Cultural Profiling vs. Reality

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Before I moved to the US I heard a lot of people saying that I am different from what a 'typical Ukrainian' was in their head. I didn't mind - I never wanted to be a 'typical' anything, a strive everyone should reach for I believe. For me it means that I am somewhat different and different is good. What they wanted to say was 'Hey, you are open and friendly and you smile a lot. You also try to treat everyone like your friend and believe in equality of sexes'. A compliment only a few Ukrainians are willing to utter. Thank you all anyway.

My husband would always joke around when we met, saying that I am 'more American' than he is. It didn't bother me at all up until now(ish). I still get 'you are more American than I am (we are)' from people even though I physically am in the US. So what is the key behind this phrase?

I asked on facebook what do people mean by that? And here is what I got:

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blogger, ukraine, usa, living abroad, expat, expat blog, wordly, alisa kaiser
blogger, ukraine, usa, living abroad, expat, expat blog, wordly, alisa kaiser

blogger, ukraine, usa, living abroad, expat, expat blog, wordly, alisa kaiser


Let us dive into this. So basically, I am getting stereotyped. Not good. Yes, I like my Starbucks and no, I am not a BWG (do I really need to spell this one out for you? didn't think so). Yes, I don't like soup but it doesn't mean I don't take care of myself and my body (yes mom, I eat soup SOMETIMES). I watch US TV shows like it is my job (so? I've done it for years! Send me a link to a good TV show that is Ukrainian/Israeli/Canadian etc. and I will gladly watch it!). Yes, I make fun of hipsters (dude, I live in East Nashville, aka Hipster Paradise - how can I not?).

See what I mean? Something in my behavior pattern leads people to believe that if I have opinions/habits/favorites = that would be a definition of an American and not a Ukrainian. World, we need to talk.

My cultural background has nothing to do with this yet people are still holding on to it like it is their job. It is easier for most of us living in this universe to compartmentalize the information we receive through all of our receptors and that's ok when it comes to food. But people? Come on. Shoving people in the boxes is like a crime against humanity, isn't it? Alright, maybe not so dramatic. We all judge, I know. But can we really judge culture? And background? And people's stories?

So next time you say 'Oh, well yeah, he did this cause he is an Indian/Arab/Mexican' - stop. After all, we all are just walking bones and flesh and skin. This got dark way too fast. 

2 comments

  1. I really liked this write/rant. You make some excellent points.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you for always supporting me. it feels like my heart is filling up with warm and protective liquid.

      Delete

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