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Your Identity = Your nationality???

Discussion in 'Perspectives' started by zionforsell, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. zionforsell

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    I am not good at explaining issues, especially at issues which are sensitive like these. So I am gonna tell a "little" trouble I have with my nationality. I am French, Vietnamese, and Dutch. I was born in France. I lived in Vietnam, Australia, Canada, France and currently living in the US. Whenever we have a discussion about politics or history in our class. I am always being put on the spot. And let me tell you, it is not easy!

    First, they assume they know about my background from the minute they glance at me. Don't you hate it when people look at you and go: "Oh man, you are German, you defintely know about Nazis and Hitler!" "You are European? Good kisser, eh?" "Oh, a third world immigrant, I hope your life is better now!" "You are Irish? Do you drink?"<= these are examples for everyone so they can relate to this issue, not only myself. (obviously some doesn't care to think so they don't know who I am directing to. To prevent any more thoughtless post like that, I will include this) Not only it irritates us, it troubles us by misleading people about who we are, what we stand for. This history teacher always makes remark about how the French hates American. Then he came by the subject of manners and stuff. He asked me. I simply said that in Europe, they treat ladies in a much more polite manner, that French meal often has a smaller portion than American meal. Then he said: "Of course you don't like American way, you are French!" Then he assumes that I am a chic who care about her hair than education!

    Second, they have this stupid wrong-placed impression on you! I was put to tears while coming across some debating over politic things. A girl made a nasty remark about a communist leader and said he was a bad man because he is communist. Then I said: "You can't say someone is bad because they are not on your party! And in politic world, no one is really bad or good. You think the presidents are all good? That they are telling you all the secrets, all what going on? Hell no! Because you don't take politic class and you are not in the goverment, how the hell are you supposed to know what they have to deal with?" A good communist leader is still better than a bad demoracy leader! I still don't understand why people care so much about communist or demoracy. The theory is never bad or wrong! If it it went bad or wrong, it is because of the people. We human have flaws. But the girl insists on US being the best country and everyone has rights here. Yeah right! If everyone is equal here, celebs won't get special treatment like Micheal Jackson when he was on court! (He was LATE to court, wearing a P.J to court, and he was forgiven. Do you KNOW what will happen to YOU if you go to court like that?)

    But this girls seem immuned to the fact that I am stating my point of jugding the personality of one person. She was like: "How can you like a communist? You lived in VN. You came here for a better life!" I don't like a communist OR a demoracist! I ,as a human being, think that everyone deserves to be jugded my WHO they are, not WHAT they are. Plus, it seems like American has a superior attitude to people who came from a third world country. WHerever you live, it is the same thing! If you have money, you live well. Do you ever see hungry children in US? No? Well, tune in TV more often. Don't look for TV shows which flashs the affluent style of celebs. Look for the charity ads and see for yourself how "best" US is.

    The thing is: if you are in America, and you are from somewhere else? Forgive me to say this. But it seems like unless you spit on your own old country -or countries in my case-, you are not "american", you are not making sense to them. You have to totally ADORE US to be "in". If you spill about where you came from, you will be garthered into catergories!

    Of course, many Americans are not like that. BUt unfortunately, some is! If you have ever seen or been in situation like this, speak up. Or if you want to express your opinion, you are welcome to! I rest my case here!
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2005
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  2. Chamcham Trigger

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    Heh.. I'm haitian, so I know all about ignorance from every angle of life. Ignorance from other races as well as ignorance from other haitians and blacks. It's really pathetic I have to say.

    When I was young I was diagnosed as a genius, so I went to school at an early age and adjusted just fine in class, when it came time I ended up going into advanced classes and such and almost every kid, as well as the teacher was astonished to see "someone like me", as they put it back then, in the class.
    I constantly hear comments like wow you're pretty smart for....then they hold their toung and sometimes they don't. Or I didn't expect to hear that from someone like you. It's really sad to see that people can still think this way today. I even found out a few years ago that one of my uncle's didn't want to accept that I was intelligent, because of his own self hatred of his race.
    Plus when I'm in a classroom everyone expects me to be on top of every little detail of haiti...I haven't even visited there before. I try to learn as much as possible, but I'm not a news team.
    I'm quite tired of all of this ignorance myself. I don't think I went through a math class without hearing some veiled racist comment from some stupid student that couldn't accept the fact that I could handle the course as well as or better than him/her.
    I could go on and on, but I really don't want to offend anyone reading this....nor do I want to bore them to death :p I just worry about my 3 younger sisters who are mostlikely much smarter than me.
     
  3. sel

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    i know exactly what you both mean, being a muslim(being put on the spot in discussions about morals/the issue of terrorism comes up etc..) and an indian
     
  4. Solemn_Thinker

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    I don't have as bad as you guys do, but whenever I tell people my nationality, I get the most idiotic responses. My parents were born in Barbados, and whenever I tell people this, they respond "Oh, is that part of Jamaica or something?" Or they use this horrible "supposed" Jamaican accent and say "Hey mon!" It really gets on my nerves.
     
  5. zionforsell

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    Yeah, it gets on my nerves too when someone makes stereotypes or does an accent to make fun of. I mean... I love accent! THat makes a language more interesting. If I am interested in Japanese culture, they gonna go: "Of course you like them, you are Asian too!" Why the hell can they just see the fact that I am a normal person who love to learn about cultures from different countries? If I wear Euro clothes it is because I LIKE it like that, I am NOT promoting that I want to be European or anything. Plus, if they learn you are from a third-world country, they will give you this ...weird, pity,..lame look. I mean, hello??? Even in Africa, there is billioners. Even in Idia, we have people who have great table manners. Why do the people have to make an assumption about third-world immigrants? Another thing is that even movies encourage this stereotype. When they choose an Asian actress, she has to have small eyes with no lids, tiny mouth, ect... despite the fact that there ARE Asian with big eyes with lids, sensual lips,... It is just stupid!
     
  6. siliconrex

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    i hate people that think im chinese when i'm not, and when they hear im korean they'll think i eat dog or hate japanese ppl.
     
  7. fuuki

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    you know what i hate the most?
    ...when you actaully do fit the stereotype...

    then you know that you only help perpetuate the stereotype further...what to do, what to do?

    anyways in response to the question the title presents, i believe that a person's culture subtly though significantly influences a person's identity. i think it's one of the basis of a person's idendtiy. often times a culture is representitive of a nationality.
     
  8. Kucheeky Badkuya

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    Well, i have issues with my name. My name is Marcus, everyone thinks I am African American but I am really white. I come from Ireland people think I am a leprachun but I am 6'6. Another Ireland thing is they think I am a Northern ireland terriost, so they think I'll bomb a popular place. That stuff really pisses me off. Even one of the colleges that I won't name treated my very suspiciously. Not that I was from New York but since I was from Ireland.
     
  9. mike_william

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    Stereotyping is fun. 90% of all standup comedy is based on it, and 100% of black standup comedy(oops, I just stereotyped). See, it's fun!

    I know some foreigners from school that don't fit any kind of stereotype you could attempt to place on their country. Actually, there is this one egyption guy I know that does everything he can to fulllfil the american stereotype, moreso than most americans could. Nationality definetely doesn't define a person's identity, nor does race or gender. In most cases though, these things CAN provide a lot of insight into how a person might behave, and that's just natural.

    My favorite national stereotype is one that I heard from an indian friend of my who is female. I asked her why she doesn't have many american friends, and she replied
    "american women are sluts". God that was funny.
     
  10. Stormy

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    Zion...you mentioned something about being seen as a Nazi because youre german, that sorta is true... like when i was in france most people would know that i was of german descent and be cool about it but a few times these old ladies wouldnt sell us stuff at their crappy store.(no offence to you). But other than that in the US people are all impressed and stuff, they dont really seem to care about WW2. Then my family is a whole other story...(dont wanna get banned:amuse:wink )

    So: basically if you look different you might be treated different, and if you do you should just put up with it and show them how big of fools you really are, and if you dont do that then youre perty much just asking for more.

    oh and mike what you said is also true!
     
  11. Moritsune

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    i understand, but it's just human nature to assume things.
     
  12. zionforsell

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    People just assume weird stuff. Like if you come from Germany, then you have some thing to do with Hitler, it is like you supported Hitler in WW2! Same if you come from a communist country. If you don't spit on your own country or bitch-talk communism, you are a FREAKING communist in need to be civilized! I mean...what the heck? why can't they just see us as normal people? I mean, normal people just wants to live, and live well, in any country they live in. They don't have any clue about politic, they work to have food. What are they supposed to be if their country is communist? I mean, heck, American got to get over their ego to make the world look like them.

    My history teacher said that he wanted to go to VN, but he said he wouldn't pay any money for a communist country. So because of politics, someone will refuse a chance to learn about a fascinating culture? Forgive me, but it is complete BS! They not gonna strangle any foreigner for wanting to view their country. I lived there, I didn't care about it being democratic or communist. I had a much better life there -never had to do my own laundry, cooked, ect. (And no, I wasn't a communist. It's just because my dad is a bussinessman in Europe and he is rich!) When I come to US, I realize how arrogant US is. They go over to other countries and say: "how can you guys live like this? Look at us! We are all blah blah blah!" without noticing that they ALONE use up 80% resources of the planet. How the hell the rest of the global can be like US while they only have 20% to use and US obviously won't give up their lifestyle? Yet they have to make fun of other nationality.

    It is true that stereotype can look funny on screen, but not to me. I hate it when they make jokes about nationality. It is horrible!
     
  13. fuuki

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    eh, not to be a bitch, but I think you were sorta hypocritical in your last post.
    i guess when you've grown up in a world filled w/ streotypes it's pretty hard to get rid of these preconcieved notions later on in life when you realize what they're all about but have already had certain filters tacked on to alter how you percieve things.
     
  14. zionforsell

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    I lived in France and there was no stereotype there. There, if you are black, then you are just black. Nothing more! They won't think you are low-life creature or that you just got out of prison. Believe me, in all the countries I have lived, none of them seems enjoy bitch-talking others like US. And hardly any of them has an ego as big as US. You can say anything wrong about other coutry and they accept it. But if you tell the truth about US (that their system is not that fair as an example!), you will see.

    The reason I am "hypocritical" is not because I am used to stereotype. It is because I AM NOT used to stereotype. And it bugs me even more when a country which suppose to be tolerant turns out to be obssessed with naltionality differences. Plus, in their opinion, US has to be the best, has to be the right one, and has to win.

    I don't ask for any critic on my posts. If you don't have problem with your nationality, then you are a very lucky person. (Or may be that your nationality is not a problem!) But there are others who have problem with it.
     
  15. Stormy

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    thats true but zion, you seem to be a bit snobie toward all americans...in reality people from other nations are even more critical towards the US... so just quit you bitching already...commie!

    jk im bored:p
     
  16. Sayo

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    dutch and germany aren't the same thkyouverymuch . . .
     
  17. zionforsell

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    Helloooo??? Did you really read? I was giving example how being a certain nationality can get you into trouble for everyone, not just me alone. I didn't mention any problem with my Dutch roots. Seem like everyone else pick it up pretty well except for you. You should read and think carefully before saying something obviously out of place! (But to prevent any more post like that, and to save me time from explaining, I added some instruction!:wink )
     
  18. -Ransom-

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    im aussie. some people think we ride kangaroos, but we dont...
     
  19. zionforsell

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    Are you really kidding or you are saying I am snobie toward all americans? Just in case if you are serious, you can look to the bottom of my first post and see that I already said there is exception. I am snobie toward those who tolerate stereotype and make fun or make trouble out of nationality. That is whom I direct my "snobie critics" to, not US in whole, but the "bad" US.

    Yeah, sometimes being aussie is hard as well. I mean, we once had a student came from Australia. He was cool. He often makes jokes and asks questions. But people keep saying stuff like: "Damn smart Aussie!" "How is your kangaroo?" They mean it to be joke. But sometimes it hurts. Or when a math teacher asks someone white a question, other would joke: "Oh, spare him, Mrs., he is not Asian!!!"

    Well, it is worse when you actually fit the stereotype. You know that it will encourage it, but it is who you are. You just want people to acknowlegde that you are the way you are because that who you are, not because of your nationality!
     
  20. EDhg

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    Sooo true.. And then since I'm asian they expect me to be all smart and that. :darn
     
  21. fuuki

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    ooo, I feel your pain...

    ok, just a question, when does generalizing become stereotyping?
     
  22. Jester12

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    my friends across the world were surprised when I told them I was an American, most said they would expect me to be a preppy jackass... yeah right! I'm my own person, I bend not to other's will, I live and will die for who I am!
     
  23. Id

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    Im Catholic/Mexican. And I like beer, women, and parities. Does that make me a drunk, lazy, womenizer?
     
  24. Stormy

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    Like i said i was just messing around sorry if you took it the wrong way didnt mean to offend you. And i do sympathise with what you say especially since i come from a different country.
     
  25. Marl

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    Gotta love stereotypes. I recently spent 2 weeks in France on holiday with on of my friends and his family. I'm English. I did my best to speak French in every situation, I didn't walk around burning villages and crying Havoc, I tried to broaden my tastes and try some of their more unusual dishes, and to top it all off, I was nice an polite to everyone.

    I do all that, and many French people still insist on scowling at me in the street (because I don't dress like them - naturally, because I'm English), deliberately being awkward when I'm trying to order some food for myself and the family I often stay with (none of them speak a word of French, sadly), and badmouthing the English under their breath when I ask for a vegetarian meal for my friend (Clearly, only English people are vegetarians, and are thus a scourge to be cleansed from the face of the Earth).

    Why? Because I'm English. ?.?

    Naturally, this "national dislike" the "French" have for the "English" isn't a view held by all the people in France. Hell, I met loads of people I liked and got along with fine. When it DOES crop up though, it makes me want to go out and do EXACTLY the things they expect me to do - to get revenge. So I speak English, walk around burning villages and crying havoc (maybe not...) and ask for Fish 'n' Chips at the more refined restaurants. So then they assume I'm a bloody Englishman, and the vicious cycle continues.

    Depressing, eh? ^_^ Stereotypes, FTW!
     
  26. Sayo

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    you obviously think far to high of the USA kids in here, i live in holland and alot of kids here who don't know where holland lies, so your so called example could easily been a mistake, and don't tell me to write a carefull reply :wink
     
  27. sel

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    hehe me too, especially your family ill bet, comparing ur grades to every other asian you know lol
     
  28. lekki

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    Whenever I say I'm Nigerian to a girl, I can almost guarantee I'm going home with dry balls:)

    But all joking, the ignorance is amazing. My country is a major oil producer, but just because it's in Africa, that place full of mud huts and spear carrying tribesmen, it can't be a good place.

    They can never believe that a big guy like me came from a malnourished, famine ravaged place. *sarcastic*

    Or I get some Arab telling me my English is good for a Nigerian.
    I think WTF? Nigeria is an English speaking country, it's the national language, I'm the one who should be complementing you on your crappy English:blink

    You think it's bad stateside, the middle east doesn't have the laws that makes it illegal to openly discriminate yet. No such thing as minding your P's and Q's.
    I get into a club and some douche bag asks me if I'm the bouncer, I have a talk with another engineer I come across and he's surprised I know so much and he asks me what I do and I tell him I'm a Mechanical Engineer, and he's like you mean a Mechanic?
    I'm like no, a Mechanical Engineer, one of the hardest engineering disciplines out there and I can probably do your job better than you asshole.

    But they find it hard to believe educated people come out of Africa and are just as good as them.

    At work, I always get degrading compliments like "You're a surprisingly fast learner" I'm thinking, WTF does that mean? Where's the surprise part work in, I too went to college and know my stuff and I chose this job so obviously I have some knowledge of it, am I supposed to be a retard?:huh

    Making matters worse is the fact that I'm the only African in a company of 1000+ employees.
    Uphill battle trying to educate everyone?

    But unbelievable as it sounds, I don't have it half as bad as the oriental Asians out here. I don't want to list their stereotypes because you'll form bad opinions about the region and the media is already doing a good enough job:amuse
     
  29. mgrace

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    I'm an Aussie.... YEAH......
     
  30. Not a Ninja

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    I believe they wrote a book about this, it was called looking for Alibrandi. For all you ignorantly uneducated foreign devils the book was dumbed down into a movie.



    I'm Australian, so according to this website:

    Every Australian schoolchild must pass an exam in crocodile spotting and wrestling. Extra points are awarded for wearing tan clothing and calling out, "Crikey!" repeatedly. Crikey is the national god of Australia; his consort is Barby. Australians sacrifice shrimp to her.

    Oh wait, I just remembered that that book sucked hard. Anywho, this is unfair generalization. Just beacuse the above passage is true doesn't change my point at all.
     
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