Global Engagement Blogs

Why Can’t We Be Friends?

Why the heck are we all so judgmental of one another’s countries?

I’m not going to lie, I was quite offended when I read some degrading commentary on our country.  We’re not all that bad!  And I’m sure I could write an equally vicious one about yours… but that’s just it. When traveling abroad, it is so easy to focus on the points that make us uncomfortable; the aspects that are a stark contrast from our home country.

So when I study abroad, I want to make the effort to consciously choose to appreciate every aspect of culture.  Chances are, there is a reason behind a custom I may find offensive.

3 thoughts on “Why Can’t We Be Friends?

  1. I agree with your sentiment. Why do we judge other countries? It’s a perplexing scenario. One’s judgement leads towards equal judgement from an opposing country. (That’s why Europe is locked in perpetual judgement of each other.)

    England and the United States have one of the most special relationships in the international community. Everything is shared, even classified information. However, there are still stereotypes, and judgements made by both parties.

    I like your approach. A seemingly offensive custom could be something important in another culture. At worst, we should all do our best to respect an opposing culture. (:

  2. Thank you for your comment on this! I value your opinion especially because you are very culturally aware and well traveled, and can attest to the beauty in the people of all nations (yes, even the French). But also think about this, even within the US there are these stereotypes! Californians, for example, have this stigma against Arizonans, thinking that we are all SoCal wannabes. They even call us “Zonies” with a derogatory connotation. Because of this, I feel that to even attempt to diminish negative stereotypes on a global scale is close to impossible. But we, the educated and accepting, will be the exception to this.

  3. Yes, yes. Even the French haha. You make a very good point! Even within the same country these exist. Mancunians, although we like London, view it as a pretentious city where all the money goes. Londoners view Manchester as a sad little brother who will never accomplish achieve London’s status! It’s funny how this works, not only are we all on the same global team, but in both our examples, we are on the same countries’ team! I don’t know how these judgmental ideals come into being, but I wish they would disappear. They contribute nothing.

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