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Thread: Is Amazing Race an embarrasment for American people?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aceon6
    Interesting point, surprise twist. It's funny, but I look at it another way, possibly because I grew up in a city. Where I grew up, there were people from all over the world. I had a chance to see various customs, and, to a certain extend "learned" them. Ukranians don't do the Cossack dance. Greeks celebrate holidays on a different calendar than we do. Jewish people have a Saturday Sabbath. People from West Africa rarely make eye contact with you. Many people from India and Pakistan are vegetarians. Observant Muslim women wear long sleeved shirts and long pants or skirts. People from Spain prefer to eat dinner after 9:00 at night.

    I didn't have to travel outside of my neighborhood to learn all that, so I'm almost mortified when I see people complaining that the countries they visit aren't like the US.

    I guess it all goes back to where and how you grew up.

    In all fairness, I haven't seen the racers do a lot of complaining about the other countries not being like the U.S. Neither have I seen hordes of Americans complaining about non-U.S.ness in my own travels. They might remark on differences - we're an opinionated people used to expressing ourselves, so a "whoa, their _____ is way different than our ____" is typical, but once again, that's cultural. On the other hand though, Americans are way more inclined to run down their own country while in the host country. That I have seen plenty of.

    But back to your point about growing up in the city, it still works both ways - you learned that people from Spain prefer to eat dinner after 9:00.... people in Spain living in big cities with lots of foreigners would probably learn that we prefer to eat dinner earlier. And I would hope that on both ends, they also learn that neither way is "right."

    All I'm saying is that the cultural sensitivity is the responsibility of everyone, not just Americans. And I'm repeating myself now so I'll stop here, but if cultural knowledge is some kind of sign of moral superiority, then we're insulting other countries if we imply that they aren't equally capable of learning cultural sensitivity themselves.

  2. #62
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    well there are some instances that you might feel a little embarassed by the actions of the contestants, but we also have to consider the present scenario that they are in which can contribute a lot on how they react on things. although i must say that colin's arrogant reaction in africa was totally below the belt and i agree with what others are saying about marshall and lance, these two has nothing good to say and them getting eliminated is just proof that they are not deserving to travel more.

    i admire chip and kim's continous appreciation with every country they visit and i truly believe that they are one team who is totally deserving of winning!

    RooTing for JON and KRIS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by nairb247
    That being said, Americans are easy to pick out of a crowd for whatever reason. Is it arrogance, possibly.
    When I lived in various Asian countries, people assumed I was from Australia, the U.K. or Canada about as often as they assumed I was an American.

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    When vacationing in Italy, my husband and I were mistaken for Swedes (and we're not even blonde).
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  5. #65
    FORT Newbie He3x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surprise twist
    All I'm saying is that the cultural sensitivity is the responsibility of everyone, not just Americans.
    I agree, especially for the ones who VISIT.

    Now, if you're going to Japan (or dealing with Japanese) to win a business, do you try to do how they do business, or do you have more expectations that they will understand how you do business?

    Give that you shall receive, not the other way around... But well, that's only me...

  6. #66
    FORT Voyeur Aceon6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by He3x
    I agree, especially for the ones who VISIT.

    Now, if you're going to Japan (or dealing with Japanese) to win a business, do you try to do how they do business, or do you have more expectations that they will understand how you do business?

    Give that you shall receive, not the other way around... But well, that's only me...
    BINGO! I also feel that it is the responsibility of the visitor to adapt to the place visited. In my experience, as soon as I've shown a willingness to adapt, my hosts have tried to meet me half way. When I'm tired and whiny, I get "more American" and have found that my hosts don't react to me as warmly.

  7. #67
    I love Julie Chen! esmattynd's Avatar
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    I agree 100% about learning about a culture when you are planning a visit. That is the responsible and polite thing to do. If I was booking a trip to Italy, I'd read up on the local culture, customs, language, etc. That's part of the fun of going overseas!!

    BUT....

    This is a race. They've traveled through what, 8 or 9 countries on 4 continents? They find out they're flying from Russia to Egypt? India to New Zealand? They have no idea where they're going in advance. What are they supposed to do, learn 30 languages? Study the customs of 140 countries? Bring along 15 changes of clothes? (I still don't know how they got those Russian parkas into the backpacks!)

    The racers do the best they can. Most all of them have been gracious, even in VERY stressful circumstances. The bus driver in Africa ripped off Brandon/Nicole; she handled it poorly but Brandon was pretty mature. You have Colin's taxi outburst, which was way too excessive and dumb, but not without any basis in fact.

    Globe trotting for a life-changing amount of money, with language barriers and cultural differences, driving in strange places, with strange signs, sometimes on the left side of the road or in the dark or on poor roads, slopping around in mud, eating strange items, getting groped in discos and trains, skydiving, chasing goats, navigating mazes of people and huge foreign cities, dealing with other teams lying to you the whole time ("I need a doctoro!")...its a LOT. I give the racers a lot of leeway and do not crucify them as "insensitive Americans" for occasionally blowing a fuse.

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by He3x
    I agree, especially for the ones who VISIT.

    Now, if you're going to Japan (or dealing with Japanese) to win a business, do you try to do how they do business, or do you have more expectations that they will understand how you do business?

    Give that you shall receive, not the other way around... But well, that's only me...
    I agree, but I wasn't really talking about visiting specifically. I'm talking about those who criticize Americans for "knowing nothing about anything outside of their little corner of the world," while absolving every other country for exactly the same thing. Either all people should try to learn a bit about world cultures, or all people are absolved from having to bother.

    In short, I'm tired of people - including other Americans - not giving us a freaking break. Why on earth would anything Colin does reflect badly on Americans or on me - I didn't raise him, and he's certainly not representative of our entire population, unless you (plural) think the entire U.S. is made up of 20-something white type-A males with anger-management problems.

    Why are we soley responsible for understanding cultural differences when thrown into a new country without any chance to prep - as if we are the only country in the world who needs to bone up on other cultures and nobody else has to make even the slightest effort to understand our culture beyond the facile "arrogant Americans" stereotype.

    For some reason, people have used Colin's behavior as proof that yes indeed, we are all arrogant hotheads ... but if we applied that same logic to a foreigner, ("yep, there's your proof - everyone in Africa tries to rip you off") people would howl like wolves. I say either apply the stereotypes in an even-handed fashion, or acknowledge that every country on earth has its Colins and its own misconceptions about other cultures.

  9. #69
    TAR Fanatic Dave_B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by surprise twist
    In short, I'm tired of people - including other Americans - not giving us a freaking break. Why on earth would anything Colin does reflect badly on Americans or on me - I didn't raise him, and he's certainly not representative of our entire population, unless you (plural) think the entire U.S. is made up of 20-something white type-A males with anger-management problems.
    Couldn't have said it any better.

    -Dave_B
    Colin and Christie or bust!

    Update: Avatar = pic of me now!

  10. #70
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    Wow, SurpriseTwist, that's one hell of a good post. You summed up everything I have thought on this topic. Thank goodness for the smilie
    "They can only edit what you give them. They cannot manufacture a fictional character out of thin air." (Bill Rancic - 4/04)
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