After some maybe-not-so-well deserved but very well appreciated vacations, I come back to retake from my last post where I talked about how Sweden is viewed by some American news and opinion shows. I received a reply from a guy concerned of how those visions affect the realities and appreciations of any given country or society. I am Mexican and as such I have dealt with a bunch of stereotypes, most of them related to our traditional culture (sombreros, tequila, parties… anyone?) and other of how we are perceived from the outer world (lazy, violent, disorganized, dirty…). After giving it a thought, I realized that every single country has their own story behind their own stereotypes and clichés, behind their myths there is always a history to be told that maybe backs up the general assumption or trumps it all the way.
Can anyone share their own? How about Sweden? Never heard the myth about the all-blonde country with high suicide rates where the sun never shows up? Or the communist, self deprecating country with a complicated language as old as the country itself? I think most of us have heard one of these things, just as I have heard that Mexicans are lazy and love taking siestas, whereas the truth is that Mexican people are hard working with an ancient cultural baggage, sometimes hard to relate to or even understand.
How about if for the next days we all share our cliches and stereotypes and break them down here, I know some of them and harsh, racist and offensive but I believe that discussing them is a good way to avoid them in the future… And some of them actually have funny stories behind them… Some of them.
What I am trying to do here is to listen and share how we see each others cultures, histories and way of living, directly from their people and then get own visions straight on thing that maybe we don’t have a clear. I think it’ll be fun, I will try to collaborate as much as possible, but I will need some help… Remember, the more, the merrier.