28 votes

What misconceptions would you like to clear up about your country/the country you live in?

Preceded by this post for all countries, this post for poor countries and this post for (overtly) authoritarian countries.

I'm Brazilian so I get to correct pretty silly stuff:

Brazil is a big place and the climate isn't homogeneous.

People like soccer here and many love it (some are reactionary and fight over games, as always) but it's not as all consuming as some people seem to think.

No, we aren't all extroverts, party animals, social butterflies, whatever, although I do feel the "Overton window" here on social things is more extraverted than in the US/West (and Japan and South Korea) in general.

We don't all listen to samba. While people here most often listen to pagode, sertanejo and Funk (moderately controversial music genre, though not really for substantive reasons) which are generally (keyword, obviously many songs in these genres are serious) lighthearted/for entertainment, we listen to serious or relaxed music too, mainly in rap, because we are normal.

I honestly can't really think of any misconceptions that aren't half-beaten to death about here.

80 comments

  1. [19]
    joplin
    Link
    Not all (US) Americans are fat, uneducated, sex-crazed, loud-mouthed jerks. We are also not any more conservative than people in most other countries, our media just tends to amplify controversy...

    Not all (US) Americans are fat, uneducated, sex-crazed, loud-mouthed jerks. We are also not any more conservative than people in most other countries, our media just tends to amplify controversy because it sells ads and our political system has some issues that make moderate fluctuations in the electorate have less effect than many of us would like.

    23 votes
    1. [6]
      ohyran
      Link Parent
      "Sex crazed" is waaaaay far from the list of prejudices people here have about people from the US. "Insanely Puritan" sure but not "sex crazed"?

      "Sex crazed" is waaaaay far from the list of prejudices people here have about people from the US. "Insanely Puritan" sure but not "sex crazed"?

      18 votes
      1. [5]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        Perhaps I should have said "sex-obsessed" instead. I've gotten the impression from both reading things online as well as talking to friends from other countries that they think our media are...

        Perhaps I should have said "sex-obsessed" instead. I've gotten the impression from both reading things online as well as talking to friends from other countries that they think our media are mainly about characters trying to have sex or being concerned with who is having sex with whom and with what type of sex they're having.

        In particular, when Bill Clinton was in office, French media kept saying things that amounted to, "Look at how obsessed American news sources are with who their President is having sex with. Over here we don't care. Our Prime Minister has a mistress and nobody bats an eye!"

        Oh, and I should add that we're mostly not puritans either. Most Americans don't really care about what other people are doing in the bedroom. Again, it's a small sliver of the populace who is upset over such things, but they're a very vocal minority.

        11 votes
        1. [3]
          ohyran
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          EDIT 2000, tldr: Ok this whole thing took me on a brain journey so first off thank you. Its also a massive wall of text and if you don't read - don't stress it. All love....

          EDIT 2000, tldr: Ok this whole thing took me on a brain journey so first off thank you. Its also a massive wall of text and if you don't read - don't stress it. All love.
          (Just-woke-up-ramblyness-below sry)

          Oh ok sorry if it came across as I thought you where all puritan :)

          While I do think there is a US cultural streak for a radical-lutheran puritanism ideal of guilt and sin of others - that's not unique to the US and I think me baking it in to some connection to the early English colonists is simply a too neat package to be anywhere near the truth (it just sounds good, you know?).

          Yeah I kind of agree in a way - I remember the Clinton thing, most here thought it was kind of odd to obsess about him having sex with someone else since it was an issue between him and his wife (if he promised her fidelity and monogamy then he broke his promise to her). This was before everything else about that spilled out with all the little abuses of power etc etc

          I think its important to talk about cultural differences though - sort of divorced from humanity. While I grew up thinking all people from the US where fat, lazy, brutal, racist, religious, imperialists - that all sort of ended with the advent of the internet for me when I could actually talk to you. You're the same as me, the same as everyone else on the planet.
          That being said cultural differences exist. Like... the sign in La Guardia airport saying "God Bless our Troops" which to me and my husband ears sounds just demented. Or the thing with saying "thank you for your service" to military people.
          That doesn't equate to you being "Militarized and seeing a divine right and duty to god and the nation to do X" - it just means its a cultural ideal which can or cannot be part of a human. Or more probably a way to phrase a wish, thought, or concept, in a agreed upon way that may or may not exist outside. Without the previous information, that saying "God Bless Our Troops" sounds insane - simply because the flavour, the packaging of that communicated wish is so strange without it.

          For us here being seen as cold, distant and aloof is both true and untrue. Because certain things that we have in our culture is from the outside a tad insane. It doesn't make us all cold distant and aloof. Just that there's a general flavour in our communication and movement.
          I mean I'm not distant cold or aloof - I hope...

          Its a tricky subject - because it strips us of our humanity and individuality. But ignoring these flavours removes our collective existence within a certain way to frame thoughts and communicating them.
          As a subject it can easily turn in to guilt and morality - but ignoring it can mean stripping us of our past and our humanity... Its tricky is what I'm saying :)

          EDIT 2000:
          What I think I'm trying to say is that its NOT a gene forcing a behavior on all equally. BUT its like a family, or childhood friends. You're not them - you are your own person with your own existence and agenda and thoughts and removing the "you" from the conversation is a brutality on the human.
          At the same time you will always keep parts of them with you, a turn of phrase, a concept, an ideal. You will need to react to it - to take a stance on it. To accept, ignore or rebel against that flavour, something others may not, meaning you will have something of them in you no matter what.
          And to strip you of that is to strip you, the individual of your past, and your humanity.

          For example. My dad was an alcoholic and died due to it in a pretty gruesome and horrid way. That means I have a certain attitude and behavior around alcohol - not to mention certain things I had to do to deal with his death. So alcohol exists as a theme with me, if I drink I am reacting to that past, if I don't I am reacting to that past. It doesn't make me an alcoholic but it means that unlike others around me the flavour of it exists in me. I have to take a stance, a choice or ignore that choice. His death is very much a part of me whether I chose to or not as a sort of scar.
          From the outside this can be summarized brutally as "Alcohol-obsessive, scarred, son of an alcoholic" equating me the human with my past. At the same time ignoring it is also brutal, pretending it isn't there or never was there means stripping my right to my fears, my past, my flavour.

          I want to (to bring it back to the topic) be able to hear a US friend say "Thank you for your service" to some soldier and remember the human who says it. The person with both agency and action, but who has a past. To not equate them with the whole of the phrase, and still not summarize the phrase as the whole of their person.

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            joplin
            Link Parent
            Oh yeah, I can definitely understand that. That's spot on. There's definitely a contingent of people here who believe it's their job to espouse their beliefs to anyone who will listen. For...

            Oh yeah, I can definitely understand that. That's spot on. There's definitely a contingent of people here who believe it's their job to espouse their beliefs to anyone who will listen. For example, I live and work in Los Angeles which is very liberal. We're a non-majority city (meaning there's no race or ethnicity that makes up over 50% of the population). When I started working here, there was 1 really conservative guy at work who would regularly send out emails telling us how he was going to vote in upcoming elections. Nobody else sent any emails related to the election. He would set his status message on chat to a link to some offensive immigrant-bashing website. Most people posted either "in the office"/"away" or maybe they used a plug-in that showed the song they were listening to at that time. Nobody else posted anything remotely political for their message.

            And that's kind of what life is like for me in America. Certain groups of people (and it's not just conservatives - there are places where the liberals do this, too), just feel a need to vocally express their views and to try to convert anyone who will listen to their side.

            3 votes
            1. ohyran
              Link Parent
              (reread the post I did you're replying to and... oooof that was one rambly post of mine, sry. Or "thank you for your service" is probably in order ;) ) Well this thought cropped up recently as I...

              (reread the post I did you're replying to and... oooof that was one rambly post of mine, sry. Or "thank you for your service" is probably in order ;) )

              Well this thought cropped up recently as I started listening to The Dollop, a podcast I generally enjoy, but that has this undercurrent of Puritan communication. There is a flaw, it is not systematic, it is due to evil (secular ideal of evil in this case) and evil manifest in people and it is the task of the virtuous to point that out publicly in a sort of flagellation like way.

              Just to have that said, I don't think this is "all people from the US" or "typical US people" its just an undercurrent a flavour... Like people from Germany who tend to get really enthusiastic about stuff that others would see as "an interest", or Norwegians who can't stop eating Kviklunch chocolate while wildly trying to be gangsta about it, or French people who can't riot well but really enjoy to do so. Or people from where I am from who are coldly distant to anyone they haven't known for a decade, and pretty smug about it too as if its a good quality.

              3 votes
        2. arp242
          Link Parent
          Have you ever read anything from the British press? It seems much much worse there in this regard.

          Perhaps I should have said "sex-obsessed" instead. I've gotten the impression from both reading things online as well as talking to friends from other countries that they think our media are mainly about characters trying to have sex or being concerned with who is having sex with whom and with what type of sex they're having.

          Have you ever read anything from the British press? It seems much much worse there in this regard.

          3 votes
    2. [7]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      My impression of the US is based on the American girls that visit my city. They are all very polite, fit, pretty, and want nothing to do with me. So that’s how I imagine America is like. An...

      My impression of the US is based on the American girls that visit my city. They are all very polite, fit, pretty, and want nothing to do with me. So that’s how I imagine America is like. An awesome place that just keep ignoring me hahahaha

      13 votes
      1. [5]
        Comment deleted by author
        Link Parent
        1. Good_Apollo
          Link Parent
          Depends on where you live I guess, in my coastal city it seems like most people are pretty hot.

          Depends on where you live I guess, in my coastal city it seems like most people are pretty hot.

          4 votes
        2. [3]
          jgb
          Link Parent
          I think this is one of the reasons why Americans tend to have a somewhat more favorable stereotype of Brits than the French or the Spanish do. When it comes to Brits on holiday in the Med, we're...

          I think this is one of the reasons why Americans tend to have a somewhat more favorable stereotype of Brits than the French or the Spanish do. When it comes to Brits on holiday in the Med, we're not sending our best...

          4 votes
          1. [2]
            EgoEimi
            Link Parent
            I'm American. Growing up, the only kinds of British people I encountered living in the US were the Oxbridge kind: intelligent, well-mannered, generally attractive. Now I live in Amsterdam, which...

            I'm American. Growing up, the only kinds of British people I encountered living in the US were the Oxbridge kind: intelligent, well-mannered, generally attractive.

            Now I live in Amsterdam, which happens to be a much-loved destination for "lads on tour". I think that my impressions of the British are now — to phrase it politely — much more balanced.

            7 votes
            1. arp242
              Link Parent
              Are you telling me you're not impressed by the volume and distance of their vomiting?! I always considered it to be quite the achievement.

              Are you telling me you're not impressed by the volume and distance of their vomiting?! I always considered it to be quite the achievement.

              5 votes
      2. joplin
        Link Parent
        Lol. I live here and that's how I felt growing up!

        Lol. I live here and that's how I felt growing up!

        8 votes
      3. skybrian
        Link Parent
        I think Americans who travel to Brazil will be somewhat unusual, and also, the places where cruise ships stop get an entirely different impression.

        I think Americans who travel to Brazil will be somewhat unusual, and also, the places where cruise ships stop get an entirely different impression.

        5 votes
    3. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I have a pet theory that a lot of the problems in the US are a function of the country just being so damned big, and I believe the fat stereotype fits in with this. There's so much space, the...

      I have a pet theory that a lot of the problems in the US are a function of the country just being so damned big, and I believe the fat stereotype fits in with this. There's so much space, the people expand to take it up (nature abhors a vacuum). It also explains why Texans are often huge.

      This is entirely scientific.

      23 votes
    4. [4]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Neat. One of the things I hear a lot about the US is that hundreds of thousands are homeless, or bankrupted by healthcare (yearly?) And millions are indebted by healthcare and student loans,...

      Neat. One of the things I hear a lot about the US is that hundreds of thousands are homeless, or bankrupted by healthcare (yearly?) And millions are indebted by healthcare and student loans, sometimes for a decade or 2, and the US has 25% of the world's prison population (5 times the average and higher than places like China and Russia) among other issues, implying it's a pretty bad place to live in and worse than most developed countries. How does that compare to your daily reality?

      4 votes
      1. tindall
        Link Parent
        A lot of these are raw facts, honestly. We do have an oversized prison population, and we do have a lot of really exploitative policies. Many are homeless. It's not the picture you often see in...

        A lot of these are raw facts, honestly. We do have an oversized prison population, and we do have a lot of really exploitative policies. Many are homeless.

        It's not the picture you often see in movies and such, but that is the reality for people who aren't in the middle class.

        8 votes
      2. joplin
        Link Parent
        Yeah, those facts are very likely true. I'll expand a little on what @tindall said in their response. I think here in Los Angeles alone, there are something like 65,000 homeless people. What's...

        Yeah, those facts are very likely true. I'll expand a little on what @tindall said in their response.

        I think here in Los Angeles alone, there are something like 65,000 homeless people. What's interesting, though, is that the homeless population doesn't all fit the stereotype of smelly, mentally ill person walking around screaming. (Though we do have our share of those as well.) Instead many of them are people with jobs that just pay too little to live in a normal place. So they live in their cars or shelters. A lot of times you wouldn't know that they were homeless. You may be interacting with them on a daily basis at the various businesses you go to.

        It also varies by where you live. Because Los Angeles is relatively warm most of the year, it's a safer place to be homeless than a lot of other cities. You're unlikely to freeze to death here, unlike someplace like New York City, or Boston, for example. And unfortunately, we've had a problem with neighboring states dumping their homeless people here.

        I grew up in Michigan, which is fairly rural and in the middle of the country. I lived in the suburbs of a medium-sized city that was starting to shrink. I rarely saw a homeless person. They tended to be in the city, which I didn't go to very frequently, and they tended to be in parts of the city that I wouldn't go to even when I was there. It was pretty shocking to me when I first spent a significant amount of time in a large city and started seeing them everywhere.

        As for prison, we definitely have too many people in our prisons. I don't just mean that we have more people than fit (which we do), but I mean that morally, we've put too many people away for too many minor infractions. It's really a bunch of institutional racism and classism. White people get brought in far less for the same crimes, and when they do, they have more favorable outcomes. Our legal system favors wealthy people who can afford good lawyers to defend themselves. And on top of it, we make zero effort to rehabilitate people who are in the system ensuring that as soon as they're out, they will re-offend and be brought back in. However, it does seem to me that it is very slowly improving. In the last few years, the federal government closed all federal for-profit prisons. Some states are starting to follow suit. But it will take decades for efforts like those to have any effect.

        5 votes
      3. knocklessmonster
        Link Parent
        I wasn't asked. I'm not particularly well-travelled, but I've got some notes about my area (Southern California) and the three major cities in Oregon from when I visited my dad in Salem. The...

        I wasn't asked. I'm not particularly well-travelled, but I've got some notes about my area (Southern California) and the three major cities in Oregon from when I visited my dad in Salem.

        implying it's a pretty bad place to live in and worse than most developed countries.

        The homeless aren't everywhere. When you say "hundreds of thousands," that is over 3.797 million mi² (the surface area of the US). My city has some concentrations at major bus stops (major transit center, and major resort exchange), but they've also been trying to at least get shelters up (the NIMBYs keep yelling about that as if it's worse than homeless people camping on the street and pooping in the bushes). My city has 1202 homeless, for a population around 500,000 people. There were camps along the Santa Ana River, and at various parks (now the park camp spots are dog parks, go figure), and there seem to be concentrations, rather than 1,000 people just spread out around the city..

        It varies region to region, as well. I went to Portland (14,000 homless/600,000 population) Eugene (2,165 homeless/ 171,000 population) and the city my Dad lives in, Salem (1,118 homeless/173,000 population), and it was a totally different vibe. People camp out near/on my street (I live in a relatively poor/dense neighborhood on a cul-de-sac full of apartment buildings), but I've never seen the sort of camping like I saw in Portland and Salem. They were all also really chill, except for an altercation in the Starbucks I was under when I did the Shanghai Tunnel Tour in Portland (old under-city tunnels that run under the buildings, allegedly used for opium dens/sneaking people out of the city onto ships in the 19th century).

        @joplin mentioned homeless dumping, which happens to the city two over (most populous/Hispanic city in the county, probably some sort of horrible systemic connection) from the more affluent southern county, which is more affluent, planned-development Stepfordized suburbia. There's also a tendency to ship drug addicts into Sunny Southern California™ because our laws are janky, and many rehabs play it fast and loose, and tend to kick people out when they can't pay. It doesn't seem to affect my city that much, but I'm on the other end of town from it.

        3 votes
  2. [16]
    Saigot
    Link
    Canada Most Canadians don't live in particularly cold regions. Vancover for instance, typically doesn't dip below 3C (~37F), and toronto doesn't get much colder than -10 (14F). Both cities get...

    Canada

    • Most Canadians don't live in particularly cold regions. Vancover for instance, typically doesn't dip below 3C (~37F), and toronto doesn't get much colder than -10 (14F). Both cities get into the high 20-30s (60-80F) during summer. together those two cities alone account for 20% of the canadian population. There are parts that get cold (ottawa and quebec for instance) and the north gets exceedingly cold, but very few people live that far north. 90% of the population lives within 100mi of the border.

    • Bagged milk is only a thing in the eastern half of canada (Quebec, Ontario and the maritimes). going west you'll get boxed milk like the states.

    • We do actually say sorry a lot. From what I understand the meaning of sorry is subtly different in Canada, it is not seen as an admission of wrong doing. If a car hit me, and it was entirely their fault, I would still apologize to them, because their day (or more) is ruined, but that doesn't mean I think it's my fault.

    • Not everyone speaks french. Quebec is majority french, Ontario is supposedly somewhat bilingual, but the rest of Canada speaks English. Roughly 20% of Canada is a native francaphone. Many consider french speakers as a minority (outside of Quebec).

    I can't really think of any other misconceptions. any suggestions?

    18 votes
    1. [4]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent

      "It's not that cold"

      14F

      13 votes
      1. [2]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        I mean, having lived in Chicago and parts of Michigan, it doesn't sound that different to me.

        I mean, having lived in Chicago and parts of Michigan, it doesn't sound that different to me.

        6 votes
        1. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          I mean... Chicago's pretty freaking cold.

          I mean... Chicago's pretty freaking cold.

          4 votes
      2. arp242
        Link Parent
        To be clear, that's -10C. Although it's not that cold if the air is dry.

        To be clear, that's -10C. Although it's not that cold if the air is dry.

        1 vote
    2. [2]
      Pistos
      Link Parent
      Nobody really says "eh?". It might have been slightly present in vernacular over 20 years ago, but nowadays, it's more or less gone. The stereotype that we pronounce the word about as "a boot" is...

      Nobody really says "eh?". It might have been slightly present in vernacular over 20 years ago, but nowadays, it's more or less gone.

      The stereotype that we pronounce the word about as "a boot" is wrong, but it's not entirely unfounded. In modern Canadian English, certain diphthongs (such as the ou of about) did not get the lowering found in American English. I've heard that this (non-lowering) is heard in Scottish English. So, whereas in American English, house the noun and house the verb have the same diphthong pronunciation (lowered /aʊ/), in Canadian English, the noun does not have the lowered /a/, instead having /ʌʊ/. Same thing contrasting the words ice and eyes. Same diphthong used for both words in American English, but different diphthongs in Canadian English.

      Ontario is supposedly somewhat bilingual

      I've been in a number of Ontario cities and towns, including Ottawa. As far as I can tell, bilingualism is what the government hopes the country is, but, in actuality, only Ottawa and perhaps regions bordering Quebec could be considered bilingual. Certainly, southern Ontario (near the US) is primarily monolingual (English), with most people having weak to non-existent French fluency.

      That said, I believe French-English bilingualism is a requirement for most (all?) government jobs, especially the higher political positions (provincial premiere and up).

      6 votes
      1. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        There are a few pockets of Ontario's interior that are francophonic primarily, like Sudbury. French bilingualism is necessary for federal employment and political office, but not provincial in...

        There are a few pockets of Ontario's interior that are francophonic primarily, like Sudbury.

        French bilingualism is necessary for federal employment and political office, but not provincial in Ontario.

        5 votes
    3. [3]
      perfect
      Link Parent
      Somehow I have had to explain, multiple times, Toronto is not the capital of Canada and we speak mostly English in British Columbia...

      Somehow I have had to explain, multiple times, Toronto is not the capital of Canada and we speak mostly English in British Columbia...

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        What did they think you speak in BC? French? Mandarin?

        What did they think you speak in BC? French? Mandarin?

        2 votes
        1. perfect
          Link Parent
          1 Person complimented my English, and 5-10 others have either asked if I spoke Spanish or tried to speak Spanish to me. I've done a lot of traveling :)

          1 Person complimented my English, and 5-10 others have either asked if I spoke Spanish or tried to speak Spanish to me. I've done a lot of traveling :)

          3 votes
    4. TheJorro
      Link Parent
      I apologize to inanimate objects frequently, like when I knock over a broom.

      We do actually say sorry a lot. From what I understand the meaning of sorry is subtly different in Canada, it is not seen as an admission of wrong doing. If a car hit me, and it was entirely their fault, I would still apologize to them, because their day (or more) is ruined, but that doesn't mean I think it's my fault.

      I apologize to inanimate objects frequently, like when I knock over a broom.

      3 votes
    5. [2]
      Chexmax
      Link Parent
      Ok, so now I have a new Canadian stereotype I guess? Bagged or boxed milk! In the states our milk comes in plastic jugs - thicker plastic than a water bottle, but in gallon quantity. I am guessing...

      boxed milk like the states

      Ok, so now I have a new Canadian stereotype I guess? Bagged or boxed milk!

      In the states our milk comes in plastic jugs - thicker plastic than a water bottle, but in gallon quantity. I am guessing the boxed milk is similar to how our half and half comes, but we call it a carton, not a box. Cool stuff.

      2 votes
      1. joplin
        Link Parent
        Everywhere I've lived in the states (Midwest, South, West Coast) half-gallons have come in both boxes and jugs, for what it's worth.

        Everywhere I've lived in the states (Midwest, South, West Coast) half-gallons have come in both boxes and jugs, for what it's worth.

        5 votes
    6. [3]
      skybrian
      Link Parent
      I guess I just assumed that bilingual education is taken more seriously in Canadian schools than in the US.

      I guess I just assumed that bilingual education is taken more seriously in Canadian schools than in the US.

      1 vote
      1. Pistos
        Link Parent
        Oh, it totally is. In Ontario, for example, it's mandatory for every kid to have French in the cirriculum from about Grade 2 through to Grade 9. Further French classes are available at higher...

        Oh, it totally is. In Ontario, for example, it's mandatory for every kid to have French in the cirriculum from about Grade 2 through to Grade 9. Further French classes are available at higher grades of high school, but they're optional. Despite this, French fluency is very rarely attained by anglophones by adulthood. Lack of interest, lack of incentive (signage, books, TV, Internet -- everything's in English), lack of practice (no French speakers to practice with in daily life -- not in the family, not at school (peers, teachers), not in public places).

        5 votes
      2. TheJorro
        Link Parent
        It really, really depends on the province. British Columbia has a reputation for bad French because it's not used there at all, to the point that the concept of "BC French" exists where someone...

        It really, really depends on the province. British Columbia has a reputation for bad French because it's not used there at all, to the point that the concept of "BC French" exists where someone educated in French in BC comes out with noticeably worse quality French than they would have if they studied French in eastern Canada.

        4 votes
  3. [10]
    novov
    (edited )
    Link
    New Zealand: Most of our population lives in cities. You could live your whole life in one and not see a single sheep. We've not as progressive as you think we are. Abortion was technically...

    New Zealand:

    • Most of our population lives in cities. You could live your whole life in one and not see a single sheep.
    • We've not as progressive as you think we are. Abortion was technically illegal until very recently, and euthanasia is still prohibited (though we are having a referendum on it this year). We also have one of the highest rates of poverty in the developed world, and in our major cities, housing is unaffordable except for the privileged few.
    • Nor are we that "clean" - much of our stereotypical verdant countryside is used by farmers, which dump pollutants everywhere. This means a concerning amount of our waterways are unsafe to drink out of.

    That being said, we are still better off than a lot of countries, and our COVID response is indeed as good as it appears.

    17 votes
    1. [3]
      emdash
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      This is a big one for me. Our tourism industry constantly drives the "100% pure" or "Clean, green, New Zealand" narrative to both us and to overseas countries. The truth is, we're just as filthy...

      Nor are we that "clean" - much of our stereotypical verdant countryside is used by farmers, which dump pollutants everywhere. This means a concerning amount of our waterways are unsafe to drink out of.

      This is a big one for me. Our tourism industry constantly drives the "100% pure" or "Clean, green, New Zealand" narrative to both us and to overseas countries. The truth is, we're just as filthy as most other western countries, we don't correctly prosecute environmental violations to the extent they should be dealt with, and we don't act in any meaningfully green ways on a day to day basis that is significantly better than say any of the Scandinavian countries—which as far as I can tell are probably the gold standard of environmentally-conscious westernised society.

      New Zealand is in fact well behind the United States in several key environmental areas, especially when it comes to transport electrification and the phasing out of fossil fuels.

      The reason we're considered "clean and green" is that we're relatively not-so-over-populated, and humans haven't been living in this country long enough to fuck everything up completely. Throw in a little ignorance-of-the-environment garnish, and you arrive at the national delusion New Zealanders are somehow better than other country's citizens at being environmentally conscious.

      14 votes
      1. [2]
        arp242
        Link Parent
        The general argument I've seen from Kiwi people is something along the lines of "we're a tiny country, so we're not going to make much a difference". This argument is also being used in the...

        The general argument I've seen from Kiwi people is something along the lines of "we're a tiny country, so we're not going to make much a difference". This argument is also being used in the Netherlands.

        8 votes
        1. emdash
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          Yep, and to be fair to them, if everyone believes that nonsense, it's true! All we can do is worry about our own country and make improvements to our own economies. If everyone did that, we might...

          Yep, and to be fair to them, if everyone believes that nonsense, it's true! All we can do is worry about our own country and make improvements to our own economies. If everyone did that, we might just get somewhere.

          4 votes
    2. [2]
      arp242
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      I lived in Dunedin for a year; I was surprised by the amount of religious stuff going on there. There seems to be quite a big generational divide here though; you see something similar in Ireland....

      I lived in Dunedin for a year; I was surprised by the amount of religious stuff going on there. There seems to be quite a big generational divide here though; you see something similar in Ireland.

      Also, the amount of domestic violence was a real shocker; when I just got there I was talking to a Kiwi friend and she told me about it, and quite frankly I couldn't believe that domestic violence could be such a big issue in NZ; I looked it up afterwards and yikes! I experienced this first-hand at New Years' too, when I genuinely thought my friend's housemate was going to be hit by her boyfriend over a silly disagreement about whether my shot glass was full or not. That entire night was weird for many reasons.

      Speaking about housing, I was mostly just shocked by the complete abysmal quality of them. I dimly remember single glazed windows from my early childhood, but outside of that I haven't seen them in decades. Before I moved to NZ that is, and they're everywhere! And it's not like Dunedin is that warm (in fact, it's a lot colder than much of Western Europe)

      Saw plenty of sheep though... 🙃

      10 votes
      1. novov
        Link Parent
        Forgot to reply to this. Your experiences do reflect our country, except for the religion part. We've a pretty atheistic nation, though that is indeed less true for older folks, and we do have...

        Forgot to reply to this. Your experiences do reflect our country, except for the religion part. We've a pretty atheistic nation, though that is indeed less true for older folks, and we do have pockets of quite fundamentalistic Christians.

        3 votes
    3. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Are sheep officially part of the census? How about hobbits? :P I've actually heard about some very good work being done regarding homelesssness down there, specifically in Auckland. How different...

      Are sheep officially part of the census? How about hobbits? :P

      I've actually heard about some very good work being done regarding homelesssness down there, specifically in Auckland.

      How different is Kiwi identity different from Aussie? Is it comparable to the Canadian/American dynamic?
      How seriously do non-Maori people really take all the 'respect for the indigenous inhabitants' stuff?

      3 votes
      1. novov
        Link Parent
        Haven't heard of that myself, but I don't doubt that such things exist. Of course, they've only a bandage over the underlying problem though. I'd say that's an appropriate metaphor. Just like the...

        I've actually heard about some very good work being done regarding homelesssness down there, specifically in Auckland.

        Haven't heard of that myself, but I don't doubt that such things exist. Of course, they've only a bandage over the underlying problem though.

        How different is Kiwi identity different from Aussie? Is it comparable to the Canadian/American dynamic?

        I'd say that's an appropriate metaphor. Just like the Canadians, we've generally pretty similar to our neighbours across the pond, but perhaps slightly chiller and more sensible.

        How seriously do non-Maori people really take all the 'respect for the indigenous inhabitants' stuff?

        It's not perfect, but much better than most white-majority colonial countries.

        Māori culture is a lot more integrated here than in most places (excluding a segment of cranky old white guys). It's not like the US/Australia where indigenous culture is a barely-noticeable entity. At school, I had to do the haka, and a lot of people use Te Reo Māori in their vocabulary (eg. I use the term puku for my belly). Recently, we had a Māori guy as the head of a major party, and his race wasn't an issue. Most people see NZ as a bicultural nation, though that is slowly changing to multicultural with recent immigration.

        However, this status has been hard-won by activists and leaders in the 50s-90s, and it's still far from equal. Māori people are still disproportionately imprisoned and subject to racial biased in the workplace and justice system.

        8 votes
    4. [2]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      When is 'very recently', exactly? Also, given a large chunk of US/Reddit progressivism is essentially praising places like NZ for being as left as we want our governments to be, this seems very...

      We're not as progressive as you think we are. Abortion was technically illegal until very recently, and euthanasia is still prohibited (though we are having a referendum on it this year).

      When is 'very recently', exactly?

      Also, given a large chunk of US/Reddit progressivism is essentially praising places like NZ for being as left as we want our governments to be, this seems very unfortunate. Is this true for economics too, and if so, why do you think it is that way?

      1 vote
      1. novov
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        This year. In practice, it was commonly done beforehand, under the premises of mental health. However, this required medical approval, so if you happened to have a doctor which was devoutly...

        This year. In practice, it was commonly done beforehand, under the premises of mental health. However, this required medical approval, so if you happened to have a doctor which was devoutly fundamentalist Christian, then you'd have to hunt around for another.

        New Zealand is one of the countries that bought into the neoliberal economic dogma that became popular in the 80s/90s the hardest. This has had devastating effects on our poverty rates, financial mobility, and the general welfare of our less privileged. So I would say that no, it isn't very progressive in that regard; even Ardern's much-vaunted government has failed to do anything about this.

        2 votes
  4. [3]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    Brazil again we’re mostly urbanized, but I do see small monkeys in my city from time to time samba is not the most popular rhythm. We have something called “sertanejo” that would be our equivalent...

    Brazil again

    • we’re mostly urbanized, but I do see small monkeys in my city from time to time
    • samba is not the most popular rhythm.
    • We have something called “sertanejo” that would be our equivalent to country music that is super popular.
    • Pagode is a rhythm deeply related to samba that is hugely popular, with substantial regional differences.
    • São Paulo City is one of the Heavy Metal Mecca’s of the world, but funk and hip-hop are probably more popular.
    • We have universal healthcare and it’s awesome, except when it isn’t.
    • Brazilian passports are highly sought in the black market because anyone can look like a Brazilian. We’re extremely mixed and diverse.
    • We have more Italian descendants than the US
    • We have more Japanese descendants the US
    • When Japan lost the war, a group of loyalists in São Paulo assassinated numerous members of the Japanese colony that admitted defeat
    • In São Paulo’s neighborhood of Liberdade you can still buy newspapers in Japanese, as well as all kinds of pirated media targeted to Japanese speakers
    • Do not eat acarajé in São Paulo. It’s crap. Go to Bahia for that.
    • It’s very rude to show concern for the Amazon rainforest while completely ignoring the plight of Brazilian people, indigenous or not
    • Our homophobia is literally homicidal
    • In the northeast, beheadings are a common way to commit homicide
    • Brazil is probably more dangerous than you think. Seriously, I love it here, but I like you guys too. So please don’t come.
    • We’re a continental country with multiple climates, cultures and cuisines. We have more white people than you think, great sausage, beer, and cities that speak German.
    • Seriously, our Oktoberfest is pretty awesome!
    • We actually invented the first airplane with a motor and shit. Just look it up. The Wright brothers just made a giant paper plane :P
    • Yes we instantly know if a speaker is not from Brazil. Stop using people from Portugal to dub Brazilians, Hollywood!
    • You’re expected to be extroverted but there are ways around that. We hug and kiss in most occasions outside work. No wonder COVID is killing us.
    • This is not unknown or anything, but I gotta say: we’re usually super duper friendly and helpful. If you’re in trouble, asking for help is usually a very good idea! There are literal cases of people that got help from criminals if asking nicely hahaha
    • If someone calls you “gringo”, don’t sweat. It’s probably a term of endearment. It means you’re part of the group now. We’re very fond of friendly but kinda rough hazing.
    • Sometimes it snows a bit in the south but it’s very rare. Where I live people would think 16 Celsius is the coming of the ice age.
    • Educated people usually consider Paulo Coelho low literature, unworthy of praise or attention
    15 votes
    1. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Funny enough, my thoughts were more along these lines until I found out a few years ago that Brazil's considerably more white than I realized. Wiki points to something close to 50% classifying...

      We’re extremely mixed and diverse.

      Funny enough, my thoughts were more along these lines until I found out a few years ago that Brazil's considerably more white than I realized. Wiki points to something close to 50% classifying themselves as European Brazilians and ~45% as mixed, and I'd thought it was much more of the latter and a bit less of the former. Racial categorization there has its own dynamics though, from what I gather.

      I've heard that the food broadly isn't that great, sadly.

      5 votes
      1. mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        In Brazil’s census race is determined by the person asked, so it’s natural that more people identify themselves with the dominant ethnicity. We also have a different definition of white. For...

        In Brazil’s census race is determined by the person asked, so it’s natural that more people identify themselves with the dominant ethnicity. We also have a different definition of white. For example, for us most Latinos are white.

        We have a whole vocabulary to describe the more subtle distinctions in pigmentation, each with its own social status. It’s pretty gross if you ask me. Just finding more specialized ways to be racist.

        10 votes
  5. [3]
    arp242
    Link
    I can add a few about the Netherlands: Not everyone speaks English all that well. Sure, there are few people who don't speak any English at all, but it's often not all that great, but because keep...

    I can add a few about the Netherlands:

    • Not everyone speaks English all that well. Sure, there are few people who don't speak any English at all, but it's often not all that great, but because keep saying "oh, your English is so great!" they think it's amazing native-level, while in fact it's not. Of course, it is great compared to the French or even Germans, but a lot of people's conversational English leaves a lot to be desired IMO in spite of their own opinion of it.

      We have have a word for this: coal English. It refers to the English sailors bringing coal to the Dutch factories, and the kind of English the Dutch factory workers spoke was ... well, less than ideal :-) One way to (gently) insult someone in Dutch is to call them a "half sole" ("halve zool"). This is actually a bastardisation from the English "arsehole" (which works even with the English half sole, as the pronunciations are similar enough).

    • Not everyone smokes weed all the time, obviously, but also the legalisation is a lot more complex than people think. Actually, it's not strictly legal, it's just tolerated. It's really weird because you're allowed to smoke it, you can get a permit to sell it, but under no circumstances are you allowed to grow it. It's the kind of compromise where everyone is equally unhappy :-) Discussions about either banning or legalizing it outright are common.

    • It's not a left-wing socialist paradise. In fact, politics have been predominantly right-wing since the 80s. The second largest party wants to ban the Qu'ran (literally, ban the entire book). Note that the Dutch (and European in general) flavour of right-wing politics is quite different from the American or British, but the margin of this comment is too narrow to contain a full explanation on that.

    • Racism, homophobia, and so forth are still issues. Granted, it's not as extreme as the US, but there are still plenty of people who really don't like gay people.

    • There are more cities in the Netherlands than Amsterdam. This may seem obvious, but 90% of the time when I tell people I'm from the Netherlands they ask if I'm from Amsterdam, so I thought I'd mention it.

    • Speaking of Amsterdam, people from Amsterdam aren't friendly. Really, they're not. You're just seeing the tourist façade. Actually, people in the Netherlands in general are quite rude IMO, but places like Amsterdam (and The Hague) especially so.

    • We got waterfalls! Here's our biggest one.

    15 votes
    1. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      My knowledge of the Dutch is primarily informed by football, and the idea that everyone collectively thinks their English is much better than it actually is sounds very appropriate, lol.

      My knowledge of the Dutch is primarily informed by football, and the idea that everyone collectively thinks their English is much better than it actually is sounds very appropriate, lol.

      3 votes
      1. arp242
        Link Parent
        Ah yes, Louis van Gaal; he's a special case in Dutch too though :-) "That is another cook" from the second example is a literal awkward translation of the Dutch saying "that's a different kind of...

        Ah yes, Louis van Gaal; he's a special case in Dutch too though :-)

        "That is another cook" from the second example is a literal awkward translation of the Dutch saying "that's a different kind of cookie", meaning "it'll be tougher", but in Dutch cookie is "koek", which is pronounced the same as "cook" in English, so ... you end up with this 🙃 Most the examples are stuff like this where Dutch just gets literally translated, which doesn't really work; heh

        1 vote
  6. [2]
    Kremor
    Link
    A few about Latin America: Latin American countries don't seem themselves as an homogeneous group, the same way states in a country don't seem themselves as a homogeneous group. Just because the...

    A few about Latin America:

    • Latin American countries don't seem themselves as an homogeneous group, the same way states in a country don't seem themselves as a homogeneous group.
    • Just because the media report a leader as left leaning doesn't mean that the leader is good or actually leftist.
    11 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      And a very large chunk of us do not speak Spanish...

      And a very large chunk of us do not speak Spanish...

      7 votes
  7. [6]
    everydaycoffee
    Link
    🇦🇺 Perhaps I am not a "true blue" Australian, but... I have never been killed by anything that creeps, crawls, or slithers. Not even once. I have not seen a spider in maybe 3 months, have never...

    🇦🇺 Perhaps I am not a "true blue" Australian, but...

    • I have never been killed by anything that creeps, crawls, or slithers. Not even once.
    • I have not seen a spider in maybe 3 months, have never seen a snake or kangaroo where I live, and pretty sure I never will.
    • I have never put a "shrimp on the barbecue" (but I do like to BBQ!)
    • The far majority of Australians I have met and interactive with, are not racists - and fully appreciate the vast array of different cultures that have come together to form what we know as Australia
    • I have never surfed
    • I don't live anywhere near the desert, and it would take me many many days of driving to get to the "outback"
    11 votes
    1. [3]
      ohyran
      Link Parent
      I have tried to get my husband to agree to move to Australia for years but his reply is "They are the Norwegians of the English speaking world" (He's from west Sweden so dislikes Norwegians) -...

      I have tried to get my husband to agree to move to Australia for years but his reply is "They are the Norwegians of the English speaking world" (He's from west Sweden so dislikes Norwegians) - basically your accent is the English equivalent of what Norwegian sounds to us and the prejudices about Norwegians are applied for you too

      (Ok just to make that clear to he doesn't "hate" Norwegians, or Australians - but certain bits are stuck in there like his refusal to move to the island of Hisingen here in Gothenburg, its a thing but not a true thing)

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        everydaycoffee
        Link Parent
        Haha, sounds like your in for a tough time convincing him ;)

        Haha, sounds like your in for a tough time convincing him ;)

        1. ohyran
          Link Parent
          One day... one day... :D

          One day... one day... :D

    2. [2]
      arp242
      Link Parent
      But the real thing we all want to know is how often you say cunt?

      But the real thing we all want to know is how often you say cunt?

      4 votes
      1. everydaycoffee
        Link Parent
        Bwhaha, I must admit I quite susceptible to throwing the "c-bomb" out there.

        Bwhaha, I must admit I quite susceptible to throwing the "c-bomb" out there.

        4 votes
  8. [10]
    dotsforeyes
    Link
    Philippines (along with one other tildes user according to the 2020 census. Hello kababayan) I'm not entirely sure what modern misconceptions there are about my country but I'd be happy to answer...

    Philippines
    (along with one other tildes user according to the 2020 census. Hello kababayan)

    I'm not entirely sure what modern misconceptions there are about my country but I'd be happy to answer any questions to the best of my ability if anyone is curious about something.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      culturedleftfoot
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Within the last couple years I learned a ton from my Filipino roommates and their family. Stuff I didn't know (and I could still be wrong about! please give your input): that there were so many...

      Within the last couple years I learned a ton from my Filipino roommates and their family.

      Stuff I didn't know (and I could still be wrong about! please give your input):

      • that there were so many different... tribes, if that's the right word?
      • that there were so many corresponding languages. I thought everyone spoke Tagalog as their first language.
      • that there's more than 7,000 islands! I thought it was a few dozen.
      • a bunch of conservative political stuff, and how much support Duterte still enjoys despite the questionable antics that make international news.
      • how colorism is connected to the standard of beauty :/
      • how many Filipinos migrate to other Asian countries to work menial jobs and send money back home or just in search of a better life
      • how much Filipinos love their variety shows, lol.

      Edit: to add on to the last point, it seems like there is a LOT of talent in the Philippines when it comes to entertainment, but I'm not sure how much they appreciate it. It seems like you can pick up a great singer or dancer from practically any street corner, but they sometimes look abroad and celebrate stars who maybe aren't actually as good.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        dotsforeyes
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Oh for the most part this is actually pretty accurate! If you feel like learning more I can expound on them below. 1/2/3 - It's debatable but the Philippines has no main land mass. It's a bunch of...
        • Exemplary

        Oh for the most part this is actually pretty accurate! If you feel like learning more I can expound on them below.

        • 1/2/3 - It's debatable but the Philippines has no main land mass. It's a bunch of islands put together. So although we are an island country like Indonesia or Japan, they would be a chocolate bar and we would be more like a bag of assorted minis. All the same brand but in different flavors. And there's no way to "roadtrip" from one end of the country to the other - unless you have a ship. So most of the cultural stuff got self-contained to their areas. A Filipino from Luzon (Northern region) may not even speak the same language at home as someone from Visayas (Central region) or Mindanao (Southern region), but everyone is taught Filipino English and de facto Tagalog.

        • 4 - Yes, I think in general our people and government tend towards the conservative morally. Due to the aforementioned self-containment of the islands, our news is widely subjective. Often the international media get correctly the pulse of the capital but not so much the rest of the country. Due to this, information campaigns are skewed. Duterte is famously the first president from the South, with the cultural background of the South. Historically we've only had 16 presidents each with different styles (mostly from the North), so when loyalties come into play, it becomes a very hot topic indeed. I'm trying to be as kind as I can, being someone who does not support Duterte haha.

        • 5/6 - The Philippines was grouped together by outside powers. Before then, we were a collection of different island kingdoms that traded with each other. Then in the 1540s Spain decided to simplify their maps and said "All that will just be the Philippines". Also they colonized it. Then Japan did, for like a year. Then USA did for a while. The next time we would be independent was 1946. That's 404 years as a colony. In comparison, we've only been free 74 years. So the hierarchies colonialism left behind stuck and stuck hard. One of which is that the rich and in power white foreigners (and their mixed blood offspring) were considered, well, rich and powerful. So yeah. Although I'm hopeful that with each passing year it gets less prevalent, there is a subconscious connotation that white = beautiful. Imagine my surprise seeing Europeans on our beaches wanting a tan! :) This colonialism also means we're such a young country, not even a teenager yet. So some Filipinos do like the allure of going to somewhere more developed and comparatively more stable. I can neither commend nor judge them, as growing pains of a country can take generations - and everyone only has one lifetime to live, and they want to live it fast.

        • 7 - Yes, haha media such as television and the internet are huge in our country since with a lack of decent inter-region transportation (barring ships and planes) and such a mishmash of cultures (our majority religions are Christianity and Islam, which is quite the combo), media is one of the few things relatable from the tip of the north to the depths of the south.

        Regarding the shows, this may be a misconception. I don't think those shows in particular are very loved here, but I live in the Philippines. It occurs to me that Filipinos living abroad who meet other Filipinos likely bond over the one thing they're sure to have in common - which is variety shows.

        As for your edit, we are a country that isn't really too well known. You can see from this thread that there aren't many misconceptions since there aren't any conceptions at all. And culturally we're so varied that the only thing we can really agree on is that yes, we are all Filipinos. So what I've noticed is Filipinos tend to fixate on countries abroad as a metric for success. And it's a shame, since there is a lot of talent to work with, even if by virtue of population alone.

        In the tildes textbox it didn't seem like a lot, but when I previewed - I wrote too much! It's practically an article! I hope it was even half as interesting for you as it was for me to read your comment and find out how we're seen from the other side. Thanks for letting me share so much about my country.

        9 votes
        1. culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Thanks for your detailed reply, it's not too much at all! I'm into learning as much as I can about other cultures, and I find the Philippines very interesting. Unfortunately I didn't get to sample...

          Thanks for your detailed reply, it's not too much at all! I'm into learning as much as I can about other cultures, and I find the Philippines very interesting. Unfortunately I didn't get to sample much of the food while we lived together, but I'll rectify that one day :)

          5 votes
    2. [2]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      Oh, I guess I did have one misconception of sorts, for some time. My introduction to the Philippines was primarily through the Miss Universe pageants, and after a couple editions, a young...

      Oh, I guess I did have one misconception of sorts, for some time. My introduction to the Philippines was primarily through the Miss Universe pageants, and after a couple editions, a young culturedleftfoot began to look out for Miss Philippines every year. You never disappointed.

      I probably should have figured out sooner that everyone wouldn't look like that, but I still think the majority of the women I've seen are gorgeous, and I think it's a crying shame the beauty ideal is so narrow.

      3 votes
      1. dotsforeyes
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        I hate to break it to you but we do not all look that good. If only! I will say though culturally we had a matriarchial society pre-colonialism, and though less apparent now, women have held...

        I hate to break it to you but we do not all look that good. If only!

        I will say though culturally we had a matriarchial society pre-colonialism, and though less apparent now, women have held positions of power (2 female past presidents). So there is a confidence and comfort there and confidence can be beautiful 😂 (- Miss Universe 2015)

        More seriously, our genes are also a mix between east and west so maybe if it doesn't conform with the beauty standard of the west, there's still a 50% chance it'll conform with the east and somewhere the mix worked?

        2 votes
    3. [4]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      I honestly have no conception whatsoever other than some joke Amy Wong probably made at your expense. Something about rich Asian countries vs poor Asian countries.

      I honestly have no conception whatsoever other than some joke Amy Wong probably made at your expense. Something about rich Asian countries vs poor Asian countries.

      2 votes
      1. dotsforeyes
        Link Parent
        I did try to find the Ali Wong joke you mentioned but aside from some stabs at her Japanese-Filipino husband, I couldn't find the one you meant. It is not a misconception that we're firmly in 3rd...

        I did try to find the Ali Wong joke you mentioned but aside from some stabs at her Japanese-Filipino husband, I couldn't find the one you meant. It is not a misconception that we're firmly in 3rd World/Developing Country mode right now so perhaps there was some truth to the joke - but there was probably a grain of salt as well.

        I wasn't familiar with Ali Wong until you dropped this comment, so thanks for that as well hehe

        2 votes
  9. [7]
    Artrax
    Link
    Bavaria is a state of Germany, that has a very different and distinct culture that most of germany. (The biggest former kingdom is by far prussia and the difference in culture between former...

    Bavaria is a state of Germany, that has a very different and distinct culture that most of germany.
    (The biggest former kingdom is by far prussia and the difference in culture between former prussian and bavarian areas are quite noticeable).

    Things like Weißbier, Weißwurst, Oktoberfest, Lederhosen, etc. are all bavarian, not german and you'll have a hard time finding them in other parts of the country.

    I think both Bavarians and Germans would be happy if people wouldn't confuse that.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      dotsforeyes
      Link Parent
      This is interesting to me. My sister did a foreign exchange program in Regensburg and it was one of the first things she learned. I'll have to do more reading up on Germany and Bavaria. Before...

      This is interesting to me. My sister did a foreign exchange program in Regensburg and it was one of the first things she learned. I'll have to do more reading up on Germany and Bavaria. Before then I wrongly assumed it was one and the same. What are some cultural things that you would consider more fully German?

      Aside from the sausages and the beer, the first thing that comes to my mind is the speed-limitless autoban. Maybe the Lamy Fountain Pens?

      5 votes
      1. [2]
        Tuna
        Link Parent
        //There are jokes about bavaria being its own country (the political party CDU [the one Merkel is a part of] has a branch called CSU in bavaria, which is much more conservative than their already...

        //There are jokes about bavaria being its own country
        (the political party CDU [the one Merkel is a part of] has a branch called CSU in bavaria, which is much more conservative than their already conservative sister party CDU; they get called CDU/CSU in media and act politically as one party.)

        • kids learn to write with fountain pens in school (as you said)
        • beer in general is a part of german culture, only the weißbier is bavarian. While you usually drink beer in public locations and partys, wine is more common in private meetings (at least as I experienced it).
        • Federweißer is a really young and sweet wine (so young that you can hardly call it a wine), which is only available during a short period in autumn . It is usually served with Zwiebelkuchen (onion tarte).
        • Birkenstocks, open sandals for wearing at home and sometimes outside
        •taking your shoes of indoors (thats where Birkenstocks come in)
        •Kartoffeln (potato)
        •bread, Brotpause (bread break; you take a few slices of bread to school or work to eat between breakfast and lunch) and Abendbrot (evening bread; you often eat bread as dinner)
        •Brotboxen (bread boxes, like Tupperware are very widespread)
        •Grünkohl mit Pinkel (in the north), green cabbage with a grainy sausage
        • several carnivals with different names depending on your location, like Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching
        •castles, lots and lots of castles all over germany

        6 votes
        1. dotsforeyes
          Link Parent
          Thanks for such an extensive list! These all sound pretty great. Castles just don't seem real to me, as someone who's never seen a real one. I know they're all over the place and they're...

          Thanks for such an extensive list! These all sound pretty great. Castles just don't seem real to me, as someone who's never seen a real one. I know they're all over the place and they're historical and everything but they seem so mythical and out of a story.

          Also adds "Eat Federweißer and Zwiebelkuchen" to bucket list.

          2 votes
    2. [3]
      Kuromantis
      Link Parent
      Neat, didn't know that. I was using reddit and someone said that Merkel, being from the CDU, is a cultural and to an extent economic conservative and she should be treated as such, although the...

      Neat, didn't know that.

      I was using reddit and someone said that Merkel, being from the CDU, is a cultural and to an extent economic conservative and she should be treated as such, although the nature of democratic politics makes it likely this is relative. Is that accurate?

      1. [2]
        Artrax
        Link Parent
        Sorry for replying so late, in the US, Merkel would probably be between A bit to the right of the New Democrats, although she certainly belongs to the more moderate, "progressive" wing of her...

        Sorry for replying so late,
        in the US, Merkel would probably be between A bit to the right of the New Democrats, although she certainly belongs to the more moderate, "progressive" wing of her party.
        A brief summary of important political decisions that she made/spearheaded, because it's not as easy as left/right/center:

        • Exit from nuclear energy after Fukushima
        • Austerity for Greece/Spain/Portugal after the financial Crisis, but also lots of loans and funding for these countries to keep them in the eurozone
        • A Pretty much botched Exit from Fossil Fuels to renewable energies, leading to a still high amount of electricity from fossil fuel while having the highest energy prices for consumers in the EU (although this topic is more complicated when you go into the details because other parties had a say in this as well and energy is very cheap for companies)
        • Coming up with a ton of mass surveillance laws that in the end all failed at our constitutional court
        • Letting in a lot of refugees during the 2015-17 refugee crisis, which is certainly not a very conservative move and also put her under a lot of fire from her own party
        • Increasing spending for some social security systems, decreasing for others
        • Introducing a minimum wage
        • Blocking Gay marriage for quite some time, then finally deciding to let it come to a vote in the parlament and not enforce fraction discipline, leading to gay marriage coming into existence in germany
        • One of the best corona Responses from any large Western Country
        • Very pro EU
        • Foreign policy either passive or focused on mediating, think of that what you want

        So it's a mixed bag. From a european perspective, yes, she'd be a moderate conservative. But also many left-wing people came to like her (or at least be ok with her personally) for her extraordinary crisis-management skills and pretty much drama free leadership. So as I said, a bit to the right of the average new democrat, her whole party maybe like a Mixture of Blue Dogs and New Democrats.

        Definitely not conservative in the sense of Republican or evangelical conservative, they are mostly a far right party now.

        3 votes
        1. Tuna
          Link Parent
          The impression I heard from people close to me (mostly left) and partly my own: She is a good and dependable politician showed that she can make decisions by herself (not always the puppet of her...

          The impression I heard from people close to me (mostly left) and partly my own:

          • She is a good and dependable politician
          • showed that she can make decisions by herself (not always the puppet of her party)
          • listens to the general public (nuclear exit)
          • people pleaser (she makes these decisions only to get votes; kinda dumb imo, to critize this instead of being happy that she does them)
          • while she listens to the public (point above), she does not execute them thoroughly enough (climate goals)
          • appears too weak (trying to hold status quo with foreign countries and not holding her ground)
          • not standing her ground against american influence (Snowden, nordstream 2, military bases)
            -still influenced by lobbies (coal, vw)
          • still too close to conservative ideals (gay marriage)

          All in all she is viewed as a respectable politician and while she has still a lot of flaws, she is definetly the best candidate the CDU has to offer and a good choice to represent germany.

          1 vote
  10. [2]
    skybrian
    Link
    I'm getting into Brazillian music a bit, mostly older stuff that I might want to play on accordion if I can figure it out, after stumbling across a few songs I like. I'm a bit surprised by how...

    I'm getting into Brazillian music a bit, mostly older stuff that I might want to play on accordion if I can figure it out, after stumbling across a few songs I like. I'm a bit surprised by how many different musical genres there seem to be, many of which I hadn't even heard the names of before. (I mean, I just looked up pagode and sertanejo in Wikipedia.) Without any background, sometimes I am wondering what genre a particular song is, so I can find others like it.

    So, if anyone wants to talk about songs they like then I'd be glad to give them a listen.

    5 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      Brazil is huge and relatively old. It also inherited from a bunch of awesome cultures. It’s kinda crazy how little people know about the largest country in Latin America.

      Brazil is huge and relatively old. It also inherited from a bunch of awesome cultures. It’s kinda crazy how little people know about the largest country in Latin America.

      4 votes
  11. [2]
    Turtle
    Link
    It is actually very unlikely that you will die in a mass shooting (guess the country).

    It is actually very unlikely that you will die in a mass shooting (guess the country).

    4 votes
    1. tempestoftruth
      Link Parent
      Mexico? I only guess Mexico because my Mexican friends constantly make jokes about this. edit: You said mass shooting, my bad. Guessing you probably meant the United States.

      Mexico? I only guess Mexico because my Mexican friends constantly make jokes about this.

      edit: You said mass shooting, my bad. Guessing you probably meant the United States.

      5 votes