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Old 02-12-2002, 06:14 PM   #16
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Originally posted by U2Bama:
We have to talk loud to drown out all of the people from other countries.

lol @ your statement, Bama!

I spent a great deal of time in the UK, and have noticed that the larger groups of Americans in my class were loud (especially when the younger ones got ahold of the pints) They were generally less reserved, somewhat flamboyant yet at the same time too casual, and for the most part couldn't quite get the hang of the fact that not everybody in England owns a car and therefore we had to rely on walking or public transportation (the students and I were from California) When we first arrived off that plane, all wide eyed and full of wanderlust, we pretty much immediately fit the stereotypes: Americans are loud, obnoxious, lazy, and even arrogant. Sure these are stereotypes but there is a tiny grain of truth in there somewhere. After a short while of living in the UK, we eventually blended in quite well and as a whole, our demeanors changed as we settled into living our lives in England. We would see tourists walking about London and we could "spot" the Americans from a mile away. I guess you could say it takes one to know one. The stereotypes sometimes do fit - but I think in general at least in the UK, the English do find most Americans to be friendly and charmed to be abroad. At least that was my experience.

As far as what it means to be an American, I think that's a good question. A bit like an essay project for a high school paper, but a good question nontheless.

I personally can't explain what it means to be an American, although when I travel I want to be a good ambassador, a good representative of my country. I want to set a good example for my son by respecting the cultures and everything that comes with it while visiting another country - I don't want to come across as lazy or arrogant or loud mouthed, I don't want to fit the typical American stereotype because I'm really not like that anyway. And if I come in contact with someone from another country visiting the USA, I feel it's important to make that visitor feel welcome in my "home."

Which brings me to another point. America is my home, and even though I dig my house, sometimes it needs a little improvement. Sometimes the doorhinge squeaks and I complain. When the roof leaks I want it fixed. I want my garden to be nice and tidy, and I want to make sure my welcome mat isn't mud covered. Like my actual home, I do take a certain pride in America because it is where I live. I am not a flag waving patriot by any stretch, and I am keenly aware of the USA's sketchy history - but I live in America and I am proud of the fact that my grandparents went through hell just so they could come to the States and give themselves a chance to prosper because they couldn't do so in their motherlands. Really, if someone were to ask me to my face what it means to be an American, I would direct them to my grandparents - for they are the ones who I feel, truly know what it means. I was priveledged to have been born in the States and don't know of a life otherwise... therefore I strongly feel that it is not only my duty to be a "good" American, but a good human being. Because in the end that's what we all are no matter what country we come from.

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Old 02-12-2002, 07:02 PM   #17
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very well said adams misstres!!

I think alot of americans and other cultures think a good american means: that if america went to war you should support them, go to church on sundays, help a neighbour, stop and give a bum 5 dollars. these are some of the examples i can think of right now. Its like the stuff you see in the movies. That good american 'quality'. You always see it in hollywood movies.

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"we're not burning out we're burning up...we're the loudest folk band in the world!"-Bono

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Old 02-13-2002, 06:20 AM   #18
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Originally posted by Anthony:
I refuse to believe that, Klodomir. The day people realise that the only thing to be proud is the best of human values, instead of 'their country', the world will be a better place.
That's not what Klodomir was saying. It's not that we are proud on the best of human values instead. It's just that we complain about everything. It's in our blood and we can't help it.

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Old 02-13-2002, 06:39 AM   #19
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Hehe... looks like I made sense to the Dutch and nobody else.
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Old 02-14-2002, 03:48 AM   #20
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Originally posted by Klodomir:
Hehe... looks like I made sense to the Dutch and nobody else.
I wouldn't bet on it
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Old 02-14-2002, 07:14 AM   #21
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Originally posted by DrTeeth:
I wouldn't bet on it

Klodomir.. Good try at patting yourself on your back.. It almost worked..

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Old 02-14-2002, 07:49 AM   #22
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Actually, I was just referring to how everybody else misunderstood what I said. Probably because I was being a bit vague.

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