I’m not even sure the word generalization will fit this post. I’m sure another word could easily replace it, we’ll just leave it there. Sometimes I get bored of talking about video games and animation. A recent short discussion has made me want to write this, so lets see how I do with it.
A friend of mine asked me a question. “If you could live in any other country besides the USA, what would it be?” Before I could answer she blurted out. “I’d live in Japan” I then said “I’d probably go with Germany”. Without hesitation a stranger asked me
“Why would you want to be a Nazi”
I sat there and smiled at him, honestly the cat had grabbed my tongue. I was dumbfounded, by an ignorant question, and I didn’t know how to respond. I’m a quite guy, who usually stays quiet in front of people I don’t know. Needless to say this older man didn’t press forward or say another word to us.
At first, I guess you could assume he might have been joking. But later I asked friends and some family the same question my friend asked me. After they answered, and I responded with Germany, I got quite a few of the same responses as the first man. Enough of the same to facepalm for a month.
I’m a huge fan of history, and I’ve always studied a bit about other countries besides my own. I will also have to admit, what draws me to European countries is the conflict that seems to plague Germany, by these few outsiders lol. But, it makes me wonder how much bigger this generalization is.
Of course this comes with all things in life, from religion, race, to everything really. It made go back and asked these same people about other countries. I’ll just post the country, then list the few of the things I heard.
- Not that big of a deal, most are drunk on vodka.
- They are stupid, and hate Americans.
- All of them are communist, and need to be taken care of.
- Most of them are spy’s, and not to be trusted.
- I hear they are all really friendly.
- I’d love to visit there.
- I heard their food was amazing.
- The country is run by the Mafia, haven’t you seen the movies? (This one cracks me up, one of my friends is obsessed with mafia movies.)
- I would love to visit Japan.
- Sony & Nintendo, enough said.
- Hideo Kojima is God, whats not to love about Japan?
- Japan is full of perverts.
- The Japanese crucified Santa Claus. (I have no clue where that one came from.)
- They caused the holocaust.
- They are Nazis.
- The women there don’t shave.
- Germans are cold hearted, and have no sense of humor.
The reason I asked about these four countries is simple. If a few will make generalizations about a country from WW2, why not the rest? But as you can see, it really didn’t turn out that way. I then preceded to try and get opinions on Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, and Hirohito. I didn’t get much of a response with any of them, other than Stalin, which usually brought talk of the Cold War.
This all made me think of the possibility of my friends and family, among others as just being under educated. I’m not saying this in a bad way, but its easy to generalize or at least come up with an answer to something you know nothing about.
Through school, I went from kindergarten to half a year of 6th grade in Virginia. Finished out my 6th to half of 9th grade in Ohio. Then finished out 9th grade to the end of 10th grade in Indiana before I quit. Then got my GED when I came back to Virginia.
Three states where I had to live, and forced to study lol. I get that certain subjects like History, Science, with others are boring. Me being the big history nerd, never learned anything about other countries mostly. This includes geography thrown into the mix. These three states on a scale are miles apart from each other in a scary way, when it comes to thie education levels.
To some I may be considered a drop out, and I’ll admit I hated school. My grades started slipping as soon as I hit 5th grade, my interest wasn’t there. But I can say, I always passed my History, and Geography classes with perfect grades. I even got student of the month for history in 8th grade lol.
It still comes down to these conversations bothering me. I want to travel, to really visit every country I possibly can. I’ve never been one to really judge anyone, or make fun of, for any reason.
Doesn’t mean or represent this
Upon further looking around, and even asking some people. Anything as far as Nazi memorabilia is banned in Germany. I’ll just leave a list on this one too.
- Kids are taught about WWII at an early age, which continues to be reinforced throughout school.
- The main focus is the Holocaust, which are shown in stark terms.
- People such as Hitler and his followers are portrayed as pathetic. Who were evil and brutal, but also deluded and somewhat petty, and dim.
- Making a Nazi salute is a crime.
- Saying “Heil Hitler” is a crime.
- Even some video games have been banned for having such things in it. Others have had to have those things cut and taken out.
I’m sure you get the point now, and I have no reason to keep going on listing things. I’m not even sure most would care to keep reading it. Germany has had its far share of problems.
But maybe this goes for every country though, everyone loves to say things about other people. Of course unless you flip it on them. Many Americans here in the states would flare up if you start talking about certain things. No one has a perfect explanation for having slaves, or killing another because you were looking for a better place to live, to be free to practice a religion or not too.
Many more things could pop up, it doesn’t take long to find trouble or start a fight with a so called true patriot, which has the right amount of passion and love for his country. Which setting down with them and having a long conversation, you’d think they live on a separate world, which everyone else not born here, or of the same color, or native tongue are simply foreign aliens from another planet.
Yet, we here in the United States on a deeper level are divided, and lack understanding of others. Which most want even take the time to recognize the common interest we have with others. Yet, so many fear leaving the country because they out there hate us, and we don’t know why. Some do venture out, and they realize what fun it is, and how wonderful the world really is.
And still, a simple minded fool like me can’t understand where all the hate, pride, and generalizations of others come from. I wish I could say my parents taught me this, but the sad truth is it was little. The true facts about my family is we come from Virginia, a lot of them pride the so called “redneck” life. And I hear racist things all the time, yet I’ve never found myself wanting to be like that.
As far as my country goes, I was born here, and raised here. I love it, I’ve been blessed enough to see almost every state with the exception of a few which include Hawaii, Alaska, Washington, California, and New Mexico. Maybe a few more, I got pictures of most lol.
I’m done, this rant has gone on long enough, and off point. If you’ve stuck around this long I thank you for doing so. I do want to ask though. Have you ever moved to a different country? If so do you like it? Or do you want to/ plan to?