International Students Share Their Favorite American Stereotypes

From food to fitness, people explain how they can tell someone’s from the United States.

Image via Youtube/Solfa.

For better or worse, stereotypes are one of the filters through which most of us see the world. They simplify our complex surroundings, and help our brains compartmentalize and process new information.

When it comes to stereotyping other people based on things like ethnicity, nationality, and race, the results aren’t always — in fact, often aren’t — very good. Still, stereotypes are one of the fundamental organizing principals our minds fall back upon in order to make sense of the world around us.

Having said all that, it’s not often one is given the chance to hear stereotypes laid out quite so bare as they are in the following video, reportedly filmed on the campus of Japan’s Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. There, one enterprising filmmaker asked members of the university’s diverse community (nearly 50% of which hails from countries other than Japan) just what they thought of Americans.

Their answers, while occasionally baffling, are illuminating, as well:

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As poet Robert Burns famously pleaded, “...would some Power give us the gift / to see ourselves as others see us!

And now that we’ve had a taste of what the rest of the world thinks of Americans, perhaps this video will inspire all of us to consider the stereotypes we ourselves hold when it comes to everyone else.

[via neatorama]