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Old 07-04-2018, 12:07 AM
 
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Originally Posted by elnrgby View Post
No, my image of the US comes from living in the US more than half of my life. I was born in a south-eastern Europeam country, where I lived for my first 23 years. During that time, I also traveled a lot throughout Western Europe. I have been living in the US from the age of 23 to 58 (my present age) without maintaining contact with my country of origin, and actively avoiding people from my former country who live in the US (the country had a civil war, and I never know what kind of person I might be dealing with, what kind of possible hostility, so I find it safest to keep away from them. Only the 1960s-early 80s rock music from my former country triggers a bit of nostalgia; otherwise I never even think about it :-). My entire family had left the place (living now in various parts of the world), I have not been there since 1986, and do not intend to go back to visit.


My personal outlook is entirely global, I like the way business is done in the US, I like the personal freedom and privacy that the US offers. However, in terms of close relationships, (eg, in terms of boyfriends and close friends), I somehow always end up hanging out with some type of an immigrant or visitor to the US (not from my own country of origin, but from some continent other than America), simply because their personalities are more interesting.


Teenagers are not children, they are young adults. High school is a more truthful and more expressive version of adulthood. I have gone to school in Europe, and can fully assure you that the high school cliques and bullying of the kind that I read about, hear about, or see for myself in the US teenagers, absolutely did NOT exist where I went to school. Also, the meaning of the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses" (or anything similar) was unknown to me before I moved to the US. Everything I am talking about is from my direct personal experience (which agrees with what other Europeans have noticed).
Where are you from in Europe? There are significant differences from country to country in Europe. I've not met people in Spain or from Western Europe who claim that Europeans are all the same or things are absolutely the same from country to country.
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:20 AM
 
1,738 posts, read 624,385 times
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Originally Posted by NyWriterdude View Post
Where are you from in Europe? There are significant differences from country to country in Europe. I've not met people in Spain or from Western Europe who claim that Europeans are all the same or things are absolutely the same from country to country.

No, I don't claim Europeans are all the same, just the opposite: Europeans are fairly unpredictable. But it is my impression that Americans tend to have a common trait of needing to conform to a group, and that trait tends to be stronger in the US than elsewhere, and Americans tend to suffer more if they are not for some reason equal to a group ideal (equally thin, equally rich, equally hip, equally fertile, equally righteous or equally criminal as their peers- whatever the group ideal is of one's particular social group). That kind of prevents individuality. How much unique personality can somebody develop when he/she is so totally focused on measuring himself/herself against a group standard?


Actually, just look at yourself in the mirror :-). You are constantly trying to bully ME, some random person on the Internet!, with some silly group stereotypes (childless, whatever :-) about which I never think at all, and they obviously do not bother me (particularly because being child-free is totally my own choice, about which I am super happy and have never regretted it; it is possibly the best decision I ever made-. That is exactly what I am talking about: you (being an American) think that some stereotyped group values are the meaning of life - while I (being originally from Europe) couldn't care less about them. I tailored my life to my own taste and interests, not to anybody else's. You, on the other hand, do not seem to be even aware that any other way of thinking exists except groupthink :-).

Last edited by elnrgby; 07-04-2018 at 07:48 AM..
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Old 07-04-2018, 06:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnrgby View Post
No, I don't claim Europeans are all the same, just the opposite: Europeans are fairly unpredictable. But it is my impression that Americans tend to have a common trait of needing to conform to a group, and that trait tends to be stronger in the US than elsewhere, and Americans tend to suffer more if they are not for some reason equal to a group ideal (equally thin, equally rich, equally hip, equally fertile, equally righteous or equally criminal as their peers- whatever the group ideal is of one's particular social group). That kind of prevents individuality. How much unique personality can somebody develop when he/she is so totally focused on measuring himself/herself against a group standard?


Actually, just look at yourself in the mirror :-). You are constantly trying to bully ME, some random person on the Internet!, with some silly group stereotypes (childless, whatever :-) about which I never think at all, and they obviously do not bother me (particularly because being child-free is totally my own choice, about which I am super happy and have never regretted it; it is possibly the best decision I ever made-. That is exactly what I am talking about: you (being an American) think that some stereotyped group values are the meaning of life - while I (being originally from Europe) couldn't care less about them. I tailored my life to my own taste and interests, not to anybody else's. You, on the other hand, do not seem to be even aware that any other way of thinking exists except groupthink :-).
There are huge cultural differences between Europeans. Spain is nothing like Germany in terms of language, culture, etc.

Therefore you cannot make claims for each country in Europe.

Have you even lived ANYWHERE in Western Europe? Not that Western European national cultures are the same.
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnrgby View Post
I somehow always end up hanging out with some type of an immigrant or visitor to the US (not from my own country of origin, but from some continent other than America), simply because their personalities are more interesting.


.
That is your choice. I for instance find Americans of all types way more interesting than Germans and most other continental Europeans. That is aside from those societies with Mediterranean influences.

I find many Europeans to be quite stuffy, narrow minded and lacking a sense of humor. And they seem to have all been made in a factory because I don't see this varying personality types. Europeans don't seem to convey that happiness that Americans do. I hardly see those visiting NYC cracking a smile.


You are fundamentally a European so probably find Americans too shallow. And you also seem to mix more with the shallow type of Americans at that. Yes people to compare themselves in terms of the socio economic status and evidence of success but that is find EVERYWHERE. French and Italians (both genders) are very concerned about their appearance. The French are very status conscious so I don't know what it is that you are trying to say.


Do you live in the suburbs? It appears so.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by caribny View Post
That is your choice. I for instance find Americans of all types way more interesting than Germans and most other continental Europeans. That is aside from those societies with Mediterranean influences.

I find many Europeans to be quite stuffy, narrow minded and lacking a sense of humor. And they seem to have all been made in a factory because I don't see this varying personality types. Europeans don't seem to convey that happiness that Americans do. I hardly see those visiting NYC cracking a smile.


You are fundamentally a European so probably find Americans too shallow. And you also seem to mix more with the shallow type of Americans at that. Yes people to compare themselves in terms of the socio economic status and evidence of success but that is find EVERYWHERE. French and Italians (both genders) are very concerned about their appearance. The French are very status conscious so I don't know what it is that you are trying to say.


Do you live in the suburbs? It appears so.
Mediterranean Europeans are pretty happy, as you noted above. Spain, Portugal, and Italy in particular. Not sure about Greeks or people from the Eastern Mediterranean.
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Old 07-04-2018, 10:18 PM
 
1,738 posts, read 624,385 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caribny View Post
That is your choice. I for instance find Americans of all types way more interesting than Germans and most other continental Europeans. That is aside from those societies with Mediterranean influences.

I find many Europeans to be quite stuffy, narrow minded and lacking a sense of humor. And they seem to have all been made in a factory because I don't see this varying personality types. Europeans don't seem to convey that happiness that Americans do. I hardly see those visiting NYC cracking a smile.


You are fundamentally a European so probably find Americans too shallow. And you also seem to mix more with the shallow type of Americans at that. Yes people to compare themselves in terms of the socio economic status and evidence of success but that is find EVERYWHERE. French and Italians (both genders) are very concerned about their appearance. The French are very status conscious so I don't know what it is that you are trying to say.


Do you live in the suburbs? It appears so.

No, I have never lived in the suburbs. I live in two small condos in the old historic central cores of two large US cities, one on each coast. My parents were in language-teaching professions, had worked on/off in two German-speaking countries (and still live in a large city where the native language is German). I traveled with them all over Europe when I was a kid - Europe is not big, and you can visit a diffetent universe just over the weekend. My significant other (we were together for a long time; he died) was French. I spent many years in training with a very international mix of people from everywhere. So, I really am solidly international... just a description of where I am coming from; otherwise, I don't have anything else to add to the stuff I slready said. Oh, I do want to add that I "mix" with all kinds of Americans - my American professional colleagues are not at all shallow, certainly not stupid - they are smart, they are professional, but everything I already said still applies to them on a personal level.
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Old 07-05-2018, 04:20 AM
 
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Once while in a philosophical conversation with an African I found that one of his solutions to a proposed problem was quite brilliant. Over the years I have come to realize that we are limited by our unique perspectives. I could have never thought of his solution because my perspective is from my American experience and his is from an eastern experience.

In America quite a bit of our perspectives are shaped by capitalism. I have relatives and friends who will thank God or say that they are blessed when they get a good job, new car, or new house. Even God can make you to be rich in America

Last edited by thriftylefty; 07-05-2018 at 04:49 AM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:41 AM
 
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Originally Posted by thriftylefty View Post
Once while in a philosophical conversation with an African I found that one of his solutions to a proposed problem was quite brilliant. Over the years I have come to realize that we are limited by our unique perspectives. I could have never thought of his solution because my perspective is from my American experience and his is from an eastern experience.

In America quite a bit of our perspectives are shaped by capitalism. I have relatives and friends who will thank God or say that they are blessed when they get a good job, new car, or new house. Even God can make you to be rich in America

I know exactly what you mean about your experience with the inventive and original African. As a libertarian, I personally like free-market capitalism (please allow me; I am not a thrifty lefty but a thrifty centrist :-), I do think it has proven itself in practice, in comparison with everything else that has been tried, as the most beneficial socio-economic system in history. Obviously, capitalism is thriving all over Europe (Ikea furniture and BMW are surely fruits of European capitalism, along with many others :-), BUT: Europeans treat capitalism only as a pretty effective and convenient social contract, not as a religion.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:52 AM
 
24,247 posts, read 17,654,209 times
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Originally Posted by elnrgby View Post
I know exactly what you mean about your experience with the inventive and original African. As a libertarian, I personally like free-market capitalism (please allow me :-), I do think it has proven itself in practice, in comparison with everything else that has been tried, as the most beneficial socio-economic system in history. Obviously, capitalism is thriving all over Europe (Ikea furniture and BMW are surely fruits of European capitalism, along with many others :-), BUT: Europeans treat capitalism only as a pretty effective and convenient social contract, not as a religion.
I heard some brilliant stuff on racial/ethnic identities from Africans.

A Nigerian told me African was a creation of the white man. The European colonialists invaded, and grouped together people who had nothing to do with each other. Not only different cultures and languages, but people in West Africa do not like or have anything to do with Arab North Africans for lots of reasons.

He's right.

But the same can be said of minority identities.

The American Black is a creation of US politics. First the ethnic and religious identities of Africans were stripped away. Most African Americans are to some degree mixed race, but this was ignored because the institution of slavery would have collapsed if this were acknowledged.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/04/o...ol-left-region

Read that article. Thomas Jefferson was married to his white wife Martha, but at the same time he owned Martha's mixed race half sister. He ended up having children with BOTH of them. This happened a lot during slavery, and is a major part of many African American families.

But European concepts are different too. Four European nations have rights to return for Jews. My great great great grandmother was a slave woman, owned by great great great grandfather, a Sephardic Jew. Due to this I qualify for Spanish or Portuguese citizenship. I love Spain, so I'm going the Spanish route for citizenship (I'm Barcelona). Anyone who is a descendent of Sephardic Jews is eligible for Spanish or Portuguese citizenship.

Just as someone with a Jewish grandparent or great grandparent connected to the Holocaust can get German or Polish citizenship.

European nations great citizenship by blood, not race. A person could have three Black grandparents or three Asian grandparents, and one Italian grandparent. That person is still Italian by blood, and can get Italian citizenship. Many South Americans have an European grandparent and get citizenship this way (and no, they are not all white some of them are mixed race).

So definitely racial and ethnic concepts are somewhat different in Europe, even legally.
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:55 AM
 
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The children and grandchildren of Latin American immigrants are ghettoized in NYC very often, especially Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, etc. They are not ghettoized at all in Spain and are mainstream with everyone else.

Immigrants are sometimes put in a "minority" category that can impoverish them, but I can say the same for African Americans as Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty funded many more housing projects that African Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans were put in places like NYC (along with some West Indians). I don't need to tell you anyone the results.
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