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Sunday, 07 May 2006

Comments

Darth Vader

Interesting article. As a fellow American expat, I agree with you completely about what we endure as we travel the world. Hopefully people from different cultures are seeing the good will that we are spreading on behalf of our countrymen. Perhaps someday Americans will be greeted with warm smiles and open arms again in places around the world.

I sometimes find myself trying to not look American. While living here in Holland I've done my best to blend in, not be the stereotypical American. From the clothes that I wear to the way I speak in public (I try to speak English as quitely as possible to avoid the "loud American" branding), I've tried to assimilate into this culture. My next locale might find this a bit more difficult as there are many 1.90m white guys running around Lima.

And yet I am a proud American; I served proudly in the Armed Forces during the Persian Gulf war. Despite what our country does in acts of sheer stupidity, I never wish I was another nationality. Like it or not, America is the greatest nation on the planet at the moment and we set the standard for the world to follow. Its not always the best example to follow but its there nonetheless.

For the most part, I think the world accepts us for all of our misguided ideologies and beliefs. If everyone around the world hated America as much as they like to claim they do, the country would be overthrown by a "coalition of the willing" (couldn't resist). Enough Davids would get together and do away with Goliath.

Darth Vader

Addendum - I meant to say that there AREN'T many 1.90m white guys running around Lima...

Michiel

Nations are one of the main artificial constructs that seperate people on a nonrational basis.

Weren't Americans (unless your one of the nearly-gone 'native' americans) Europeans at one stage? Didn't we all crawl from the cradle of life, the continent of Africa? We are all more human than we are Dutch, or American, or Afghan.

When Expat says 'Like it or not, America is the greatest nation on the planet at the moment' I have to disagree; I can think of many criteria by which America is not the greatest nation. But is that relevant? I don't care about America as a nation. I care about Americans I've know and met, either in real life or online. But I don't see them as Americans. I see them as fellow human beings.

shamash

"Nations are one of the main artificial constructs that seperate people on a nonrational basis....We are all more human than we are Dutch, or American, or Afghan."

Thanks for this reminder, Michiel.


Amelia

Back again!
Well, as a Brit I do agree that we both have to sit through moments of being blamed for the sins of our country - I usually get colonialism thrown at me!
But, what I've found is that most of the time people just treat you like people. And I've also discovered that those of us who work at our cultural integration are often better in the end than those from 'easy' countries. I have learned so much about conveying respect and drawing boundaries of what is acceptable to criticise in my country, and what is not. Believe it or not I spend quite some time defending Americans! Many people I've met from other 'southern' countries have a lot to learn in comparison, about how to integrate and understand other cultures. So when we do it well - we do it really well, and when we do it bad... heavens, it confirms everyone's stereotypes about us and our countries. (Anyone else met those countrymen out there who cause your soul to cringe?!)

Melinda (Sour Duck)

Just passing through - glad you liked the story I linked to (and the "via trail" :)).

I've been thinking about shutting down my link blog, but if you still find it of interest, maybe I should keep her going...

Best,

"Sour ducky"

shamash

Keep the link blog going... I definitely find if of interest. :-)

honda-radio

Thx! :)

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