What makes Europeans similar between each others, as opposed to Americans

What makes Europeans similar between each others, as opposed to Americans

Social and Economic equity. In Europe there's by far more equity than in America.

And when I say America I am not referring to the USA, I'm talking about the whole continent, of course.

America is more complex, multicultural and racially mixed also.

Greetings.
 
:LOL:
Maciamo said:
Let's also note the common use of gangsters and criminals in the US military for their "killing talents", and the way they can pass from notorious criminals to national heroes - something mostly unheard of in Europe. The US government has even used this tactics in post-war Japan to fight communism by forgiving and rehabilitating convicted war criminals and yakuza leaders (some even became Prime Ministers with the support of the US, like Kishi Nobusuke).

I have to agree with most of your differences, however I strongly disagree with the above statement. Perhaps in the past (WWII, Korean Conflict or Viet Nam) the American military would accept people who had criminal records, but I can tell you that it is not so today. Someone with any sort of conviction for a violent crime is prevented from serving in any branch of the military. Many other minor criminal charges that don't include violence will also prevent a person from joining.
Back when I was a young man if an adolescent or young military age adult committed a crime (not necessarily violent) such as public drunkeness, driving while under the influence, possession of marijuana or petty theft, a judge might give them the option of "joining the military or going to prison." That does not happen now, I know for a fact (since it was my cousin's son) that a youngster that commits any of the above crimes has to undergo strict counciling and screening before any branch of the US military will accept them as a recruit. Drug and alcohol screening for 6 months, daily reporting to recruiters office for training and a nightly curfew. After they are accepted into the military if they repeat their bad behaviour they are discharged without a second thought.
Don't confuse movies like the "Inglorious Basterds", "the Dirty Dozen", "Rambo" or the "A-Team" with fact they are fictional and would have happened even during WWII.
Don't believe too much of what you see of American culture from the media, for the most part many Americans are as deeply shocked and sickened by the boorish behaviour usually associated with being an American.

Cambria Red said:
I live part of the year in Northern Virginia and I can tell you that the region is far different than the rest of the southern states. Virginia is changing rapidly, demographically and culturally and will soon be much more northeastern in flavor.
Texas, unfortunately, is as pretty rough place culturally and socially. Like much of the south, various parts of it are backward on any number of levels. It has some of the worst educational and health care statistics in the U.S. Despite its relative wealth, Texas is considered by more enlightened Americans as one big socio-cultural backwater.

I'll agree with you about Northern Virginia, it has completely lost any typical "Southern Flavor" it has throughly been inundated by rude and insensitive NE types. You have to go south of Richmond to find Virginia with a southern flavor.
I strongly disagree with you about Texas being seen as a socio-cultural backwater. Texas has historically been a place for immigrants to go to and live. Germans, Dutch, English, Czech, Wendish and Polish communities thrived in Central Texas in the late 19th and early 20th century. There is still a large amount of cultural diversity in Texas from various groups of European immigrants. The small town I grew up in was a cultural melting pot of Czech, German and Polish families. I could walk down the street and hear conversations in all three languages. Those older immigrants have died off and been replaced by thier English speaking children, but much of their European cultural heritage is still found in the food, music and accents of their descendants. Recent a large non-English speaking population of immigrants from Mexico, Central and South America have flooded Texas in the last 50 years. As their children are assimilated into the Texas cultural the flavor of their culture will expand and grow into part of the unique Texas cultural heritage (in fact much of it is already part of the heritage) the source of Texas was as as part of Spain's Mexican colony so many Texans, Texas towns and what people see as Texan food was brought by the Mexican people.
 
Maciamo said:
Social customs

Europeans think of "traditions" like baby showers and bachelor(ette)'s night with strip-teasers as typically American (which they are). This is something most Europeans only see in US series and movies. The same is true of Thanksgiving and, until the late 1990's, of Halloween (but this last one exported itself well to Europe and East Asia).

Halloween (Samhain) has been celebrated in Ireland and Scotland for thousands of years and was brought to America by immigrants from these countries.
 
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The long repressed aspirations for autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe must not flow into a persistent nationalism. I see there, rather, the, perhaps necessary, first step on the way to a new European order, the first step under a common European roof. [/FONT]
 
Many Australians have a very poor knowledge of world geography and history and speak only English, making them also more like Americans.

that is not true, We are very well aware of the global geographical climate due to the fact we get left out a lot, though that is changing of late. Also it is compulsory to learn another language in the first year of high school though you arent required to continue it after that year. I Learned German in high school. But due to our region it is not as needed as in Europe where if you drive 4 hours you will drive through 4 different linguistic areas compared to Australia where you can drive for 16 hours and its English all the way.
And i dont think its fair to judge nations on how many languages they speak especially nations where English is their native tongue, As English is the new Latin in international settings.
 
that is not true, We are very well aware of the global geographical climate due to the fact we get left out a lot, though that is changing of late. Also it is compulsory to learn another language in the first year of high school though you arent required to continue it after that year. I Learned German in high school. But due to our region it is not as needed as in Europe where if you drive 4 hours you will drive through 4 different linguistic areas compared to Australia where you can drive for 16 hours and its English all the way.
And i dont think its fair to judge nations on how many languages they speak especially nations where English is their native tongue, As English is the new Latin in international settings.

Sorry Bud, but I have lived and studied in Australia, and I was shocked to see the ignorance of most ordinary Australians (there are always exceptions) about the rest of the world. At least half of the people I met had no idea where Belgium was or that it was even a country ! I have also travelled around India and South-East Asia and lived in Japan, and everybody had heard or Belgium. Except in Japan, most Asians usually knew that Belgians spoke French or Dutch (even Indian street children who had never been to school).

As for foreign-language learning, I may be harsh because I come from a country where everybody learns at least two or three foreign languages in secondary school, and business school graduates are supposed to be fluent in five (and fluent means being able to speak, not just read or listen), but I have hardly met any Australian who could hold up a conversation in another language than English, unless they or their parents were recent immigrants.

Apart from that I love Australia and have nothing against Australian people. Don't misunderstand me.
 
yeah but like i said being fluent in more than 1 let alone 5 isn't all that necessary here in Australia. We see more Australians learning Japanese or Chinese languages due to our business dealings with these nations.
But Australians knowing English means knowing another language isn't that important, as most other countries learn English in international settings anyways. Which is the same with the US even though they are bordered by a non English speaking nation to the South and even a territory to the North, Australia isn't bordered with anyone.

And i dunno i think if i went and asked random people on the street where Belgium is they would say Europe, they might not know the languages spoken in the country though. But even then class has a lot to play in it, if you went to the lower end of the working class no doubt they would have little knowledge on geography so its all relative i think.
 
yeah but like i said being fluent in more than 1 let alone 5 isn't all that necessary here in Australia. We see more Australians learning Japanese or Chinese languages due to our business dealings with these nations.
But Australians knowing English means knowing another language isn't that important, as most other countries learn English in international settings anyways. Which is the same with the US even though they are bordered by a non English speaking nation to the South and even a territory to the North, Australia isn't bordered with anyone.

And i dunno i think if i went and asked random people on the street where Belgium is they would say Europe, they might not know the languages spoken in the country though. But even then class has a lot to play in it, if you went to the lower end of the working class no doubt they would have little knowledge on geography so its all relative i think.

I keep hearing this by Americans or English speaking people in general and it's not true: we don't learn foreign languages mainly because we have close to us people that speak other languages than our own. Don't get me wrong but I always get this excuse by Americans mainly, when we start with this topic.

Almost everyone speaks English in Europe (although German and French people aren't very fluent) so if we drive to another country we won't have big problems communicating. If I drive 6 hours I will find myself in Bulgaria or FYROM but i don't speak any Slavic language at all.

I started learning English when I was 6-7 and when I was 9 I asked my parents to get me a tutor to learn French because I liked how the language sounds, even though we learn a second and third foreign language (French and German) at the age of 12 at school as a compulsory class. I was just 9 and I had no intention to communicate with French people at that time. I was just fascinated by the language. Later I asked my parents to send me to the German High school of Athens where mostly kids of Germans living in Greece go to, so I also learned to speak German. I can have an everyday conversation in Spanish Italian and Dutch and I slowly learn Japanese.

Learning languages isn't about communicating with your neighbors, but learning about their culture and their mentality. It fascinates me. To me language is not a tool, it's power.
 
But if you never are going to communicate with someone of another language then why learn it? You can learn about culture without having to go in depth into learning their language. I dont need to know Latin to learn about the Roman culture do I?
 
It's cultural and almost traditional in European education systems and among parents to emphasize learning of foreign languages. The mixing of people, the small sizes of countries, business, jobs, open market etc, strengthen the need for it.
In Canada, USA and Australia the need for learning foreign languages never really existed. Almost wherever you go in N. America and Australia one just needs to know one language. On top of it half of the world generally knows English. It might have started from English empire. If you own half the world, why would you learn other languages?
Does speaking just English make one handicap, inferior, uncultured? I never think about this that way.
It's true though that it's always better to know two languages instead of one.

I'm sure we could find quite few geniuses that had moved our world forward knowing only one language, and we still are thankful for their existence, not really realizing how culturally handicapped they were.
 
But if you never are going to communicate with someone of another language then why learn it? You can learn about culture without having to go in depth into learning their language. I dont need to know Latin to learn about the Roman culture do I?
I just stated my personal opinion in my previous post. I think that if I want to fully understand someone's culture I must learn their language. They way language helps you express your feelings affects your mentality.
A simple example that just came in my mind: in English when you want to say that you memorize something you say: by heart, while in Greek we say: by mind. I think such differences in people's language also affect their view of the world around them.

As for Latin, in Greek highschools Latin is compulsory for those students who follow the theoretical branch, with classes like modern and ancient philosophy, history and literature. It is considered that they must know the language if they want to fully understand the meaning of ancient Roman texts and what they are trying to express. For sure they are not going to use Latin to communicate with anyone.

I don't think that someone is uncultured if they don't know more than one languages, don't get me wrong. I think though that people in Europe tend to admire more than Americans history, languages and culture and that is why we learn many languages, while they are more practical minds and only care about their country.

Don't get me wrong but I think Americans live in a bubble that only includes their country, even with the spread of internet they have no idea about the rest of the world. It also surpises me that they say we Europeans learn languages because we have so many different countries around us so it's practically needed to speak many of them, but none of them speaks at least Spanish, with Mexico and all those Latin American countries close to USA.
 
Some people love learning languages, just for the heck of it, and they are in abundance here in Eupedia, for some reason.

For general population in Europe it is very useful to know other languages. Travel few hundred kilometers for vacation, work, school and most likely you end up in different country.
In America or Australia, you are still in same country. One can go on vacation to Mexico, but still one can communicate around in English.
 
Sorry Bud, but I have lived and studied in Australia, and I was shocked to see the ignorance of most ordinary Australians (there are always exceptions) about the rest of the world. At least half of the people I met had no idea where Belgium was or that it was even a country ! I have also travelled around India and South-East Asia and lived in Japan, and everybody had heard or Belgium. Except in Japan, most Asians usually knew that Belgians spoke French or Dutch (even Indian street children who had never been to school).

As for foreign-language learning, I may be harsh because I come from a country where everybody learns at least two or three foreign languages in secondary school, and business school graduates are supposed to be fluent in five (and fluent means being able to speak, not just read or listen), but I have hardly met any Australian who could hold up a conversation in another language than English, unless they or their parents were recent immigrants.

Apart from that I love Australia and have nothing against Australian people. Don't misunderstand me.


Maciamo I completely agree with you regarding the ignorance of Australians. Bud & others are only really offering reasons for this ignorance - which is fine since I think there are many logical reasons for it (eg remoteness/proximity, English language etc). However I believe there is also a cultural element of apathy amongst Australians, though I see apathy as a western cultural trait also. What I find embarassing in Australia is the way the media and general populace plays out and mocks Americans as being ignorant when there is I think very little difference in this regard when it comes to Australians knowledge of for instance Europe and international politics.
 
why is it that if a country doesnt know much about Europe they are ignorant? When in fact i can guarantee countries in Europe would know very little about Australia, Who the head of state is, who the prime minister is, list goes on.

And being an Australian and speaking to diverse people in my life i can guarantee majority of Australians do actually know about world events, history and yes even countries of Europe.
 
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thought this might amuse some people, its from a Formula 1 forum i am a member of, its posted from an Englishman living in Kansas


myownalias said:
Not quite in the context of this thread but; when I was working as a tech for a tax software company recently; during my training on the software; one of my fellow trainees asked me "where are you originally from?" of course I replied the UK, then he said "how long have you been speaking English? it's really easy to understand you!" - Of course I am thinking; is he being serious? After about 30 seconds of silence I said "all my life" then went onto explain that England was party of the UK! Then he felt like a prize fool! :hehe:


myownalias said:
Trust me it gets worse; the agency person that hired me thought that "UK" stood for Ukraine. Of course I corrected her saying its "United Kingdom", then she asked the question; "so what language do you speak in the United Kingdom?", being sarcastic I said "French!", and the reply came back "really?"... welcome to life in Kansas!
 
What makes Europeans similar between each others, as opposed to Americans


I think there are many types of Europeans and many types of US Americans as well.

People trend to believe that the average European is more educated in History and had a better understandig and perspective of global things and more aware of other cultures. Also, that the Europeans trend to be more liberal and less bigoted.

"Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus"
http://www.irpp.org/po/archive/dec03/turner.pdf

I personally cannot confirm any of that.
 
why is it that if a country doesnt know much about Europe they are ignorant?

It doesn't have to be Europe... But... knowledge of Europes history, people and politics is just one way of attaining anthropological knowledge, which subsequently increases your ability to empathize/relate/understand/appreciate other ethnicities/peoples. And it's cyclical. You gain some knowledge through necessity or whatever and you want to know more and then it increses your appreciation simply of anthropological knowledge. So for instance, Europeans may need to know a bit of their neighbours language for comerse, through interaction they'll pick up some history, politics, will in turn appreciate it's value & then they'll want to be able to achieve that for other peoples around the world... Americans, Asians, Africans or whomever. Like I said it doesn't have to be Europe... but... Australians/US Americans seem to have little compensating factors... I mean Australians I might suggest would know a bit more about Asia then Europeans, but really it's not at much of a high level. I mean there are plenty of Australians who think that Indonesia could invade any minute. It's pathetic. The paranoia about boat people is another example of Australian ignorance. If they knew about Europe they would realise how such a comparatively insignificant scale of a problem it is.

When in fact i can guarantee countries in Europe would know very little about Australia, Who the head of state is, who the prime minister is, list goes on.

First of all, you most definitely can not guarantee that. This entire conversation is entirely based on anecdotal evidence... And as such... in my experience I have had family in Europe contact me to find out what is happening in Australia from things they have seen on the news. Western journalism on the other hand is absolutely pathetic. Prime time news in Australia is too often Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie... atm Oprah. There are more important things happening around the world & my cousins in Europe hear about it when we don't. Journalism in Australia is infuriating. We used to have better journalism in the past... Foreign Correspondent was one of the best programs... At least 60 Minutes used to do international political stories in the past. Now it's just a celebrity suck fest thrown in with mostly stories of individual tragedy. News is just becoming Entertainment Tonight.

And being an Australian and speaking to diverse people in my life i can guarantee majority of Australians do actually know about world events, history and yes even countries of Europe.

Again this is all anecdotal which is fine but you are not convincing. I completely disagree and I am from Australia.
 
i take your basis on everything being around what the media puts out there? And i dont know about you but i was born here lived here all my life and im basing my own personal opinion on what i know so for you to disagree with it is futile.
 
"About 1% of family names still have a "noble particle" (uncapitalised "de", "di", "von", "van", etc.) and it does have a meaning for some people."

This is just plain nonsense. The 'de' particle means 'the' and 'van' means 'of'. The name vanderbilt for instance should be written like 'van der bilt' which means 'of the bilt' and 'bilt' is nothing more than a village in the Netherlands (near Utrecht) occupied by some 43 thousand people.

"It seems that telemarketing is also much more common in the States than in most EU countries."

In the Netherlands there are laws against this because people find it very, very, very anoying.
 
One funny difference:
Whereas Europeans tend to fold their toilettpaper, Americans use to screw theirs up before using.
Don´t ask, how that information hit me :)
 

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