When we picture someone from another country, we often resort to stereotypes. For example, picture a French person. What is the person wearing? Most often we’ll imagine a beret with a little scarf and a black and white striped shirt. Obviously, that’s just a stereotype. French people wear all sorts of things, and berets? They haven’t been in style for a while, so no one wears those anymore!
England & Tea
We all know that the English love tea. Today, it’s almost a joke how much British people love their leaf-water, but it really is true. England loves their tea, and we mean that as genuinely as possible. Apparently, it’s even pretty easy to get tea in pubs. In America, if you asked for tea in a bar, you’d get some seriously funny looks
Despite this, did you know that England isn’t even the biggest drinker of tea out there? Sure, they drink a lot, but Turkey is actually the biggest consumer of tea in the world. According to The Atlantic, the United Kingdom all together drinks about 4.281 pounds of tea per person while Turkey consumes about 6.961 pounds.
England & Queueing
English citizens will admit that this one is true. British people love a good queue. We don’t use that word much in America, but it means to line up for something – like how we line up to get coffee in the morning. That’s called a queue in England.
In 2011, during the London Riots, there were people even lining up to rob stores! Order is also pretty important, so most people don’t cut. That isn’t to say it never happens, but when someone does cut, English people will just scoff and shake their heads disapprovingly. No doubt they also mutter obscenities under their breath.
Germany & Rules
Rules are essential for a society to blossom, and in Germany, they take that very seriously. This country follows the rules to the “T,” even when crossing the road. Say there isn’t any traffic. People will wait until the little green guy pops up, indicating that it’s safe to cross the road.
Unlike many other countries, German citizens will police each other rather than needing police officers to swoop in to give tickets or fines. Some say that Germans have a strong desire to live in harmony while others claim, “if everyone adopts a behavior that’s good for society, it’s also good for the individual.”
Germany & Directness
Germans have a strong stereotype for being direct, and that’s very true. They aren’t trying to be rude or insulting, but it’s just the way they grew up. Germans are a very straight-shooting bunch, often being very goal-oriented. This causes them to be quite direct.
They’re not ones to beat around the bush. They also aren’t fans of small talk, which can be huge for countries like ours. While it can be stark at first, it’s also pretty nice because you don’t have to guess what someone is trying to say to you – they’ll say it straight to your face.
Italy & Talking With Hands
Italians have a hilarious stereotype that they talk with their hands. Some people may believe it’s just passionate Italians, but a large portion of Italy use their hands to chat. Speaking with your hands is such a huge part of Italian culture that when learning the language, Italian teachers also teach hand gestures.
The biggest misconception is that Italians are just waving their hands around, but they’re not! Many of the signs mean something in Italian, so you can’t mix them up. For example, the classic hand gesture we all think of means, “What are you doing?”
Italy & Pasta
Italy is more than just pasta, but they do love their pasta. Why? Well, the answer is simple – for the sauces! See, pasta isn’t just pasta. Some are made to carry heavy sauces while others are designed for lighter sauces, like ones comprised of mostly olive oil.
Pasta also dates back to Roman times, when people made sheets of dough similar to today’s lasagna. Countries all around Italy also love the noodley goodness, although Italy certainly has a hold on making the most delicious pasta dishes.
Scotland & Anger
We’re not suggesting that Scottish people fly off at the handle all the time, but this stereotype is somewhat true – as brought up by several Scots-people on Reddit. Scottish people are pretty…passionate, to say the least.
Scots have a tendency to get a little more agitated than the average person, but their hearts are often in the right place, for the most part. However, it isn’t an uncommon sight to see a brawl outside a Glaswegian pub on a Saturday night.
Scotland & Patriotism
Scottish people are really patriotic. More now than ever, we’re seeing that the Scottish people want independence badly because they love their country and no longer want to be considered part of England.
We get it – there’s a lot to be proud of. The country is beautiful, the accent is superb, and the people are amazing. Since they’re so patriotic, don’t ever call a Scottish person an Englishman. They’ll likely get pretty upset (alluding to our other Scottish true stereotype).
Australia & Danger
At this point, the fact that Australians live in a dangerous country is a long-running joke, but it’s painfully true. Every country has its fair share of scary critters, but it’s like someone said, “hey, if we ship most of the scary stuff to Australia, we won’t have to worry as much!”
The country has more dangerous snakes than any country worldwide, including the world’s most venomous snake. It also has sharks, spiders, and bees. Now, that last one may not seem scary, but don’t underestimate the European honey bee. Due to the high incidence of bee stings, they’re second to snakes as the deadliest venomous animal in Australia. And the cute, cuddly kangaroos? They’ll brawl better than most people (and hit harder, too).
Australia & Calm Mindsets
Australia has a huge stereotype for being easy-going, and it’s pretty accurate for the most part. That isn’t to say you won’t meet a neurotic, type-A Australian here and there, but they’re chill more often than not.
While we want to say it’s easy to have a calm mindset when you’re surrounded by beaches, it’s also gotta be tough living in a country that seemingly wants to eat you alive. Regardless, most people are shocked when they visit Australia and find out how calm the people are.
Ireland & Potatoes
Okay, this one seems a little unfair, right? Potatoes are awesome, and few vegetables are more versatile than the potato (we’ll have to give that one to cauliflower). Still, Ireland loves potatoes – and we mean they love potatoes.
Potatoes have been a big part of Irish cuisine for centuries. Potatoes are pretty easy to grow, and they’re hardy enough to survive the Irish climate. They don’t care how it’s prepared, as long as there’s a tasty spud dish at every meal.
Ireland & Pubs
Irish people enjoy a good drink, but they definitely prefer to do it in a pub. Pubs can be found scattered throughout Ireland like churches in America. That being said, most people underestimate how much Irish people love their pub culture.
Even when visiting another country, especially America, it isn’t uncommon for an Irish person to seek out an Irish pub to spend the evening. Maybe it’s the culture shock, but it could also be that Irish pubs are quaint and cozy.
Russians & Drinking
Russia and alcohol go together like peanut butter and jelly. Russia has a huge stereotype of drinking a lot, and its reputation is pretty accurate. They drink a lot. VinePair reported that Russia drinks 14.5 liters per capita!
Surprisingly, they aren’t even the highest. That “honor” goes to Moldova, which consumes a whopping 17.4 liters per capita. Fortunately for Russia, the country has managed to cut its consumption down 40% since 2003, according to The Guardian. While they still drink a lot, the stereotype may be false in the future.
Russians & Babushkas
We’ve all seen the stereotype of the Russian babushka, the grandma that just wants to shove food in your mouth. It isn’t hard to imagine that this stereotype is true; after all, what grandma doesn’t want to feed their grandkids?
Babushkas have an important role in Russian families. It’s common for grandmas to play a large part in their grandchildren’s early years, which creates a very strong bond. Babushkas also handle most holiday gatherings. Of course, they also wear scarves around their heads. Russia is cold!
Canada & Politeness
If you’ve never been to Canada, you may wonder why everyone calls them so polite. People in the states are nice, too, but Canada? They’re a whole new level of politeness. Canadians are more likely to apologize to if something happens. We’ve heard many stories of a Canadian apologizing to someone else when their foot is stepped on.
We’re not just coming up with stuff either. Canadians agree, and science backs it up! Two doctoral students at McMaster University created a word cloud for America and Canada. The American word cloud had words like hate, crazy, lol, and a few obscenities. Canada’s most used words were favorite, amazing, great, and beautiful (also with no obscenities).
Canada & Maple Syrup
Canada loves maple syrup. Though, that’s to be expected when you produce 71% of the world’s maple syrup, 91% of it being produced in Quebec alone. Now, Canadian’s don’t just eat maple syrup on their pancakes.
When it’s cold enough (it’s Canada, so pretty much always), Canadians will pour lines of maple syrup in the snow and leave it for a few hours to freeze. They call this “maple snow candy,” and it’s pretty darn.
France & Bread
We often see a stereotypical French drawing where they’re carrying bread under their arm. That’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but French people do love bread. Food quality and the way it’s consumed is very important in France. There’s a reason they’re one of the top places to eat in the world.
Chefs take a lot of pride in their food, and when you eat, you have to have bread. A meal isn’t a meal without a good helping of bread. From toasted bread to croissants to desserts, bread is an essential part of every meal.
France & Waiters
If you visit Paris and stop at an old Parisian cafe, don’t expect the wait staff to be overly friendly like they are in the States. Catering to guests’ needs is serious in France. In fact, many are paid a real wage (unlike America), and it’s a very important profession.
It isn’t odd to have an older person waiting on you since it’s a job that’s worthy of recognition. For that reason, they want respect. They’re also used to French customers, who are much more direct. They don’t beat around the bush, quietly asking for the bill while hoping the waiter understands eye contact means “please come here!”
America & Volume Levels
This is a stereotype we’ve heard time and time again. Granted, it depends on where you go, but on average, Americans are louder than many other nationalities. It’s okay that we’re loud! We often get louder when we’re around friends because we feel comfortable around each other.
Because of this, we’re often struck by silence in other countries. Japan’s morning train commute is so quiet that you can hear a pin drop, so Americans are taken aback. It’s just that silence is much more important in some societies than others, especially at certain times.
America & Optimism
Anyone visiting America is surprised by how optimistic we are. Not just easy-going, but straight happy-go-lucky. Any time you purchase something, you’re told to “have a nice day” or something of the like. Then there’s the fact that we smile as we pass other people!
Guidebooks to America even point out that we smile a lot, and to fit in, tourists should do the same. The fact of the matter is that we do it to make other people feel comfortable. Just don’t do it in other countries or they may perceive you as being a bit crazy.