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Over the years of living in the North America, I realize that even though I have never traveled abroad, I can still learn from the people who travel from other countries and reside here in the states to help me gather information on where I might want to live when I move abroad.
So in other words, the way foreigners treat me here in the states will give me somewhat of a sample of what I might experience if I might want to integrate within their culture.
Let me say that I came up with my findings from MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCE so what I say I'm not necessarily wrong because I am my own personal authority. Please don't get offended with me and what I had to say about your people; you take it up with them if I reviewed them negativity.
Anyhow, I'm glad that I typed this out because it makes me think about what if I were stranded in a foreign country and needed help, or who will help me in old age.
Without further adieu, here are my findings thus far:
Indians from the subcontinent: They are cheap skates, I don't like their food, they are rude/mean to anybody who is not Indian. They never try to socialize with anybody who is not Indian; they will not even acknowledge that you even exist unless you are their customer at a gas station or donut shop. Yea, I had doors slam in my face by Indian men, and they would not say anything to me when I said "HI" and bowed my head just to acknowledge them in the street. Also, I'm self employed and when I use to do work for them, they would try to treat me like a slave.
I will say this, you have to have somebody sponsor you to help you get "in" with a Indian community, but even then, it's not all that great. They are not really warm loving people to others outside their race in my opinion. Also, the women age horribly because they NEVER work out. Yes, they walk a lot with other women while their men work but it don't do much.
Africans from the Caribbeans or Africa: Never had a problem with any of them. They treated me well, they have sense of humor and they are friendly and open to everybody.
Chinese/Korean: Cheap skates, business savvy, I don't like their food, they seem to be argumentative and combative cloaked under smiles and friendly disposition (art of war stuff). I have also worked for Chinese/Korean people and they try and treat you like a slave. They are also nit-picky and will go over each minuscule in detail and make you fix it. The women are VERY sexy and know how to treat a man right when they chose to.
El Salvador: I briefly was involved with a El Salvadorian woman and she was one of the most promiscuous women who I ever met. She even got engaged to a military guy and as soon as he left off for tour she was already cheating. I did not find that out until later when I put the pieces together. Also, my Mexican male friends told me to stay away from El Salvadorian women.
Japanese/Japan: Are more friendly and outgoing then their other Asiatic counterparts. I say this based on a woman who migrated from Japan and is now a teacher at a collage that I briefly dated. I fully understand that they put on the "happy face," but for me it's just more pleasant to go though life when people smile and such then look all depressed and unemotional.
Mexico/Mexicans: By far Mexican people have treated me the best on this planet! The food is delicious and healthy! And the women, even the ones here in the states who are Americanized treated me like a king and went out of their way to help me. The gang members are my only compliant as they are VERY racist and hate on people such as Africans who did NOTHING to them. I don't understand, they should hate people from SPAIN who came into their land and screwed everything up!!!
Filipino: I had a few Filipino customers and I must say the warmth that I received was unbelievable. I was apart of their family without question. They were generous with money, and took the time to talk to me. They were very friendly and polite and they placed a high importance on family and friends; businesses, money, and all the other social things that Chinese/Korean placed high importance on came secondary. They treated me just as well as Mexicans; the only thing is I don't like their food.
UK/Britain: I lived with a family who migrated here from England once and even though they were cordial, very formal and knowledgeable, they were cold, fake, and impersonal. They also lacked facial expressions and animations so it was hard for me to tell what mood they were in; this seems to be a trait of Europeans in general. Also, they did not know how to socialize without the use of alcohol involved; this was the only time they "opened up" and let their hair out.
Eastern Bloc Countries: I knew two people from Bulgaria, and 1 from Russia and they were very friendly and open with me. The men are very masculine and the women very feminine (which is refreshing compared to the confused Amercian men and women). They are firm but fair and open. It's too cold however in the Eastern Bloc Countries so I will never move out that way.
Samoans: Awesome people who are NOT gender confused like Americans. They remind me of Filipinos in that they are very family oriented and put money and success in second. The women are hot if they can keep the weight down but that's kind of hard to do because they are big boned by nature.
Blacks vs Browns is both fighting for the same bottom of the barrel status, that's all it is. They don't "hate" us because we're African or African-Americans. They just don't dominate The South Bronx and South Central LA like they want too. Its a turf war in other words. The same problems exist in the High Desert (Victorville, Lancaster, Palmdale, Quartz Hill, etc).
Remove the problem of business wanting a cheap source of labor and you'll eliminate much of the angst among Latinos. Its on both sides, Blacks not getting respected and passed over for jobs FOB's will except for less money because NAFTA as f***ed them out of so much money.
I would agree if they should be pissed at anybody it should the Spaniards but intermixing results in women like this -
And its all over their media as well. All the good looking Mexicans have White Skin, not dark Indian skin...
The people you have described, because they are in the USA, are not 'foreigners', unless they are actual foreign nationals on some kind of visit. If they have been in the US for a long time and are greencard holders, then they are to a big extent Americans/American residents. If they are US citizens, then they are just hyphenated Americans or just Americans. At least this is how they are perceived by the world.
You will not notice the American part of their behavior because it will be invisible to you and you will take it for
granted. But you will notice the "foreign" part of them that is still there. Because it is different from yours.
If these 'foreigners' stand alongside the 'real thing' as Indians who actually live in India, their American part will now be apparent to the natives. But not so much to you.
They are culturally mixed to one extent or another.
To give you a similar example, a half black, half white person will be seen as "white" by black people and will be seen as "black" by white people. Each observer will take for granted the part that comes from their culture/race and only notice the difference.
Often, these 'foregners' act very different from the real McCoy as they Americanize themselves, learn the language and then, often, they act like a caricature version of themselves with some bizarre and exaggerated American traits.
One thing that you probably take for granted is- they communicate with you in English. When people speak English ( a native tongue of only 8% of the world)as opposed to them speaking their language, their personality appears very different. Many also try to exaggerate their newly or not so newly acquired American-ness. They start acting "cool", use slang, chew gum a lot, put on a swagger while toning down intellectualism and changing their dress habits. Radically. Once you have been insulted and talked down to, called all kinds of names and pushed to act American, you change a lot.
They can no longer be friends with guys as much as they could be at home. Because they will be thought of as gays. They also experience prejudice and racism and some withdraw into their communities and began hating other groups. Many cannot date women in the US so they become angry and start protecting their own women.
I have observed Filipinos and Puerto Ricans in the US and in their countries and often the difference is like night and day.
America generally frowns on foreign-ness ( unless the people are tourists) and wants people to assimilate. The pressure to do so is big. Otherwise you are a dumbass and encounter hostility and ridicule. But assimilation still does not guarantee 100% acceptance on the social level. This creats a lot of bitterness.
I have been to India and the Indian people there are nothing like the gloomy 7-11 and motel owners here in the US. Most are very polite, they want to sit down and talk to you, hold your hand even. This was a shock. They were not as warm as Filipinos but they acted nothing like the sullen US-based Indians.
Many Latin women and even Filipina and Japanese women undergo a total metamorphosis. They change into a whole different creature- they become more American than Americans and start feasting on the great social opportunities that America presents to them. The same happens to E. Euro women. But an American will still see them as Japanese and Russian and say- "I know this person he/she is from..." long after the people have been naturalized and Americanized and only have a slight accent and a different from the mainstream name and face.
To an average American, these are still 'foreigners' and their very much American behavior still goes unnoticed.
The Italian Americans, for one, are nothing like the Italians in Italy. Those are skinny , well groomed and well dressed ,and would look feminine to the American eye. In the US, the metamorphosis that happens is often such that it changes the people into the opposite of what they used to be as they try to Americanize themselves so much that they basically change their unaccepted character traits into a more intense version of what the American society accepts, in order to fit in. And they usually always stop speaking the language because to do so is socially unacceptable and rude and invites hostility and disapproval. But they are still called Italians in NY for one. Strange.
Most such 'foreigners' acquire coldness and mistrust of strangers, stop smiling at strangers, became racially aware of themselves and others, and just change beyond recognition.
The qualities that you have observed are usually distant and very modified remnants of how these people used to be even though they are noticeable to you.
There are exceptions to the rule, most notably with religious people, people who had arrived late in life and the new comers. But still, most are very keenly aware that they are in the US now and that they need to adjust in order to not encounter hostility and feel more or less at home.
This leads to all kinds of weird behavior while an American will say "Oh this is how these ( put nationality here) act".
I suggest you travel to the countries and you will see an enormous difference.
Also, note that when these Samoans and Russians go back to their countries, the locals call them -"Americans"! Most Samoans are from the American Samoa and they are American nationals by birth and just a part of the US population. A subculture and not 'foreigners'.
Now, if you are talking about visitors and foreign students, well, then I may agree with you. But even those, by the mere fact that they chose to visit the US or study in the US have already an American in them, for better or for worse.
Last edited by ladislav on November 26th, 2010, 10:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Ladislav is 100% correct. In addition i'll say that the minorities living in the U.S. still try to grasp onto that "old world" and identity like a life raft when they are completely Americanized. For instance Asian women you meet in the U.S. _are_ American women by all respects. Their parents may not be but the attitudes, dress sense, ambitions, etc.. are American. I have met Asian-american women abroad in Asia and they stick out like a sore thumb in behavior and everything. The reason why so many immigrants become more American than Americans is that many are insecure and trying to compensate for their perceived differences.
Winston, Momopi, myself, and a bunch of others including Ladislav are examples of children of immigrants who went through this process. It's just the people here have taken a closer look at American society and come to different conclusions based on that.
Yup, thanks for noticing this, too. I was in Bihar, India in the town of Bodh Gaya. I became a "star" in a local village. All the people were so warm and so interested in me. I was at a train station and all these guys would just crowd me and want to talk to me and ask me all these questions. And then I rented a motorcycle and everwhere I went, people would smile from other motorcycles, buses, etc.
The poor people all talked to me in Hindi as if I was another Indian. Yes, there was some rude customer service but that comes from their socialist heritage and it was like that in cheap places.
Once my motorbyke had a flat, people stopped, helped me change it and did not ask for any money even.
Now, when I arrived back in the US, again I saw the long faces of US based Indians and they were cold and stuck up and spoke in American slang.
As they say in Arabic- live long, you'll see a lot.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Wow! Thanks guys for all the detailed replies.
And thinking of it, I remember speaking with an older Indian woman at a bank and she told me that she hated living in the US. She said if it weren't for her kids, she and her husband would have been left. In fact, she said the only good thing out of moving to the US was the fact that her kids who are now grown are doing well financially.
She said people here in the the US are rude and that her and her husband were treated badly by white people.
Our Shaklee supplier was from India and he went door to door selling Shaklee vitamins. The sh1t he had to hear even in LA was pretty bad- "What 're you doing here? This is a job for American people!" The nastiest people were white pensioners and they would cuss him and call him all sorts of names. He said, he would go home crying every day.
So, if you were an Indian and then you would see a white American walk into your business, you would probably shrink and put on a brave face.
Also, I am used to seeing barking and frowning Korean Americans in LA giving me dirty looks and having a facial expression like that of a pit bull about to attack. It is such a sad picture to look at a gloomy face behind a bullet proof glass!
When I was in Australia, I was amazed. Different immigrants would talk to me- Indian Aussies would carry on a conversations, Arab Aussies and Chinese ones were all very kind. And when I walked into a Korean restaurant I saw smiling Korean faces speaking softly and politely to me. And there were no bullet proof glass in liquor shops. Same in New Zealand. I would walk into an ethnic Korean store and see smiles on people's faces. Hmm! Well, for one thing, there were no guns in those countries. Sitting in a Korean and a Japanese restaurant in Auckland was amazing. The fully ethnic Japanese and Korean staff would be talking to me, the owners were sitting next to me. Amazing! And you know what? Many of them wanted to go to the US.
I went to Arab shops to talk with the people in Arabic. In Ca, Arabs would give me funny looks and shrink away. Some would jut their jaw in the air and look at me ascance. There, I saw many Arabs so happy to hear me speak Arabic and they would answer in Arabic.
Now, why this different behavior? So noticeable.
The strangers would help me with my bags and WOMEN on the subway would help me load my stuff in. Amazing! And these are two Anglo countries just like the US. And I saw a Chinese girl smile at me on the subway!
My niece Anastasia was a preteen and she immigrated to the US and because she was poor she had to attend a poor school in LA where most people were poor Black, Asian and Hispanic kids. Very hard to make friends. One day there was a talk in class and some kid started spewing hatred against the whites and the whole class supported him. She stood up and said- are you talking about me? and the whole class began chanting "Ku Klux Klan! Ku Klux Klan!"
My niece had only been in the country a little while and she was from the Carpathian mountains near the Hungarian border.
Now, when you come to the US, you do not want to be racist, but the soceity makes you racist because of things like that.
She had to transfer to another school so that she could now be among her "race". She did not even know she was 'white' until she came to the US. She still has very few friends to talk to. Then they say-oh these immigranst do not want to become Americans. Well, are they allowed to?
Now, going 'back' is possible for some people but not possible for others. I for one, am not a citizen of any other country except the US and I cannot qualify for another citizenship. Same with her. She left Ukraine before the independence and she is not a citizen there.
I also knew one guy who had been born in Korea but he grew up in the USA and something happened with his Korean citizenship. He tried to re-apply for it but could not pass the language requirement. He is only a US citizen.
I knew one Mexican girl who were only 1 year old when she had arrived and knew no other country except the US. She was over 20 when she came out of the shadows and finally got her US citizenship.
Who is foreigner and who is not is not always easy to determine.
A good model is in Argentina, actually. The same melting pot as the US. A nation of immigrants. There, if you become a citizen, your nationality is now Argentinean and that is how you are expected to identify yourself. Even if your accent and mannerism is different or your color is different you are still just an Argentinean. No hyphenation, and no one calls you a foreigner. The US is still way behind of South America in terms of integrating people.
I speak Spanish well and when I was in Buenos Aires, I felt totally at home the first week I was there. Even though the country is purported to be snotty, no one there would call a citizen- a foreigner. In the US, long after people are naturalized( especially if they do not look white or black) they are still called foreigners.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Good read and I'm starting to understand the point your are making. And yes, I know all about the Asian stores with the bullet proof glass. It's incredibly depressing.
In fact, if you think LA is bad, come to the tri state area like Philly or New Jersey; the corner stores, "in the hood" are filthy, graffiti is everywhere, trash is all in the streets, many of the homes around the area are condemned with busted out windows, the weather in the fall/winter is cold and the sky has a gray overcast, and the Asian people that are behind the glass in the stores not only look depressed, but they really don't even talk to you, just the minimum for the transaction.
And for the life of me, I have NO IDEA why people even eat that food. I mean even high end restaurants have been known to serve dogs/cats so what do you expect out of a hole in the wall place.
Shudder! I lived in Brooklyn NY for several years. The ethnic apartheid was sickening. It was like a volunteer South Africa. When I went to college, there were many different "nationalities" there- all US citizens. But Italians did not act Italian. The Jews did not act Jewish. The Irish acted very strange. The supposedly friendly and passionate Latinos looked suspicious and gloomy and only hung out with other Latinos. Among them, no one except the Puerto Ricans spoke the language they were supposed to speak. Even immigrants would refuse to speak their language. And do not start me on the Asians. Cold cold faces, like snow kings and queens. There was a "Filipina" girl in my class and she was an ice princess. I could never even talk to her. She acted nothing at all like what Filipinas are supposed to be like.
And everybody hung out with his own kind. The majority of the blacks were very nasty and hostile to me. I can only remember 3- 4 black people there who I could talk to and who did not look at me as one would look at an enemy.
Oh, definitely, LA is not that bad, but it is still segregated. And people adjust to the system. What can they do?
The video about dogs at Chinese restaurants came from Russian TV. Nothing like this would be shown in the US. Criticising non white people is taboo. Now if it was an Arab, Armenian or a Russian restaurant serving dogs, then it would be all over newspapers.
A brain is a terrible thing to wash!
Ladislav already set you straight on most things. I'll just expand on what he said.
Exactly. Some foreigners have been living in America for so long that it will be impossible for most strangers to make friends with them. There are still some foreigners you could make friends with, but in order to do so, you have to prove that you're not just another run-of-the-mill American. How do you do that? 1) Learn a little bit of their language--no regular Americans would bother to do that. 2) Learn about their country, it's history, and it's culture--no regular Americans would bother to do that either. That's how to prove that you're different and break through their defenses. Lots of immigrants in the US are so sad because no Americans give a shit about their native culture or even know where their home country is. However, just walking in and smiling intensely at them while saying, "Hi!" in English will get you nowhere. They will just think you're crazy or want to cheat them or something. They will just think, "Why is this big white guy staring at me and stupidly smiling at me?"
You might be able to meet foreign students. But often they will be friendlier to you in the US because it's your home country and they feel desperate and lonely. You might think, "Wow, this Czech student was so nice to me in the US. I bet all Czech people are so nice," but when you go to their home country, you might find that no one is interested in you because they prefer Slavic people.
So you can certainly learn some new things by hanging out with foreigners in the US, but the only way to get a real impression of a country is to go there. Before you travel, you have all these simplified stereotypes in your mind, but when you get there, you can count on it being different in at least some ways.
For this reason, I would throw out all the stereotypes you've created based on your observations.
Right now it is 32 degrees Fahrenheit in Hungary and there's just a light dusting of snow. Is this "too cold" for you?
A lot of guys on boards who have never even traveled seem to be spreading the stereotype that "Eastern Europe is just TOO cold." Climate varies tremendously from Croatia to Slovakia to Estonia to Kazakhstan. The former Soviet Republics cover a huge area with huge variations in climate. So get rid of any stereotypes you acquired from the US media which make you think that everyplace east of Austria is like some remote province in Siberia where people wear fur hats and march around with AK-47s in sub-zero temperatures.
Those former Eastern Bloc countries which are geographically in Central Europe, such as the Czech Republic and Hungary, have a climate which basically like that of Massachusetts. I find the winters in Hungary to be much less harsh than they are in New Hampshire. Basically, if you don't mind the climate in the Northeast US, then the climate in many of these countries is not a big deal at all. However, if you're from Florida and think that anything below 60 degrees F is positively artic, then yeah, stay away from Eastern Europe.
Last edited by Jackal on November 28th, 2010, 3:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
The USA brings out the worst in people.
What you are seeing is how those people from those countries act, once they are in the USA. It's not the best side of them.
Americans change like this too, they have a general character once they are out of the USA for a year, once they defrost and become human beings again.
It's just another mammal.
Think about why you value a dog or a cat but not a cow or a pig.
Why is eating dog disgusting but eating a cow is not?
In most of the world dogs are nothing more than large rats and they are treated as such.
I have eaten snake, pigeon, donkey and goat since being here. Dog and cat is mostly southern China.
Dog also leaves you with a nasty body funk the day after. You can smell dog eaters from afar.
I used to work for a landscaping company, the owners were from Italy. They refused to do any work for immigrants and even other Italians. If someone called them on the phone, speaking with an foreign accent asking for a price estimate they would just tell them they were busy. The reason is immigrants constantly bitch about price, no matter what price you give them they'll complain about it and try to talk you down or want you to throw in something extra for free. Price negotiations with immigrants can become a long drawn out affair last up to an hour and wasting much of your time. When you give the price estimate to someone raised in north america the person will just say yes or no.
Well in defense of some of these people... Mexicans for example are used to bargaining. In fact many cultures are not that far removed from bartering.
You can even barter in America though its much tougher because material items and access to them trump all, but you can still trade for stuff. Explain how a guy went from a Red Paper Clip to a host of different items and adventures. Locally there was a 20something dude that barter all the way up to a Porsche Boxer, though it needed some work.
Since much of EU and America is far removed from this style of payment for a product or services then you get some inflexible people the people you used to work for, who are now the same as anybody else in Western Culture, "I have a rent/houspayment, kids, wife, cars, etc, etc" so they can't knock off a Euro here and Euro there it adds up after awhile.