If you haven’t already, check out Part 1. Continuing the discussion of stereotypes other cultures have of Americans…
We are self-centered.
We are used to being a world power. We’re used to having our voice heard. We’re used to having a massive portion of the world’s wealth. So it seems reasonable that people should get on board with our ideas. It even seems reasonable that we should be able to talk to anyone anywhere in our own language. Which leads to the next stereotype…
We are monolingual.
Again, the stereotype is only a stereotype, but perhaps it’s based on a grain of truth. If an American is not growing up in a multi-cultural home, or didn’t grow up overseas, there’s a good chance that they made it through their high school Spanish and haven’t looked back. Why? Well, English is one of the most useful languages to know. Therefore, many people know it all over the world. So we begin to expect that others know it, and use it when they’re around us, not considering how much more challenging it is to operate in a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th (etc.) language. In our defense, it’s hardly fair to compare Americans to Europeans for example. America was colonized by the British and we kept a version (albeit an altered version) of that language. And in this mass of land, most everyone speaks English. In the Midwest, we can drive hours and hours in any direction and be surrounded by English speakers. In Europe, on the other hand, one might drive an hour or two and find a country or region that operates in another language. In short, the worlds are much closer and therefore the necessity of learning more than one language is greater than in America.
We are fat.
Restaurants serve massive portions. We eat too much. Maybe because we’re used to having so much.
We are rich. (Mostly from third world cultures)
Many this there is no poverty in America. Being an American automatically speaks of great wealth which you should be willing to share with those who have less than you.
It is hard to stereotype a monstrous country of diverse people. And I’ve only listed a handful of the stereotypes that are out there. Do any of these define me? You?
Most of these stereotypes are pretty negative. What are some positive points of being an American? Because, despite all of these negative stereotypes, I’m still glad to be an American…
Stay tuned for Part 3!