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fairfarmhand

S/o International people views on Americans

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6 minutes ago, SKL said:

Also I think it sucks that Americans are getting nervous about traveling because they figure they will be despised wherever they go - through no fault of their own.

Yes, and it's been the case for decades. One example is in the 90s during the Gulf War, Americans had to be very careful in their travel. The list goes on.

It's a catch 22 situation for the US. They are big and powerful and they do a lot of defending of the western civilization around the world. They are never going to be perfect for everyone. 

Edited by wintermom
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I am genuinely baffled. I thought we were having an interesting and useful discussion. 🤷‍♀️

Edited by MercyA
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23 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.

There is a difference between saying "I have seen one / some people from xyz country behave this way" and "based on my observation, people from xyz country are this way."  Every country has idiots and lovely people.  It is common to notice and remember the idiots.  It is not logical nor helpful to communicate this in a way that implies all the people you haven't met/noticed are like the idiots you did notice.

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4 minutes ago, SKL said:

There is a difference between saying "I have seen one / some people from xyz country behave this way" and "based on my observation, people from xyz country are this way."  Every country has idiots and lovely people.  It is common to notice and remember the idiots.  It is not logical nor helpful to communicate this in a way that implies all the people you haven't met/noticed are like the idiots you did notice.

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.

Edited by Laura Corin
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I haven’t read through most of this thread, because obviously it’s going to be inflammatory by its very nature. I mean, hey, vent your anti American stereotypes here! Lol.

It goes without saying that all cultures and nationalities can be—are are—stereotyped. And it goes without saying that poor behavior isn’t relegated to any single group over another. I’m pretty well travelled and can say for certain I’ve never been anywhere where that isn’t true. 
I sincerely hope no one thinks they shouldn’t travel  because they might be recognized as being from somewhere else. And no, your sneakers won’t give you away. Promise. 😉

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19 minutes ago, PrincessMommy said:

 I disagree.  I would much rather have this information come through a forum where there's some anonymity.  If it were in person it might feel like it was directed at me personally, which I know it isn't.  I have found this thread difficult to read but helpful.    I think it's always good to say to ourselves, "What can I do to be better?"   

My only question is how do get this information to my dh (who is easily offended, loud, and arrogant) before we travel abroad this year  😄

But that question really isn't applicable if the stereotype doesn't fit you (general you.)  So, if the stereotype is that Americans are loud and obnoxious, but you aren't loud and obnoxious, knowing that other people hold that stereotype doesn't help you "do better" because you are already not doing the thing that bothers them.

In addition, just because someone gets all offended about American behavior, that doesn't necessarily mean that the person who is offended is in the right or that the American needs to "do better."  If someone said they didn't like American tourists because they always want to pray over their food (which no one has said, I am just making an example) well, no American should chose not to pray over their food just because people from another country don't like to see them do it when they travel.  They don't need to "do better."   

 

I think the giving and taking of offense is a two way street.  I think people, when travelling or not, should work not to give offense when possible.  I also think that people, when dealing with other people who might be travelling or just within their own home and community, should presume the best in others and try not to jump automatically to take offense.  I think there will always be people who are rude, offensive, and obviously no one should be catering to butt nuggets like that.  But when people are genuinely trying, I think they deserve grace.  When people are travelling, they should try to be nice, not rude, not offensive.  When people are receiving travelers, they should give grace to those who aren't from that place and therefore will likely struggle with all the nuances and mannerisms of the place.  

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On 1/14/2020 at 6:36 PM, Arctic Mama said:

 There are annoying tourists from many cultures I’ve encountered, especially when I was in Alaska.  The issue seems to be middle aged tourist problems more than uniquely American.  

 

On 1/14/2020 at 6:53 PM, EmseB said:

Exactly! Living in a tourist town is certainly eye opening!

Yep. I live in a state with tourism as the top industry and I live in a area of the state that's one of the tourist destinations. We get visitors from all over the world. We smile and nod regardless of their behavior because they're our bread and butter. There are tourists from a certain area of the world that we locals find loud, brash, and full of themselves. If those descriptions fit Americans then for Americans to say that about another culture is really saying something.

The nicest tourists I've encountered are from Japan. In my city we don't think of Canadians as tourists because they're snowbirds. They're not tourists for 5-6 months of the year, they're residents. I think part of that is just how nice Canadians are and part is due to their part time residency. Living in a hotel in a city for a week or two is different from living in an apartment or house for nearly half of the year.

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2 minutes ago, Laura Corin said:

Even when specifically asked what kinds of behaviour it would be good to be aware of overseas?

Yes, there are ways to say it that don't imply the whole culture is base.

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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.

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While this thread had made me somewhat uncomfortable, it's also made me think about how our cultural practices (which may be neither right nor wrong) are interpreted in other cultures. Someone up thread mentioned greeting the shop owner in France as being he norm. Shopping at mostly large stores here, I don't think about greeting the store owner, though I see why that would be important in a small shop. And I can see why not doing so would be considered rude if I didn't while in France. But like I said, I don't think most of the cultural norms are right or wrong. They just are. I think we would all be better off if we extended international travelers some grace AND if we made an effort to "when in Rome, do as the Romans do."

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12 minutes ago, Lady Florida. said:

 

Yep. I live in a state with tourism as the top industry and I live in a area of the state that's one of the tourist destinations. We get visitors from all over the world. We smile and nod regardless of their behavior because they're our bread and butter. There are tourists from a certain area of the world that we locals find loud, brash, and full of themselves. If those descriptions fit Americans then for Americans to say that about another culture is really saying something.

The nicest tourists I've encountered are from Japan. In my city we don't think of Canadians as tourists because they're snowbirds. They're not tourists for 5-6 months of the year, they're residents. I think part of that is just how nice Canadians are and part is due to their part time residency. Living in a hotel in a city for a week or two is different from living in an apartment or house for nearly half of the year.

N/m. 

Edited by MEmama

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43 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?

Often it probably has more to do with confirmation bias. If someone doesn't fit the stereotype, they aren't associated with the country. If someone does, they are.

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10 minutes ago, MEmama said:

That’s interesting. It’s completely opposite where I live, also in a tourist town and state. Summer people are treated horribly, in general, by the old time locals; there’s an entitled sense of place here, of who belongs and who doesn’t. It’s an attitude not shared by transplants, but definitely prevalent in many of our communities. 😞
Sorry to say, there are groups (of, ahem, Canadians in particular) who are especially loathed due to poor behavior. Brash drunken behavior and using the beaches as public toilets will do that, fairly or not, despite historical cultural ties with same group. 

Yes, poor neighbour behaviour is not appreciated by anyone, however there are poor neighbours everywhere and there are more poor neighbours who are of our own nationality than international. The local poor neighbours hang around longer. 😋

And these poor neighbours are probably going to be equally annoying when they travel internationally. 😉

Edited by wintermom
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3 hours ago, KungFuPanda said:

 I'm completely fascinated by the differences in my shopping experiences there with and without my son. 

 

Asian supermarkets tend to be less spacious than the non-asian ones due to rental costs. People are generally used to being jam pack in a supermarket, kind of like in crowded public transport. If someone is using a wheelchair, or clutches or any mobility help, people generally would be polite and give priority of space to the person. When I had obvious difficulty walking, people do give me more room on the aisles and estimate that I would need more time to walk from one end of an aisle to the other. 

Chinese supermarkets aisles tend to be too narrow for a wheelchair to go through easily. I tried using a double jogger which is slight wider than a typical wheelchair when my kids were toddlers. I go during less busy hours to Japanese, Korean, Chinese supermarkets and people would try to extend grace.

Edited by Arcadia
Funny autocorrect
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16 hours ago, Pen said:

 

If it helps any, IME US Southern accents often come across as more mellifluous and pleasant to people who speak the native English of some places outside of North America.  Less brusque, harsh, flat and chopped than the American accent from many other parts of USA  or Canada for that matter. 

If you are traveling, I think you should dress for comfort and practicality—but some people elsewhere (France, Italy, IME) can be bothered by the informality (sloppiness?) of American dress.  Even dressed up we may appear dowdy.  Dressed down we may appear disrespectful. 

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. 

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1 hour ago, maize said:

I disagree that discussing stereotypes is rude. How can we think about our produces or stereotypes if we don't discuss them?

You are absolutely right that people are individuals not stereotyped cardboard cutouts. I have seen no-one suggest otherwise.

Cultural differences are, however, a real thing. If I had been raised in a Japanese family I would behave differently than I do, probably think differently than I do, because our culture shapes us.

And human brains categorize things, categorize people. Being aware of that is good, and being aware of the limitations of such categorization is also good. Because while a person may fall within a category they are definitely not a personification of the category and whatever representative traits we have assigned it.

Learning an outsider's perspective on one's own culture can be fascinating and informative and I appreciate people's willingness to be honest about their perceptions. Of course the views of someone half a world away are not more important and valid than the perceptions of people within a culture, but they do add a perspective we cannot provide ourselves.

 

The difference I see is that cultural differences and perceptions are fair and based in trying to understand and interact in a respectful way with one another, if done right. Stereotypes have an exaggerated, negative connotation and are pretty much the opposite of a fair, worldly assessment of those different than you.  It implies a value judgment, and many of the comments on this thread followed that vein.  Observations you’ve personally noted are different even if they may overlap.  Asking someone to list stereotypes they know/have heard about a certain group is gross.  
 

This thread bugs me precisely because there is a way to interact with and talk about cultural differences that respects the people being discussed and there is a way to do it that is insulting and rude.  As a group I expect those on this forum to lean toward the respectful side of things, so it caught me off guard 😞

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22 minutes ago, SKL said:

Yes, there are ways to say it that don't imply the whole culture is base.

That’s more why I’ve been shaking my head and feeling like I stepped into the twilight zone.  

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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.

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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.

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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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