Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Stereotypes of the World

“Well you know what those Germans are like,” started the conversation last week that got me thinking about national stereotypes.
A friend was talking about a German girl who had given out to her for being late for the train and because she had failed to organise every exact detail of their mini trip ... typical Germans?!
Of course stereotypes can never define a group of people, because we are all so different in our own unique way, but we all have stereotypes of people from different countries and although I am an open minded person, there are many times when your foreign friend is a complete stereotype for their nation.
It just takes one really, one rude American, one stuck up French person or party animal Australian for the entire nation to be painted with the same tar.
While many embrace their national characteristics, others try their best to break the links.
For me some of the ones that really stood out were:
The Italians – a fashionable crew, who are passionate, forward and quite unorganised! I had a a very inappropriate issue with an Italian security man in the Vatican a few years ago. In the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Pope, I had an Italian man running after me begging for my number, for a kiss, a hug .... and much more!!
The English – generally chatty, fun loving and polite but can be sprinkled with some rude larger louts (usually soccer fans). When in a foreign speaking country, I always find it refreshing after a few days to find an English person, someone who enjoys a nice cup of tea and can converse freely and understand sarcasm and a joke!
The Canadians – I love Canadians, I don't think I have ever met a rude person from Canada on all my travels. They are usually tolerant, multi lingual and interesting people who are fun to hang around with.
The Australians – party loving, shallow but honest peeps. I lived in Australia for a while so really got to know them inside out, and you can always count on them for cheering you up and having a laugh with.
The Germans – the most well travelled nation in the world I believe. You always meet German people on your travels. Stereotypically organised down to the smallest item, many leave their sense of humour at home (they are quite funny in Germany) but you can rely on them for a good recommendation every time.
The Thai people – are so polite, smiley and friendly you just have to love them.
The Fijians – You have to love the Fijians, I loved them so much I wanted to take them home with me. Warm, friendly and love to cheat when playing cards!
American tourists cartoon
The Finish -Reserved, honest and trustworthy. Do you really want to know how you look in that new outfit? Ask a Finish person they will tell you the truth, believe them.
The Americans – despite their bad reputation as tourists, I have had more pleasant than nasty experiences with the 'Yanks.' The Americans are always kind, fun and knowledgeable. I have found some to be quite US centered but I think the majority try to steer away from this and open their minds. The Irish love Americans because they are “gullable” - will believe anything you tell them. Did you hear the one about the leprechaun ....?!
The French – Pompous, arrogant, opinionated – and rightly so! In France, 'a petite Francais' goes along way to unlocking French hospitality. Away from the home land the French are usually the people you follow to find a good restaurant!
The Brazilians – Impulsive, assertive and might I add good looking! I have had a lot of fun with any Brazilians I have met and I look forward to seeing how they treat tourists in Brazil.
The Indians – intelligent, always really polite but usually unable to comprehend a joke because of their perfect English.
New Zealanders – its hard not to like the Kiwis, Strong minded, tolerant and laid back with a rural mind set, always seeking adventure.

I am Irish and very proud to be so, Irish people are the best in the world; fun, friendly and usually very memorable! But while travelling I made a conscious decision to take a step back from the Irish mafia groups abroad, the huge swamps of Irish people drunk, singing and shouting enmasse swinging a tricolour. We do love to enjoy ourselves, and as we have a problem saying' no' the public's perception can sometimes be less favourable towards us.

What stereotypes have you come across?
Do you agree with the above stereotypes?

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