Thoughts on cultural prejudice

Writing this post is the result of a coincidence. A few days ago I came across an article on prejudice on Asian – I guess we all know the most common prejudices on people from different countries. The beginning of the article was promising which means that it was mentioned that there are more countries in Asia than Japan and China but the rest was really disappointing, how can a travel website seriously publish such crap? I think 15 years ago, it would have been okay to publish such an superficially  article, but publishing something like that in 2015 was really grinding my gears because there were no effort given at all to publish something more new on prejudices and trying to explain the roots of it and how it really is. Instead the articles was just talking about whether Japanese are that hardworking, Chinese struggling to pronounce an “R” and cats and dogs on the menu – how disappointing is that when the article first just continues with a few points about Chinese and Japanese stereotypes?
Sure, just start talking about two countries in Asia and you covered a whole continent. I was thinking on commenting on that but in the end I decided not to. I just can’t understand how people do so little effort on writing a topic they don’t have any idea about (according to my impression).

Even 9gag is more in-depth information on Asian stereotypes – and it’s better written than that crappy article. Honestly, I’m the person who likes making humorous remarks about stereotyping people, which I usually do when someone starts a sentence with “But Germans are…” and I like making sarcastic jokes about that, just for fun. I enjoy talking with good friends about the typical stereotypes and making jokes, but I just can’t stand when people start talking about vodka when they hear my name. Whenever I introduce myself abroad to other people, some of them get confused when they hear where I’m coming from because some don’t understand how it’s possible to have a typical Russian name but a German passport. Is it that wrong to say “I’m German” even though I was not born but raised in Germany? Same question is when people are asking for my home…. Yeah home I usually the place for me I’m currently living, so there are a couple of places which feel like home because I know where I get good fruits, which place for jogging is the best, where to get cheap booze and which bar to hang out at a Friday night. And please never start asking whether I see myself as a Russian or German!

Especially when it’s about hanging out and drinking people tend to see the typical Russian stereotype in me and I hear a lot of “Oh, why don’t you drink some vodka?” or “We should drink together”. Sometimes I’m wondering if people really just connect my name with vodka… there is so much more to know about Russia such as the typical dishes and world class literature.

When I meet new people or just during conversations with friends sometimes also these stereotypes come up and there are sometimes questions I ask people about their culture because I’m fascinated by people which are from different countries. Of course I met people so far which are totally conform to the stereotypes of their countries but also people who don’t. What I wish more people would do: When you travel abroad and talk to people from other cultures and find out yourself about stereotypes. Don’t just turn TV on and see some cheap comparisons between cultures. Gosh, this is a topic I could talk day and night… and never get tired of it!

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