historical awareness, expecting British food, unadventurous, looking down on people

There's an overlap between my experiences and the stereotype, but that doesn't mean that I didn't see what I saw.

 

I suspect I might have very different stereotypes (err, observations) of British travelers abroad if I lived in Ibiza vs. say, Kenya.

Edited by GGardner
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1 minute ago, LarlaB said:


It’s not unfair to be upset.  Everyone is entitled to opinions. Maybe if OP, who asked for input, got upset?  Sure.  But everyone answered knowing this is a large community and not just OP would reply.  

Ducking behind   “But she asked and we are simply answering her question“ (innocent eyes- blink blink) doesn’t fly with me as a defense of sharing broad generalizations. 

 

You are right my wording is poor, people are entitled to their feelings, whatever they may be.  It is my opinion that is unfair to complain and chastise those who gave opinions that were asked for. Reading the post I expected she was looking for broad generalizations not views on individual people. 

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37 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Even when specifically asked what kinds of behaviour it would be good to be aware of overseas?  ETA: personally, I'd like to be told what irritates people about some Brits as travellers If it doesn't refer to my behaviour, then I'll lay it aside.

Bingo! Canadians partying and peeing on public beaches is irritating. I've never done this and am unlikely to do so. I'm sad that there are people who do this and think it's acceptable, no matter where they hail from.

Poor, rude behaviour is never appreciated. I think the intention of this thread, though, was to dig deeper into what behaviours are rude, because these are not the same across the world.

For example, drunk university students could be seen as just fine and to be expected in some circumstances. Homecoming celebrations comes to mind.

Edited by wintermom
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17 minutes ago, annegables said:

I only got to this part of the thread, but based on the number of torn jeans, skinny jeans, crop tops, and sneakers, etc I saw in Paris (and all over France) worn by French people and other Europeans, I find this fascinating. Maybe it was designer torn jeans and therefore fancier? I wore skirts the whole time. My DH who grew up in Europe, commented on how much more casual the dress had become since the 80s. 

We could spot US men because they were dressed in polo shirts and khakis, all looser. Almost without fail. Skinny jeans and tighter shirts were for Europeans. 

Yeah, I’ve never seen a general difference in dress in Europe/UK than in North America.  Even in Uber stylish Copenhagen, I was never out of place wearing sneakers and leggings—all the women were. 
 

Because the stereotype of Americans standing out in their white tennis shoes comes up here all too frequently, I’ve found myself weirdly watchful of foot wear when I watch European cycling races. Guaranteed nearly no bystander is an American, but at least a solid 1/4 the fans of any race I watch are wearing white sneakers. 😂 It’s way past time to retire fashion stereotypes. Lol. 
 

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1 minute ago, MEmama said:

Yeah, I’ve never seen a general difference in dress in Europe/UK than in North America.  Even in Uber stylish Copenhagen, I was never out of place wearing sneakers and leggings—all the women were. 
 

Because the stereotype of Americans standing out in their white tennis shoes comes up here all too frequently, I’ve found myself weirdly watchful of foot wear when I watch European cycling races. Guaranteed nearly no bystander is an American, but at least a solid 1/4 the fans of any race I watch are wearing white sneakers. 😂 It’s way past time to retire fashion stereotypes. Lol. 
 

As long as we are talking about fashion... If the tennis shoes (sneakers) are super weird (not just different colors, but more trendy), it was a European wearing them, both where I live in the US and abroad. Most of the US tourists seemed to have gotten the memo about white sneakers when I was there. I almost never saw a pair! 

But in France, I saw a ton of leggings and skinny jeans on Europeans. 

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23 hours ago, DesertBlossom said:

This thread is making me quite self-conscious. I haven't done any international travelling since I was young and single, and I went to Central America where I stuck out like a sore thumb because of my looks. Now with 7 kids we can't go anywhere without making a spectacle of ourselves, even when the kids are well-behaved. A few months back we took a trip to some touristy scenic locations and even (especially?) the international visitors loudly and dramatically counted my children as we walked by. 😄

This thread also has me pondering how much of our personalities are shaped by the culture we grow up in.

 

 

 

It doesn't make me feel self conscious because I get frustrated with Americans for the same reason. It feels like, especially in crowded places, they have zero care for anyone around. Many Asian countries are the same way so that comment about it not bothering them makes sense. 

 

 

P.S. You would never find me on a cruise. I hate fairs and concerts and other crowded places.

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On 1/14/2020 at 5:39 PM, Rosie_0801 said:

Every non-American on this board uses their talking to Americans manners on here. 

 

How would it go over here if one said:

Every American on this board uses their talking to non-Americans manners on here.

Or if post #1 replaced American with any other country/culture of choice?  And people responded frankly and honestly.

I find the discussion quite interesting, but I do see why it may rankle some.

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15 minutes ago, debinindy said:

 

How would it go over here if one said:

Every American on this board uses their talking to non-Americans manners on here.

Or if post #1 replaced American with any other country/culture of choice?  And people responded frankly and honestly.

I find the discussion quite interesting, but I do see why it may rankle some.

I felt the same way as a Canadian in a thread little while ago that "to me" was very negative toward Canada. Many American posters assured me that I was mis-understanding the sentiment, though. I was in the wrong and should not have felt hurt or any other negative feelings. 

So ya, I understand why this thread may rankle some.  Having to defend all your countrymen for all the poor behaviour they have committed in the past is painful. 

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29 minutes ago, MEmama said:

Yeah, I’ve never seen a general difference in dress in Europe/UK than in North America.  Even in Uber stylish Copenhagen, I was never out of place wearing sneakers and leggings—all the women were. 
 

Because the stereotype of Americans standing out in their white tennis shoes comes up here all too frequently, I’ve found myself weirdly watchful of foot wear when I watch European cycling races. Guaranteed nearly no bystander is an American, but at least a solid 1/4 the fans of any race I watch are wearing white sneakers. 😂 It’s way past time to retire fashion stereotypes. Lol.

Right?  I always bristle when I see those posts about what not to wear.  It is OK to have your own style, pretty much everywhere in the world.  Believe it or not, most people have better things to do than pick out white sneaker wearers and think nasty thoughts about them.  As for those who don't ... that's more their problem than ours.

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23 minutes ago, debinindy said:

 

How would it go over here if one said:

Every American on this board uses their talking to non-Americans manners on here.

Or if post #1 replaced American with any other country/culture of choice?  And people responded frankly and honestly.

I find the discussion quite interesting, but I do see why it may rankle some.

 

I think this is right on.  Topic is interesting and I am not offended because well, I don't fit the stereotype and don't really care... but really, I think Americans are accustomed to being the melting pot and are open and tolerant of many cultures and generally don't want to be rude or offend anyone.  Politically correct to a fault.  So yeah, we are keeping it real and using our American manners, since the majority of us are pretty nice...

 

And what is with the white sneakers?? Only old people wear those.  I haven't had a pair since I was in early grade school since I think it was a gym req.  I have about 5 pairs of athletic shoes that I only wear for. workouts but they are purple, gray, blue, etc.  I don't even remember seeing white sneakers for sale where I shop.  This is a very tired stereotype.

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11 minutes ago, wintermom said:

I felt the same way as a Canadian in a thread little while ago that "to me" was very negative toward Canada. Many American posters assured me that I was mis-understanding the sentiment, though. I was in the wrong and should not have felt hurt or any other negative feelings. 

So ya, I understand why this thread may rankle some.  Having to defend all your countrymen for all the poor behaviour they have committed in the past is painful. 

See , I cannot even think of something negative about Canadians.  And we are near neighbors and I know a lot of Canadians living in the US. (Eta:  and I've traveled there quite a bit my whole life)

Ok, just thought of these... to be honest, I think Trudeau is an idiot and I really thought the Canadian womens hockey team members were poor sports when they took silver and ripped off their medals.  Team USA!!! 

But anyway, I do not apply those things to Canadians and have no stereotypes toward the people of Canada.  Whereas, others don't like our president and therefore all Americans🙄

Edited by parent
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28 minutes ago, SKL said:

Right?  I always bristle when I see those posts about what not to wear.  It is OK to have your own style, pretty much everywhere in the world.  Believe it or not, most people have better things to do than pick out white sneaker wearers and think nasty thoughts about them.  As for those who don't ... that's more their problem than ours.

 

 

I had a group of Russians laughing at my clothes before but that was in America and I took it in stride and ended up joking with them. Yes, they were laughing at me not with me but really it didn't bother me. I do come from the worst dressed city in America according to some magazine (I forget which).  

The Canadian comments are also interesting. Wintermom (I think you were the one who said an American could never fit in with Canadians), may I ask what part of Canada you are from. I'm going to assume back east. In talking to western Canadians, I would think that they have more in common with Alaskans than with people in Quebec. I was asked by a Canadian in Alberta if I felt more Candian than American.  My high school pal married a Canadian, Canadians lived with us in camp and built our cabin (in the bush), we don't have football teams at our colleges just hockey ( well and other less popular to watch sports).  I do find that attending museums and other things in Canada is easier for me because the crowds are more polite so we fit in better than in the cities of the contenental US.  Really we get along great with each other out west. 

 

These aren't sterotypes. Just personal observations.

Edited by frogger
Grammar nonsense
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@wintermom

I cannot add to the end of my last post, I guess because there is an emoji.

Anyway, me not having negative sterotypes about Canadians isn't because Canadians are so perfect and I have not seen stupid one.  It is because most of the people I have interacted with are normal and nice and I wouldn't generalize the entire country by a few bad eggs.

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31 minutes ago, parent said:

 

I think this is right on.  Topic is interesting and I am not offended because well, I don't fit the stereotype and don't really care... but really, I think Americans are accustomed to being the melting pot and are open and tolerant of many cultures and generally don't want to be rude or offend anyone.  Politically correct to a fault.  So yeah, we are keeping it real and using our American manners, since the majority of us are pretty nice...

 

And what is with the white sneakers?? Only old people wear those.  I haven't had a pair since I was in early grade school since I think it was a gym req.  I have about 5 pairs of athletic shoes that I only wear for. workouts but they are purple, gray, blue, etc.  I don't even remember seeing white sneakers for sale where I shop.  This is a very tired stereotype.

They are actually quite trendy. I only ever see them on teens and college students. Mostly they seem really impractical in this climate, though.
 

Agreed! 

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1 hour ago, soror said:

You are right my wording is poor, people are entitled to their feelings, whatever they may be.  It is my opinion that is unfair to complain and chastise those who gave opinions that were asked for. Reading the post I expected she was looking for broad generalizations not views on individual people. 

Yes, and now that dialogue has ended, pretty much.  I'm sad. ☹️

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10 minutes ago, parent said:

@wintermom

I cannot add to the end of my last post, I guess because there is an emoji.

Anyway, me not having negative sterotypes about Canadians isn't because Canadians are so perfect and I have not seen stupid one.  It is because most of the people I have interacted with are normal and nice and I wouldn't generalize the entire country by a few bad eggs.

So far, my only negative impression of Canadians is that an unknown percentage of them look down upon people in the US whom they don't even know.

I learned this by surprise one day when I discovered that it is an insult to suggest people in the US and Canada have a lot in common.  (I still think we do.  Sorry.)

I have had Canadian friends and co-workers and have visited Canada a fair number of times.  I don't recall bad experiences that one would stereotype.  I have had people on both sides of the border ask me if I was Canadian.

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Just now, MEmama said:

They are actually quite trendy. I only ever see them on teens and college students. Mostly they seem really impractical in this climate, though.
 

Agreed! 

Hmmm.  I never see them for sale.

I have heard of a stereotype of drug dealers/gangsters wearing white shoes, but I dont know that it's all white, maybe its more brand new sneakers and some white... I don't know.

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25 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

 

I had a group of Russians laughing at my clothes before but that was in America and I took it in stride and ended up joking with them. Yes, they were laughing at me not with me but really it didn't bother me. I do come from the worst dressed city in America according to some magazine (I forget which).  

The Canadian comments are also interesting. Wintermom (I think you were the one who said an American could never fit in with Canadians), may I ask what part of Canada you are from. I'm going to assume back east. In talking to western Canadians, I would think that they have more in common with Alaskans than with people in Quebec. I was asked by a Canadian in Alberta if I felt more Candian than American.  My high school pal married a Canadian, Canadians lived with us in camp and built our cabin (in the bush), we don't have football teams at our colleges just hockey ( well and other less popular to watch sports).  I do find that attending museums and other things in Canada is easier for me because the crowds are more polite. In other words, we fit in better but really we get along great with each out west. 

 

These aren't sterotypes. Just personal observations.

We lived in eastern Canada and there was zero chance of fitting in, the local community made certain of that. 🙄

Exclusionary stereotypes can happen anywhere. Those were eye opening years, though.

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So confused about the white sneakers.  I always used to buy white sneakers when I needed a replacement.  Like a haircut, it was just my style and I was comfortable with it.  After hearing them so roundly bashed here on WTM forums, I went for black shoes the last time.  I don't even like them.  And now I hear white is OK again.  Sigh.

Edited by SKL
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4 minutes ago, MEmama said:

They are actually quite trendy. I only ever see them on teens and college students. Mostly they seem really impractical in this climate, though.
 

Agreed! 

Yep, white sneakers are very popular on the college campus where my boys attend.

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12 minutes ago, SKL said:

 

I learned this by surprise one day when I discovered that it is an insult to suggest people in the US and Canada have a lot in common.  (I still think we do.  Sorry.)

 

 

I thought they just wanted to have their own national identity, national pride thing, and not be considered American... not because they don't like Americans.  But maybe I am oblivious to these things... oh well, keeps me happy.  

 

I just think there's good and bad everywhere but generally more good.  Some countries seem especially critical toward Americans and love to voice it, whereas I think most Americans I know would never reciprocate this.

I used to heavily romanticize other countries, especially the old country, but I am over it.  There's a reason my ancestors boarded the boat and there is plenty of bad there along with the good.  America has a lot to offer and last time I went abroad and came home, I decided there was a lot of the US that I haven't seen and prefer to travel here more before going abroad again, also much less expensive and safer when traveling with kids.  And I'll help our own economy.  Really, why give a boost to countries that hate us, and yes, some veiled hatred or at least contempt is coming through on this thread.  Doesn't truly bother me because we all know it is there already, but yeah.

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11 minutes ago, Selkie said:

Yep, white sneakers are very popular on the college campus where my boys attend.

I live in a college town and haven't noticed this at all.  I will have to pay better attention.

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19 minutes ago, SKL said:

So far, my only negative impression of Canadians is that an unknown percentage of them look down upon people in the US whom they don't even know.

I learned this by surprise one day when I discovered that it is an insult to suggest people in the US and Canada have a lot in common.  (I still think we do.  Sorry.)

I have had Canadian friends and co-workers and have visited Canada a fair number of times.  I don't recall bad experiences that one would stereotype.  I have had people on both sides of the border ask me if I was Canadian.

As a Canadian, I find this really strange as well. And apparently it is fairly accurate, though not by me personally. I'm married to a man who is dual US/Canadian citizen, and all his immediate family are dual. I know a lot of Americans personally, and I don't look down on them. Perhaps it's more of the big brother/little brother feeling rather than looking down on Americans. We have 1/10 the population, our trade economy, military security, etc. is dependent upon the US, and many Canadians go back and forth across the border very frequently. 

Regarding the difference/similarity between Canada and the US, one American comedian apparently stated something like, "Imagine you were transported to a land that, on the surface, looked just like the US, except when you really looked closely, everything was just a little bit "off." Canada's McDonalds have a different menu, our WalMart and Costco have different products. Even the cars on the road, while having similar makes, have vastly different models. All the road signs are different, and we use km instead of miles/hour. 

Then there is our money. It's colourful. It has the Queen on many forms of it. We have a prime minister. We don't say "Zee" for the letter z.

Edited by wintermom
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57 minutes ago, parent said:

 

And what is with the white sneakers?? Only old people wear those. 

Nope. They're very "in" with the stylish young people now. DS24, our family fashionista, bought a pair recently. And a couple of years ago he would have been rolling on the floor at the idea. FWIW, he's also traveled widely in Europe (multiple trips). But those trips pre-dated the white sneaks. 😉 

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1 minute ago, wintermom said:

As a Canadian, I find this really strange as well. And apparently it is fairly accurate, though not by me personally. I'm married to a man who is dual US/Canadian citizen, and all his immediate family are dual. I know a lot of Americans personally, and I don't look down on them. Perhaps it's more of the big brother/little brother feeling rather than looking down on Americans. We have 1/10 the population, our trade economy, military security, etc. is dependent upon the US, and many Canadians go back and forth across the border very frequently. 

Regarding the difference/similarity between Canada and the US, one American comedian apparently stated something like, "Imagine you were transported to a land that, on the surface, looked just like the US, except when you really looked closely, everything was just a little bit "off." Canada's McDonalds have a different menu, our WalMart and Costco has different products. Even the cars on the road, while having similar makes, have vastly different models. 

"We have a lot in common" does not mean "you are exactly like me."

I figured out that the real reason for the hate is that they assume we are looking down on them.  I have no idea where this comes from, because nobody I know thinks that way at all.  But in a country with 300M+ population, sure, there may have been some idiots saying stupid things about Canada at some point.  Well, lots of folks have said lots of things about my birthplace / hometown, but somehow it didn't translate into hate or contempt for a whole population.

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7 minutes ago, parent said:

 

I thought they just wanted to have their own national identity, national pride thing, and not be considered American... not because they don't like Americans.  But maybe I am oblivious to these things... oh well, keeps me happy.  

It would be nice to be recognized as being our own country.  Especially when bunched together with the US, when it seems like a lot of Americans don't even know where Canada is. There is a giant "ocean" between a map of the 48 states and Alaska. Some Americans think it's water, some aren't sure what it is. 😂

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2 hours ago, SKL said:

I also note that this thread is (I believe) a spinoff from the royal thread where certain non-US boardies made some rather scathing comments about folks in other countries - comments that I really doubt were meant in kindness or humor.

Lol. I was just coming back to point out the irony of my having sat patiently through British institutions and the national character being roundly criticised over multiple pages in the Royal thread, only to be accused of rude stereotyping in the spin off.

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1 minute ago, wintermom said:

It would be nice to be recognized as being our own country.  Especially when bunched together with the US, when it seems like a lot of Americans don't even know where Canada is. There is a giant "ocean" between a map of the 48 states and Alaska. Some Americans think it's water, some aren't sure what it is. 😂

There is a serious problem with the lack of geography taught in schools.  

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5 minutes ago, wintermom said:

As a Canadian, I find this really strange as well. And apparently it is fairly accurate, though not by me personally. I'm married to a man who is dual US/Canadian citizen, and all his immediate family are dual. I know a lot of Americans personally, and I don't look down on them. Perhaps it's more of the big brother/little brother feeling rather than looking down on Americans. We have 1/10 the population, our trade economy, military security, etc. is dependent upon the US, and many Canadians go back and forth across the border very frequently. 

Regarding the difference/similarity between Canada and the US, one American comedian apparently stated something like, "Imagine you were transported to a land that, on the surface, looked just like the US, except when you really looked closely, everything was just a little bit "off." Canada's McDonalds have a different menu, our WalMart and Costco have different products. Even the cars on the road, while having similar makes, have vastly different models. All the road signs are different, and we use km instead of miles/hour. 

Then there is our money. It's colourful. It has the Queen on many forms of it. We have a prime minister. We don't say "Zee" for the letter z.

 

 

I remember listening to Canadian radio (while in Canada) talking about getting Canadians to list Canadian stars, military generals, etc and they kept listing American ones. This was Canadian broadcasters talking to Canadians asking the Canadian population at large. No Americans were involved. Well, I suppose Hollywood was unintentionally involved. I can understand some frustration about constantly being overshadowed.

 

I will say that Walmart and Costco in Georgia have different products than the ones in Alaska. My in laws also love Canadian Tire. Lol 

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5 minutes ago, parent said:

There is a serious problem with the lack of geography taught in schools.  

And see, my kids know where Canada is because they've been there, infecting it with American ugliness ....  😛

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11 minutes ago, wintermom said:

It would be nice to be recognized as being our own country.  Especially when bunched together with the US, when it seems like a lot of Americans don't even know where Canada is. There is a giant "ocean" between a map of the 48 states and Alaska. Some Americans think it's water, some aren't sure what it is. 😂

 

I don't know anyone who doesn't know where Canada is or that it's its own country. Canada and Mexico are probably the most recognizable countries to Americans.

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3 minutes ago, frogger said:

 

 

I remember listening to Canadian radio (while in Canada) talking about getting Canadians to list Canadian stars, military generals, etc and they kept listing American ones. This was Canadian broadcasters talking to Canadians asking the Canadian population at large. No Americans were involved. Well, I suppose Hollywood was unintentionally involved. I can understand some frustration about constantly being overshadowed.

 

I will say that Walmart and Costco in Georgia have different products than the ones in Alaska. My in laws also love Canadian Tire. Lol 

It can easily get confusing for Canadians, as we do have so much media, products, etc. from the US. And growing up with all this happening, we don't necessarily know as children what is particularly Canadian or American. It can take some time to discover what is distinctly Canadian. Even things as simple as spelling common words, like colour and centre, and saying the alphabet (the letter z = "zed"), there are differences. 

 

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12 minutes ago, SKL said:

And see, my kids know where Canada is because they've been there, infecting it with American ugliness ....  😛

 

Yeah, I actually don't know anyone who doesn't know where Canada is, but I have heard that kids don't understand the maps that place AK and HI next to each other and kids wonder how one is hot and the other cold when side by side🙄

At least in our area, the elementary schools do not teach geography or history.  So I just blame the school system when I hear this stuff.

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50 minutes ago, wintermom said:

Yes, and now that dialogue has ended, pretty much.  I'm sad. ☹️

Meh, I’m done.  I wanted to explain why it was bothering me and try to understand why everyone else was jumping on the bandwagon.  Question answered, I’m done and said my piece. Carry on.

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Hi, I am another poster who doesn't usually venture an opinion but feels on safer ground recommending resources.  For people who are interested in world cultures, and stereotypes, The Great Courses has a short lecture series called Customs of the World: Using Cultural Intelligence to Adapt, Wherever You Are. I think its intended audience is people who do business internationally, but we really enjoyed it as part of a high school geography credit.

--LL

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3 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Meh, I’m done.  I wanted to explain why it was bothering me and try to understand why everyone else was jumping on the bandwagon.  Question answered, I’m done and said my piece. Carry on.

That is a shame. There seem to be a lot of kind and generous people on this forum, more than willing to support and listen to you.

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4 minutes ago, wintermom said:

 

That is a shame. There seem to be a lot of kind and generous people on this forum, more than willing to support and listen to you.

???? I agree.  I’m not done with *the forum*, I meant I’d given my opinion on the discussion and felt I explained sufficiently why it was getting my dander up.  But I don’t need to belabor the point or change anyone’s mind, and I can see how I was hearing stereotype very negatively and others were not.  So...? I’m moving on to other forum discussions and anyone who wants to continue discussing this can without me dropping in with my hypersensitive American sensibilities 😉

Edited by Arctic Mama
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20 minutes ago, wintermom said:

It can easily get confusing for Canadians, as we do have so much media, products, etc. from the US. And growing up with all this happening, we don't necessarily know as children what is particularly Canadian or American. It can take some time to discover what is distinctly Canadian. Even things as simple as spelling common words, like colour and centre, and saying the alphabet (the letter z = "zed"), there are differences. 

 

Oh, I know there are differences and I don't blame you for wanting your own culture and identity. I just found it interesting.  The cultural difference between my Alaskan ways and a Southerner's ways (language, dress, mannerisms, food)  are simply more extreme than my differences with Western Canada's.  That is all. 

 

ETA It was really baffling to my children when traveling to the lower 48 when there appeared to be no difference other than km signs and money when we traveled in a different country but things were continually more different when we were back in our country.

Edited by frogger
differences (other than km and money) when we crossed the border to a different country but then things became stranger and stranger to them when we were in
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1 hour ago, debinindy said:

 

How would it go over here if one said:

Every American on this board uses their talking to non-Americans manners on here.

Or if post #1 replaced American with any other country/culture of choice?  And people responded frankly and honestly.

I find the discussion quite interesting, but I do see why it may rankle some.

When I lived and taught in Russia I absolutely used my "talking to Russian" manners. My students would constantly ask for my thoughts on Russian and US politics, on certain historical events, on religion, etc.  I got great at ducking questions, haha, but also at answering in ways that were true but sensitive to their ears, especially in a classroom setting. (Not even getting to those topics it would have been illegal to discuss.) There were a few times, with people I'd gotten to know well, when I answered honestly questions like "what do Americans really think of Russians"? Or even "what do you think about *insert political topic*, really." Only in very small groups, when I knew people really well, would I say "do you want me to talk to you about Russia like you aren't a Russian, or should I be polite?" I only made that offer a handful of times, and at least one of those times, the answer was, "please be polite."

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17 minutes ago, wintermom said:

It can easily get confusing for Canadians, as we do have so much media, products, etc. from the US. And growing up with all this happening, we don't necessarily know as children what is particularly Canadian or American. It can take some time to discover what is distinctly Canadian. Even things as simple as spelling common words, like colour and centre, and saying the alphabet (the letter z = "zed"), there are differences. 

 

Yup. I felt super bad for the kids in my sons grade one class (in Canada) who were read American Thanksgiving books about pilgrims and so forth. When I asked the teacher why, she told me flat out the history of the two countries is exactly the same.  SMH. I'm not sure why I didn’t pull him out that very day. Lol

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7 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

Meh, I’m done.  I wanted to explain why it was bothering me and try to understand why everyone else was jumping on the bandwagon.  Question answered, I’m done and said my piece. Carry on.

I think I understand your point. I believe if anyone asked a polite group of Americans to list stereotypes we had of Mexican or Chinese immigrants and tourists, we'd clam up. We would not want to repeat them in polite company even if asked. A certain segment of the population may go ahead, but most people would feel uncomfortable and not want to be seen as part of that.

When it's turned onto us, however, the difference may be about power. It's ok to tease and kick the big guy, but so cheap and tacky to do the same to the less powerful. I can see why you feel uncomfortable with the topic but can understand why many, especially non-Americans- feel it is so different. I could be wrong, but I suspect the Australians would be less forthcoming about typical stereotypes about Sri Lankans. 

 

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2 minutes ago, Arctic Mama said:

???? I agree.  I’m not done with *the forum*, I meant I’d given my opinion on the discussion and felt I explained sufficiently why it was getting my dander up.  But I don’t need to belabor the point or change anyone’s mind, and I can see how I was hearing stereotype very negatively and others were not.  So...? I’m moving on to other forum discussions and anyone who wants to continue discussing this can without me dropping in with my hypersensitive American sensibilities 😉

We all have hypersensitivities toward ourselves and the things we hold dear to us. You are not alone, and it's perfectly understandable. 

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10 hours ago, Laura Corin said:

It was probably a dastardly grey rather than a virtuous red squirrel.

I've just been reading along but have to jump in and opine that of the two sorts it's the red squirrels that are the villains.   Sure, there are more gray squirrels and they are bigger and not as cute, but they pretty much limit their annoying behaviors, like raiding the birdfeeder, to the great out-of-doors. I'm not even sure what it is they do that's annoying other than that, which is honestly a very minor annoyance.  I've never had a squirrel of either sort bother my garden - that's the woodchucks and bunnies and deer.   Red squirrels may be a bundle of cuteness, but they gnaw and nibble their way into your house and outbuildings and then gnaw and nibble and poo all over the insides of your house and insulation and wiring and all the stuff you have stored in your attic and garage...    Red squirrels are real stinkers.

We've also had flying squirrels get into the house.  That was... interesting.  Gray squirrels tend to stay where they belong, chittering at us from the treetops.

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2 hours ago, annegables said:

I only got to this part of the thread, but based on the number of torn jeans, skinny jeans, crop tops, and sneakers, etc I saw in Paris (and all over France) worn by French people and other Europeans, I find this fascinating. Maybe it was designer torn jeans and therefore fancier? I wore skirts the whole time. My DH who grew up in Europe, commented on how much more casual the dress had become since the 80s. 

We could spot US men because they were dressed in polo shirts and khakis, all looser. Almost without fail. Skinny jeans and tighter shirts were for Europeans. 

 

Stereotype: a tour group in baggy Bermuda shorts and loose T-shirts with plastic designs or writing on them, sneakers, maybe sunglasses and baseball cap. 

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1 hour ago, Selkie said:

Yep, white sneakers are very popular on the college campus where my boys attend.

Really? I live in a community with a large university and I can't even remember the last time I saw someone wearing white sneakers. The only person I know who wears them regularly is my elderly mom.

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2 minutes ago, Matryoshka said:

I've just been reading along but have to jump in and opine that of the two sorts it's the red squirrels that are the villains.   Sure, there are more gray squirrels and they are bigger and not as cute, but they pretty much limit their annoying behaviors, like raiding the birdfeeder, to the great out-of-doors. I'm not even sure what it is they do that's annoying other than that, which is honestly a very minor annoyance.  I've never had a squirrel of either sort bother my garden - that's the woodchucks and bunnies and deer.   Red squirrels may be a bundle of cuteness, but they gnaw and nibble their way into your house and outbuildings and then gnaw and nibble and poo all over the insides of your house and insulation and wiring and all the stuff you have stored in your attic and garage...    Red squirrels are real stinkers.

We've also had flying squirrels get into the house.  That was... interesting.  Gray squirrels tend to stay where they belong, chittering at us from the treetops.

Here the greys are not native. They are larger and out-compete the reds. They also carry a virus that is harmless to them and fatal to reds.

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1 hour ago, frogger said:

 

 

I had a group of Russians laughing at my clothes before but that was in America and I took it in stride and ended up joking with them. Yes, they were laughing at me not with me but really it didn't bother me. I do come from the worst dressed city in America according to some magazine (I forget which).  

The Canadian comments are also interesting. Wintermom (I think you were the one who said an American could never fit in with Canadians), may I ask what part of Canada you are from. I'm going to assume back east. In talking to western Canadians, I would think that they have more in common with Alaskans than with people in Quebec. I was asked by a Canadian in Alberta if I felt more Candian than American.  My high school pal married a Canadian, Canadians lived with us in camp and built our cabin (in the bush), we don't have football teams at our colleges just hockey ( well and other less popular to watch sports).  I do find that attending museums and other things in Canada is easier for me because the crowds are more polite so we fit in better than in the cities of the contenental US.  Really we get along great with each other out west. 

 

These aren't sterotypes. Just personal observations.

I agree. As someone who lives in the PNW and travels to Canada fairly regularly, most western Canadians I encounter seem to feel a real affinity with those of us from the PNW, as we do them. 

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Speaking of squirrels, why is it that the ones in my parents' neck of the woods are almost all black now?  Always used to be gray.  Fascinating!

(I don't like squirrels kuz I have known squirrels who (a) pooped on my when I was reading under a tree, (b) snuck into my basement / attic and made messes, and (c) ate food left out for non-rodents.  I do realize it is probably unreasonably of me to stereotype all squirrels based on a few bad experiences.  But too bad.)

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2 hours ago, frogger said:

 

 

I had a group of Russians laughing at my clothes before but that was in America and I took it in stride and ended up joking with them. Yes, they were laughing at me not with me but really it didn't bother me. I do come from the worst dressed city in America according to some magazine (I forget which).  

The Canadian comments are also interesting. Wintermom (I think you were the one who said an American could never fit in with Canadians), may I ask what part of Canada you are from. I'm going to assume back east. In talking to western Canadians, I would think that they have more in common with Alaskans than with people in Quebec. I was asked by a Canadian in Alberta if I felt more Candian than American.  My high school pal married a Canadian, Canadians lived with us in camp and built our cabin (in the bush), we don't have football teams at our colleges just hockey ( well and other less popular to watch sports).  I do find that attending museums and other things in Canada is easier for me because the crowds are more polite so we fit in better than in the cities of the contenental US.  Really we get along great with each other out west. 

 

These aren't sterotypes. Just personal observations.

No, it wasn't me. I'm married to an American and we both live in Canada. I was born and raised in Alberta, but my dh and I live in Ontario now. I discovered that this is NOT "back east." East is the maritimes. Ontario is the "evil" province that turns the tide of federal politics, and is generally disliked (or at least dis-trusted) by the rest of Canada (I think). Who really knows anymore. 😉

I'm not sure what you mean by "an American could never fit in with Canadians." Maybe you could explain. 

Edited by wintermom

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