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Old 03-16-2012, 11:33 PM
1 posts, read 1,274 times
Reputation: 10


Hi, dear friends! I'm an international student in Wisconsin, and I'm 25. English is not my native language. I find that I have difficulty in communicating with my american classmates, especially when they talk about TV/movies, books, and music that they experienced in their childhood.

I plan to work in US in the foreseeable future. So, I think it is necessary for me to "regrow" myself in an "american way" in the next few years, by doing homework in the childhood/adolescence culture experiences of people in my age (25). So, will you please share some classic TV programs/movies, books/magazines, and music, which people who were born in 1980s would experience in their childhood/adolescence.

Thank you all!
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:41 AM
12,050 posts, read 11,164,160 times
Reputation: 10010
I could tell you what was cool to me back then, but it probably wouldn't help you achieve what you're looking for. If I were you, I'd pay attention to what they mention and then check it out on my own -- without being obvious that I was doing that. Once you become familiar with some of what they are into, you can probably carry on a really interesting conversation by relating what they liked and watched to what you liked and watched at the same age.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:14 AM
606 posts, read 825,668 times
Reputation: 571
Well, hamburgers and hotdogs are German, if that leads you in any direction.
But America is and has long been a hodge podge of various cultural bubbles.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:37 AM
958 posts, read 924,140 times
Reputation: 228
There's no such thing as growing up American. Different parts of the country are very different from each other. Hell, different parts of some metros are very different from other parts of the same metro.

It's about your background, where you come from, what you experienced, etc.
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Old 03-17-2012, 06:24 AM
570 posts, read 1,146,241 times
Reputation: 745
My husband and I grew up 30 minutes drive from each other. However, I grew up in area's "big city" (such as it is) and he grew up surrounded by cornfields. The things we each did and experienced were different. Sure, you can research what the iconic musicians, tv shows, etc, of that era were. But that still doesn't tell you a thing about what it's like to grow up American. There is no one 'American experience'.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:58 AM
Location: Viña del Mar, Chile
16,411 posts, read 26,269,594 times
Reputation: 16497
My advice is to embrace the difference and enjoy it that way. You grew up in a different country so remember your life that way, they grew up under different circumstances and that's just how it's going to be. Instead of trying to be exactly like them, just try to listen and learn from them and maybe talk about what you had. One thing I do know, is that a lot of popular TV shows here were translated and broadcasted around the world. I have a lot of friends from different countries who watched the same shows as me.

Regardless, it is good that you're trying to understand more about things.. but really the only way you can do this is by just living here and witnessing it every day, not by studying things or reading about them.
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Old 03-17-2012, 12:16 PM
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,356,272 times
Reputation: 36094
Most Americans did not read anything. You can watch 20-year old TV shows and movies tonight on cable.
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Old 03-17-2012, 02:55 PM
2,248 posts, read 6,213,651 times
Reputation: 2078
Don't read, eat a lot of food, and drive a huge vehicle. There.
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:36 AM
Location: the dairyland
1,195 posts, read 1,929,204 times
Reputation: 1570
Are childhood memories such a big part of your conversations with your friends? Why don't you just focus on what your friends are interested in now? I also happen to be born abroad and live in WI. Granted, I grew up in Western Europe and most of our pop culture is similar to the one in the US, but most of the time I don't talk to my friends about that anyway. We talk about things, movies, books, we've recently seen or read.

If you artificially immerse yourself into something that you don't know and probably don't even like since you are an adult now that is not going to help IMO.
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Old 03-18-2012, 09:07 AM
Location: Florida
398 posts, read 622,758 times
Reputation: 261
The problem is... not everybody watched/read/grew up the same way. There are plenty of other americans that us who were born here can't relate to. I find it rare that people watched the same shows as myself. You might want to know simple things like watching the Berlin wall coming down, 9/11, clinton impeachment, and things like that though. Otherwise it would be nearly impossible. It would be more interesting to meet somebody from your culture here, that they can relate to...
What these people are talking about is NOSTALGIA, they are fond of that time in their life (childhood), and it brings up good memories often to talk about it. If there are no associated good feelings with it, then it is pointless.
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