This will revolutionize your way of thinking… Or at least you’ll smile.
Being an international student and studying in the U.S, there are obvious cultural differences. Now if you’re like me and someone asks you:
“Do you have to take a boat back to your country?”
You’d render tit for tat holding your heart dramatically and telling them “Oh no sweetie! I take a flight to Miami, a boat from there to Jamaica and them swim on over to my country.”
Of course…. this may be seen as rude. Like it’s not rude to ask internationals if they all live in tree houses. Or perhaps, “guuuuurl, y’all have streets there?” Or… OR “how come y’all don’t look alike if you’re from the same country?”
Yes…. yes they did.
Well chances are, if you were to quip back with some stereotypes of Americans (like the standard of education, or the hella expensive health care….. Yeah, if I broke my sphincter, DO NOT CALL THE AMBULANCE. Seriously), friends may just laugh or tell you shut up, but others may just be like “Why does y’all immigrants hate ‘Mericans?”
Or my personal favorite: “This is America, Speak English!”
English is the only language I know, just… by the way.
Talk about your double standard right? So, here’s some things to remember when dealing with perceptions before battling it out like gladiators.
1) One idiot does not represent the country’s cross section.
Keep in mind, every country has idiots. My theory is, there’s a special germ out there, it attacks the weak minded.
So before you get your panties in a bunch by someone asking you if your country still has slaves, and before you push them down a flight of stairs and get deported for battery…
Remember it’s just one little old idiot.
2) Media is a hell of a thing.
Now now, I feel bad for the Africans at my University because every bad, third world statistic is quoted about that continent. “Oh, oh hey, statistics say that in Africa, 3 out of every 4 children have never tasted food”
And while I’m semi-aware of it’s problems, every country has its own set of problems to deal with. I’m all for charity and volunteering, but seriously, thanks for neglecting to point out any positives of a whole continent.
TV perpetuates this. Movies, advertisements, pictures. What else could the average American think if this is what they were fed?
3) Good intentions
Many times, after the initial set of stupid questions (yes, there is such a thing), the same people are actually pretty interested in knowing cultural differences. Chances are, if you gave them some of your country’s food, they would try it, or try some cultural garb in your closet- a dashiki or a sari.
Underneath the lack of knowledge and the perceived idiotic ways, there may actually be a good heart.
If you’re like me, you’d crush it before finding out, BUT, sometimes in finding out, you’d make a really good friend.
Or they’ll just think you’re cute because of your sexy accent.
As usual, drop a comment below and let me know your views!