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-   -   Nationality Identification (https://www.fodors.com/community/europe/nationality-identification-668362/)

GSteed Jan 8th, 2007 12:21 PM

Nationality Identification
 
Why do USA citizens dislike being identified as Americans in Europe? Or, why do they try to avoid being identified as American?

Dukey Jan 8th, 2007 12:26 PM

A lot of us don't and we always benefit from the resulting warmth shown to us by "the locals."

tomboy Jan 8th, 2007 12:32 PM

The attempt at masquerade is largely limited to girlie-men.

The_Babs Jan 8th, 2007 12:38 PM

I live in NYC and when I see a batch of American tourists cramming their way into a subway car and snapping photos of each other while shouting inane questions, it gets on my nerves. I think that all too often, people overseas are encountering THOSE tourists on a daily basis and it gives a bad impression of Americans. I try to make sure that people I meet in my travels know that I'm an American so that they don't think we're all just loud and obnoxious.

Curt Jan 8th, 2007 12:48 PM

But babs once they learn you are from New Yawk they will think so anyway eh?

robjame Jan 8th, 2007 12:48 PM

If indeed it is a serious question, I suspect that for some it is an attempt to avoid being identified with the old stereotype of the Ugly American from the 1958 novel. And I quote from the book ďA mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they're frightened and defensive, or maybe they're not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance."
It is a stereotype and carries with it all that is wrong with stereotypes.
I think that some people are sensitive to that perception and go overboard to avoid being labeled as such. Some become overly defensive to even the question.
It is perhaps why we try to blend in, wear appropriate clothing, etc, etc.
Another reason might be a desire to disassociate oneself from particular political actions or beliefs.

Dave_in_Paris Jan 8th, 2007 12:53 PM

Sometimes we say we're Canadians. It's because we don't want to have THE CONVERSATION. Boring, since it is so one-sided.

cigalechanta Jan 8th, 2007 12:53 PM

robjame, in the book, the ugly American was the good guy.

ira Jan 8th, 2007 12:54 PM

>Why do USA citizens dislike being identified as Americans in Europe? <

Because all them furriners thinks we is rich and they raises the prices on us and rips us off.


Curt Jan 8th, 2007 12:55 PM

ummmm ".... They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They're loud and ostentatious. Perhaps they're frightened and defensive, or maybe they're not properly trained and make mistakes out of ignorance." Sounds like my neighbors.....

richardab Jan 8th, 2007 12:57 PM

Shame on anyone who is American and says they are Canadian.

SeaUrchin Jan 8th, 2007 01:01 PM

The only time I have ever read or heard about someone trying to hide that they are from the USA is here on Fodors. Seems like Fodorites are very concerned about fitting in.


Dave_in_Paris Jan 8th, 2007 01:02 PM

Sorry Richard, but I did my service from 1965 to 1967. Enough, IMO.

The_Babs Jan 8th, 2007 01:03 PM

hahahah to the Canadian pretense.

When I was in Paris once, this French guy came up to me while i was waiting for the metro and we struck up a conversation. He was very pleasant and was telling me all sorts of good places to go and see. Then he asked me "what part of England are you from?"...and I was like "uuhhh...well...I'm actually not from England, I'm from New York City." To which he gave me the dirtiest look...almost like I had tricked him...and he said "When someone tells me they are American, I say BYE BYE." and he turned and walked away. It was so insulting...but so funny.

The_Babs Jan 8th, 2007 01:05 PM

Curt, i never picked up the accent even though I'm born and raised in NYC. Lucky for me...i can pretend to be Canadian OR British. haha.

PalenqueBob Jan 8th, 2007 01:08 PM

<Why do USA citizens dislike being identified as Americans in Europe? Or, why do they try to avoid being identified as American?>

I think this is a bogus impression - based on what - i've never sought to conceal my nationality, nor to trumpet it - i do wear a peace button with an American flag motif.

I think your initial statement is a bunch of bull.

RufusTFirefly Jan 8th, 2007 01:46 PM

I've never met an American who pretends to be anything other than what they are. Maybe I run around with a more secure group of people than some other people do.

cigalechanta Jan 8th, 2007 01:50 PM

And I never met an American pretending to be Canadian.

SeaUrchin Jan 8th, 2007 02:00 PM

Eh?

FauxSteMarie Jan 8th, 2007 02:07 PM

The fodorites who worry about fitting in must speak several languages in addition to English--fluently. Otherwise, the moment they try and say something, the gig is up.

Europeans could not care less. If they are involved in the tourist industry, they would be delighted to take your money no matter what clothes you are wearing--or what shoes you have on your feet.


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