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World Cultures. . .

I have noticed in many groups people are posting and commenting of current events in countries other then the U.S. This is puzzling to me because many of the comments seem to lead on the people in the U.S. believe their policies and cultures and way of life should apply everywhere, and do not understand that they don't. Other cultures are very different, their policies and way of life do not compare to the U.S.
So my question. . . how many of you have been to or lived in another country besides the U.S.? And do you actually understand their cultures and way of life?
I ask this because I am from Deutschland, I live in the U.S. currently and I have never once expected things to be like my home. . . but as I read many of the posts and comments it seems as those native here expect everywhere to follow the same as the U.S.
JMHO. Thank you.
*I am posting in Religion & Beliefs because this is the closest I can think it fits. . .

 
Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 7:56 PM on Jan. 9, 2011 in Religion & Beliefs

This question is closed.
Answers (16)
  • Ive spent time in Mexico. I would love to spend some time in Europe tho...perhaps someday.

    Ive also wondered why others believe every other place on earth is similar to the US and expects us to handle things there as they wouldnt here since that isnt really possible.
    Amaranth361

    Answer by Amaranth361 at 8:52 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • oOOooo what part of Deutschland? I grew up in Augsburg for much of my childhood. Loved Bavaria! Anyways, yes Americans tend to be an arrogant breed that think the entire world should follow their policy because we're the "best nation in the world" and while it is true that once we were the pinnacle of democracy and civility we have been losing grounds for some number of years and are actually lagging behind other nations now most of which are European.
    KristiS11384

    Answer by KristiS11384 at 8:40 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I'm not American.  I'm British and Canadian and I've lived in both countries twice.    I have noticed that some Americans visiting Europe are always comparing it to the US and critiquing the differences.  

    beeky

    Answer by beeky at 8:01 AM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I have lived in, traveled to and stayed in many countries. Especially during and after my time in the Peace Corps, and visiting family. Here's just a few: India, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Kenya, and a few more.


    I do not view the world in the myopic lens Of "America" being the end all be all.  I fully accept that "American Culture" is not the prevailing culture of the world, the only culture in the world, or the only "right" culture in the world. I accept and see that there are good and bad in every society/culture that I have lived in.

    pixie_trix

    Answer by pixie_trix at 5:25 PM on Jan. 10, 2011

  • I'm in the UK, originally Ireland now England, and have visited the US recently. I never expected it to be anything like my own culture, nor have I when visiting any other countries, be they European or farther. I do understand what you mean.
    leah_rai

    Answer by leah_rai at 7:59 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I used to live in Japan... though, we left right before my 5th birthday... but, my mum took a lot with her from the culture and I grew up with it. I know better than to expect another country to bend for me. When and if I go back to Japan, I will ensure that I have relearned the language and understand the culture better than I do right now (I study the culture on my own, but, I have a few friends in Japan right now, so I can ask them as well)
    DH lived in Germany for a bit... 8 years total, I believe. He loved it there, the culture and the language .... he was quite fluent in German (he would have to study a bit to get back into the swing of it.) But, he also knows that the culture and laws of the land will not bend to him, simply because he is an American. In fact, he told me that if we get stationed there, he wants to live off post and live like he used to when he was last there... you adjust yourself
    Kaelansmom

    Answer by Kaelansmom at 8:01 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I live in the US but I have been to a few different countries. I have been to Ukraine, Costa Rica, Italy, Austria, and I lived in Germany for 3 years. What I have noticed is that yes, some Americans do tend to not understand other people's cultures or have a lack of knowledge about it, but that is because they have not been exposed to it. For example, in some countries, it is normally to breastfeed a child until they are 5, but in the US it is very taboo. However, I can also say that people from other countries do the same as Americans. When I visited Ukraine, I went through an ordeal over there because they honestly thought that if an American was over there then they MUST be CIA and that we are there to steal their secrets or to plan an attack. When I lived in Germany, I was often frowned upon by many German women because I did not have a snow suit on my son when it was 60 degrees outside. Cont..

    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:37 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • Cont... So, while I do understand what you are saying, just remember that just because you feel this way about not expecting things to be like your home, doesn't mean that other people from different countries feel the way you do. All in all, it boils down to lack of knowledge on other's cultures. It doesn't mean that they are stupid or dumb for thinking like that, it just means that they have not be able to experience some things that others have.

    JeremysMom

    Answer by JeremysMom at 8:40 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • i was born in Japan, lived there till i was 2 years old and then moved back from 12-16. it actually changed the way i view a lot of things, but i had a hard time when i moved back to the US. b/c i was constantly comparing things to Japan. it takes a while to learn how things work in a culture!

    but i think for a lot of Americans it isnt that they've never lived outside the US that dampens their ability to understand other cultures, but their refusal to do so. ive also noticed a lot of older Americans still have the mentality that the US can do no wrong and everything we do is perfection...its really annoying. but ive known several ppl who understand how other cultures work who have never traveled outside their state, yet their study has led them to understand b/c they made the effort to understand.
    okmanders

    Answer by okmanders at 9:58 PM on Jan. 9, 2011

  • I understand what you are asking and their are people that think that way, but not everyone (American, Japanese, Hispanic, French, *insert whatever) can be compartmentalized by one person's personal experience, as the original question (and some responses) sounded. I'm sorry if some people find that opinion offensive (yay down votes LOL). People of every culture think that their country is best and that their way is the only way. Again, not everyone, but some of every culture and creed. That is simply a matter of being human.

    asmcbride

    Answer by asmcbride at 12:29 AM on Jan. 10, 2011