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    Okay, so I’m at my dad’s, and we’re about to watch this documentary film about the Continuation War between Finland and Russia. He accidentally picks the wrong language, and now the menu is in Finnish. Since he is quite bad at digital stuff he asks me to find the section where you choose language.

    Suddenly there was this violent rage bubbling inside me as I asked him to tell me what it sayid on the options menu, and once we managed to start the film with the proper subtitles I couldn’t even look at it. As he reminiscences about how it was when he was in recruitment training back in Finland my mind was occupied by the sudden realization that I have a deep resentment for my Finnish heritage.

    Now allow me to explain: My dad is from Finland, but never taught me or my siblings to speak Finnish. Regardless of that I always had pride in thinking of myself as part-Finn when I grew up. Now I cannot honestly say I do. Worst is that my dad seemed to realize that there was something bothering me during the course of the movie, and probably got a vague idea what it was about. And I do feel somewhat sorry for him, because he seems to regret never teaching us Finnish and encouraged me when I thought about taking courses.

    Just the other day I though I was over it, only to have it pour out over something this trivial.

    I assume that I’m having a cultural identity-crisis, and I’m wondering whether anyone here has gone through anything similar. Of course I don’t think you should feel like you belong to a culture purely out of genetic ties. For one, I’ve also always though of myself as part Italian even though I have no relatives-by-blood there (My family is complicated). I’m not really interested in hearing a response regarding my story as hearing you guys tell yours (if you’re willing to share and don’t find it too sensitive a subject)

    It can be sort of like therapy for us second generation-immigrants, and perhaps provide a little insight for those who’ve never encountered the dilemma. Just a thought….


    My ancestry is technically half-German, but I never own up to it when people ask me. It’s not like it’s a World War-related revisionist distaste or something, since they were already in America by the beginning of the twentieth century. I just never connected with the idea of Germany as a whole. The idea of Ireland appeals to me, as does the idea of Scotland to a lesser extent. Hell, the idea of Moorish seafarers appeals to me, but nothing about Germany ever did.

    I think part of it is related to the fact that I associate German descent with the state of Minnesota, which, at risk of offending our many MN residents who are all true bros, I really disliked the culture of. I was born in Texas and grew up Texan, which unless you’re some kind of self-loathing Austin resident, comes with a fair amount of jingoism attached. It bothered me a great deal how… stale, for lack of a better word, the state of MN felt to me whenever I visited twice a year. My feelings about the state were later solidified when I spent three years(8th-10th grade) living there. Texas has this bizarre, discordant authenticity to it that makes it unique, even in the small towns. Minnesota feels like it views itself in the same way, but I just don’t see it. 80% of the towns were named “St. __________” and mascots were all the “_________ies.” There didn’t seem to be any appreciable difference between locations. This homogeneity just exacerbated the way MN seemed to view itself as some kind of special entity and looked down on other nearby states in the region… which was like somebody calling his identical twin ugly.

    When I moved back to Texas for the last two years of high school, some of my teammates tried to nickname me “Big Minnesota” and my brother “Little Minnesota.” I made it explicitly clear that I was Texan, and I would not take kindly to anybody referring to me as anything else.

    Anyway, I could probably ramble some more but I am lazy. I apologize if I offended our MN guys, but I’d like you to take it as a token of respect that I think enough of you not to sugarcoat my opinions on the matter.

      CommentAuthorEmil 1.4021
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010 edited

    I think that as a European it is quite difficult to grasp the subtle cultural differences between states in the US. Even more surprising is the fact that there seems to be be no political movements (that I know of) trying to make any of it’s states into a separate country, whereas in other parts of the world those kinds of thoughts seem to pop up all the sime….

    Southern Sweden is one, actually. The southernmost county of Skåne has roughly a third of a million inhabitants, yet they still have a political party pushing to make them into a separate country. Not likely to happen though. Another example I’ve seen would be “Lega Nord” in northern Italy, whose main motive seems to be to separate the richer northern Italy from the poorer south….


    there seems to be be no political movements (that I know of) trying to make any of it’s states into a separate country, whereas in other parts of the world those kinds of thoughts seem to pop up all the sime…

    There are secessionists in my state, but as an actual movement it’s pretty fringe. However, if the US economic and governmental situation keeps deteriorating, I wouldn’t be shocked to see it pick up steam, considering how well we are doing compared to the rest of the country.

      CommentAuthorRed Sky
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010

    I wrote an mini-essay/rant on this once:

    So, I’m Chinese. And when people don’t mix it up with the Japanese or Koreans, it’s what others probably think when they look at me. It’s what my parents always try to remind me. It’s what I know I’m supposed to be. But I don’t feel it. I look it, sometimes act it, but really, I don’t feel any sort of bond to my heritage. My heart goes out equally to both those who’ve suffered in the recent earthquake in China and those victimized by the one in Haiti. I give no special treatment for the Chinese; we’re all humans and we all feel pain. And none of us are above scorn, certainly not China.

    My parents have criticized me for that in the past. To them, I’m another ignorant American, incapable of seeing the truth, the simple fact China has every right to Tibet, every right to Taiwan, every right to Arunachal Pradesh, that most of the surrounding land (Nepal, Korea, Mongolia, etc.) was once theirs and if China were to lay claim to any of it, it would be rightfully so. And you know what? I probably am an ignorant American, but definitely for other reasons, not for that. My refusal to blindly side with China for all issues current and future can not count as ignorance.

    But I guess it does count towards me not being Chinese, according to them. And they’re probably right. Here we have a big cultural gap. No, they’re not all still reading the little red book, living in their communist dictatorship, but they do still have a strong, patriotic faith in their country, much stronger than here in America. I know people talk about humans rights in China, how you can’t really speak out against the government, but no one wants to; they’re raised with a far more communal mentality than we do here. To be Chinese is to to love Chinese.

    They do that in North Korea, too, in a much more extreme manner. I’m glad I’m not part of that. I enjoy the capability to approve or disprove of anything. I enjoy the freedom of the mind, the freedom to think and write the way I am doing so now.

    These thoughts occurred to me today because of a screenplay, written by my grandfater. I’m translating parts into English, because he needs some parts to take place in America. The story’s about the building of the railroads across America, some of which had workers consisting mostly of the Chinese, and in the screenplay, it was continuously emphasized how important the Chinese contributions were.

    And they probably were huge. But it really pissed me off when one of the characters talked about the Chinese being the most intelligent, most capable, etc. It’s a mentality that runs through a lot of Chinese people (Yellow Supremacy, anyone?), including my dad, who once expressed surprise that the smartest kid in my grade was Caucasian. Well fuck you, dad, the precious Chinese race isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Or maybe I and the rest of the Chinese in the school just aren’t good enough Chinese people for you, too diluted with American stupidity or some other equally ridiculous idea that’s corrupted our blood and ruined your greatness.

    I’m definitely not being fair here, definitely exaggerating, but that just goes to show how un-Chinese I am, talking so poorly about so many things China. So much for the motherland. And it’s not just the mindset; it’s the culture, food, language- I don’t fit in with any of it. Maybe I qualify for a few of the stereotypes, but for the most part, no, I’m not truly Chinese.

    Sometimes I feel bad about that. I feel awful that my parents have made a sacrifice to come here, only to see their son feel no bond to where they’ve come from. But there’s nothing I can do about that. That connection, it’s just missing, as if it got cut along with the umbilical cord, with no way to retrieve it. The Chinese in me is gone.

    So I exist for now as an impostor, living with a Chinese family, eating my Chinese meals, speaking the Chinese language, but never with a Chinese mind and heart.

    • CommentAuthorWiseWillow
    • CommentTimeFeb 26th 2010

    I think you guys (even if you reject or don’t connect with your heritage) are lucky to have that sort of cultural identity. My family on both sides are almost entirely English, with a tad of Irish and French. We all came over before the revolution, so we’re about as boring as it gets.

    On the other hand, I’m related to people from the Mayflower on both sides. Unfortunately, I don’t find it that cool :(

    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010

    To be a bit more facetious, I like filling in discrimination forms for jobs/surveys, I get to be in that smaller mixed race statistic, whoop!

      CommentAuthorEmil 1.4021
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010 edited


    Well, the lucky part of it is that you get to grow up knowing that the lifestyle and culture where you live isn’t to be taken for granted, that it isn’t in any way the absolute truth. I actually feel jealous of by friends with Balkan’ heritage, though most of them would probably beg to differ.

    I also agree with Red Sky in that you shouldn’t be ignorant to your country’s wrongdoings, no matter whether you’ve been raised multi-cultural or not. Though I wonder if there aren’t things you cherish about Chinese culture, Sky?

    The most valuable thing my Finnish heritage taught me is probably the sort of hard-boiled mentality, and as opposed to the Chinese mentioned above the Finns are highly individualistic. Also, one cannot forget that the aftermath of WW2 went beyond just a couple of years. Soldiers who’d endured the grim conditions during the Winter War and came home again, and their war-damaged mentality was passed on to their children. My dad has told me that when he grew up people just seemed to die left and right. Suicide rates were through the roof, as well as alcoholism, and the Finns were also heavily impoverished. I think that’s when the macho mentality and violence became so evident within the culture. Not even people in my generation go unaffected by the war. Finland has, for one, suffered a couple of school-shootings in the recent years, whereas the Scandinavian countries have not.

    Sweden was neutral during the war, and had this huge economical advantage later on when the rest of Europe laid in ruin. Therefore many Swedes seem to take prosperity for granted, something which I also find hard to relate to. I never grew up really within the Swedish community, since we lived in the countryside without much connections to the village nearby (Small, isolated house. True to the Finnish spirit indeed), and all relatives on my mother’s side lived in different parts of the country. I later went to a school full of rich kids (sounds like a bad drama, I know) and was actually quite isolated from my peers. Neither and Both is the key to describe the situation, I think.

    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeFeb 27th 2010

    I’m a direct descendant from the Chinese line, but I have to admit, for 12 years I’ve been uh, rejecting my heritage. My only Chinese family members that exist in Australia are my parents and twice-removed cousin and her family in Victoria.

    For a very short time from 5 years old to 7 or 8 years old, I’ve been learning Chinese. But now I can’t remember a single thing of Chinese education except numbers. Sure, I’d recognise a short sentence every now and then, and just found out that I can actually lipread Chinese, but I don’t feel any connection with my entire family at all. I kind of feel isolated and lonely whenever I visit my family in China and Hong Kong, and the same applies when I visit Chinese friends around Australia or Asia. (And Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and America.)

    Sure, there’s a few things that I cherish about Chinese cultures and my heritage but I feel like my Asian part of myself is suppressed, cut off, dying, unborn, whatever you like to call it.

    Plus, if they want to keep something secret, all they have to do is speak Chinese.

    And when I consider the Chinese history, I’m kind of detached, not interested, and definitely not proud at all. My school is welcoming of several different national students, but that doesn’t stop racist insults.

    However, I do feel proud of my heritage when it comes to Chinese numbers and anything related to Chinese.

    Still, because of my dark skin, crazy hair and the inabilty to understand Chinese things, I’m the black sheep of the family and I don’t like it at all. I’m always rejecting my heritage, but sometime I feel proud of the heritage and I often catch myself daydreaming about China, and I always find something to cherish.

    I’m definitely confused.

    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2010

    I’m quite the cosmopolitan individual. My mother is ethnically Korean but was raised Japanese. She never spoke Japanese or Korean at home because she was afraid my siblings and I would struggle with learning English like she did Japanese. My father’s family used to be landed nobility in present-day Alsalce Lorraine, but were forced to flee due to religious reasons. I mention this because my father is the fourth of his name and it is indescribably strange to meet a very distant relative that you didn’t even know existed who can recognize you by name and trace back their own lineage to a common ancestor.

    Anyways, I was raised in a small village in the Pennsylvania countryside, meaning that everyone was 3rd or 4th generation German, English, or Irish, which left my mother, my siblings, and me the only Asians in five counties. There were a lot of old, WW2 generation folks around, so there was quite a bit of prejudice and xenophobia. In the neighborhood I grew up and still live in, everyone was literally related to everyone else, though we’ve been adopted, so to speak. A lot of people from the cities/large towns are surprised when I tell them I live and grew up there because my neighborhood happens to be hick central of hick country.

    Anyways, my mother, being culturally Japanese, always feels this pressure to conform and to excel, and so she put that pressure onto my siblings and me. She was particularly strict and fanatical about it when it came to me because I was the oldest, I was a girl, and I did not conform. It wasn’t that I didn’t try to be like everyone else, but there were things outside of my control (namely my appearance) that just set me apart from everyone else. It didn’t help matters that I attended a Catholic school despite not being Catholic. For the longest time, I was the only non-Catholic, and in retrospect, one of the teachers hated me for it.

    Another thing that set me apart was my personality. Being Asian, it’s expected that girls are obedient, submissive, and quiet. I was quiet, but I was not at all obedient or submissive. I wasn’t deliberately disobedient or domineering, but if I wanted to do something, nothing was going to stop me. These somethings involved climbing trees, roughhousing with the boys, playing in the mud, running around the mountain all day long, climbing up cabinets to get at the candy, going off to investigate something without telling anyone… Looking back on it now, I was a right terror. >.>

    Anyways, everything I did seemed to displease my mother. “Girls should not play with boys.” Yeah… never followed that. “Girls should be proper and have good manners.” I had good manners, but I was far from proper. “Girls should do the housework.” I actually enjoy cooking and cleaning, but I could never do it right the first time, or I did it differently than her, so my mother gave up teaching me. Now she’s always yelling at me to do the stuff, then yelling at me if I don’t do it her way. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t, anyone?

    Basically, I suppose my main point is that I really don’t relate to my Asian heritage because everything Asian I experienced growing up made me miserable. I don’t feel any pride or anger or anything when Japan or Korea do anything. I love the food, the languages are beautiful, and the mythologies are just wonderful (one of these days, I’ll have to make time to study them fully), but I really don’t care that much about either country. In that respect, I’m undeniably American.

    Even though I’m American, I’m not American in the same sense that my father is or my neighbors are. I love the country, I love it’s history, and I truly care about what happens to it, but at the same time, the rest of America really doesn’t accept who and what I am. There’s a growing pressure that’s so blatant nowadays to conform, fit in, be one of the crowd, even as you claim to be different. Take a look at the fixation on trends, movements, bodies of voters, categorizations based on various criteria (like race, sex, ethnicity, etc.), the sudden explosion of “disorders” for which there are “cures”. I suppose next there’ll be a cure for people who are too happy, as determined by the judgment of everyone else around them. As someone who is atypical in almost every regard, it just rankles and depresses me to see America, the one place where being different used to be encouraged, heading towards stagnation and homogeny.

    So yeah. While I may look Asian, I am most definitely an American, albeit a saddened and going-cynical American.

    I am so happy that someone started this thread!!!! My cultural identity has become somewhat of an obsession with me...the college essays where I could choose my topic were all about this. But because I have to study for Econ, and I really don't want to, I won't just let my essay speak for me, but will write a little...diatribe? Self portrait? Call it what you will.

    My parents come from Bangladesh, but I was born in the itty-bitty town of Corning, New York, and lived there for fourteen years. During that time, I was somewhat aware of the differences between me and my friends--I wasn't allowed to wear shorts outside the house, I am still not allowed to date (not that high school boys are worthy dating material...J/K :)), and the food I eat at home is very, very "weird," especially considering the fact that I eat rice with my hands. But despite all these differences, I still feel a little defensive when someone doesn't believe me when I say that I'm from New York. It's interesting that Kyllorac said America is becoming homogeneous--granted, I don't live there right now, and therefore may be painting my perception with nostalgia, but I never felt that anyone questioned my right to be in Corning. No one doubted that Corning was my hometown--they may have been interested in my heritage, but I never got the feeling that I wasn't wanted.

    Not so in France. Out of the many French people I have spoken to, they have all asked me the same question at some point: "Tu viens d'ou?" (Where do you come from?) When I respond "New York," they either smile in an embarrassed way and ask where my parents are from, or shake their fingers at me, and repeat the question louder and slower, because in their minds, there is NO WAY IN HELL I'm from the US. I really didn't have my cultural crisis until my junior year, when I realized I have two distinct personalities: The fast-talking, swear-word-loving, Levi-wearing American (oh how I love my Levis! :)), and the polite, submissive, helpful Bengali girl who will make a wonderful wife one day.

    So, are those Frenchies right? Am I not American? I think I am, but I also think that being American is more complicated than people realize. And I can relate to the feeling that every year, I make a visit to a home that isn't my home (this being Bangladesh). I just got back yesterday night, and I feel like crap while I'm there--the Western part of me can't help but scorn and pity the abysmal infrastructure (NO ONE follows the traffic lights) and the poverty and the filth and the terrible gap between the rich and the poor, and the rest of me feels like I should want to do something for the country, when all I want to do is take the first plane home. (I actually saw a flight in Dubai that was going to Paris, and considered making a mad dash for it ...:)) And then of course, there's dealing with the family--my grandmother will NEVER forgive me for being so American, my aunt has finally, after 18 years, reconciled herself to the fact that I am not Bengali, and everyone gently encourages me to improve my terrible, terrible Bengali (the language spoken). There's a bit of irony there--my grandfather fought so that he could have the right to speak his mother tongue, and here I am, barely able to put together a "how are you?"

    So anyways, life is endlessly complicated, and most of my serious stories deal with this topic.

    And @ Emill--what you've told us about Finnish culture is interesting. But is there anything you like about it? I, for example, love Bengali food, and go with a long, LONG list of things for my aunt to cook for me.

    I am South Indian, and I guess I’m a bit more in touch with my culture than many, in terms of culture but definitely not as fobby (Fresh-off-the-boatish) as some. Also, has anyone noticed that Indian guys go out of their way to look gangster? It’s like they’re desperately trying to off-shake the uncoolness of being Indian. /off topic.

    So yeah, I’m pretty comfortable with my nationality as 100% Indian in America. The thing is that practically most other people I know expect me to get As in everything. I’m Asian, therefore, I must get good grades, right? It’s just annoying, because people don’t realize how I practically break my back to maintain my grades. (My family does, of course.)

    I am also horribly pathetic at speaking Tamil. When I went to India this winter break, I was constantly in embarrassment, especially because I’m so comfortable in English and am able to express myself pretty well in that language. My sister isn’t great either, but she can bungle through it with a smile and look cute and charming, while I just stop talking and look sullen and uncooperative. So yeah…

    Because I’m pretty well-adjusted to the American lifestyle, and I’m not involved in any ‘Indian’ clubs at school, don’t really hang out with Indian people anymore, hate Bollywood movies, etc, some people don’t really see me as being truly ‘Indian’.

    Maybe I’m not, but I guess I don’t really care.

    @ SWQ--I can totally relate--because I'm Bengali(ish?), people expect me to love wearing the clothes, watching the Bollywood movies, etc., and I really don't.

    I've never heard the term "fobby" before, but I have noticed that Indian guys all dress gangster. And also that I've never liked an Indian guy. I'm probably going to end up marrying a non-Bengali man and bring my entire family down with me in my Pit of Shame. At least, that's what my grandmother thinks.

    I fall into the "look cute and charming" category when it comes to my pathetic language skills, but I think RVL reacts more like you do.

    Question: Do you like going to India? Does it make you feel anything? Awkward phrasing, but you get the gist of the question, I hope?

    Well yeah, going to India for the first time in about 8 years was interesting. It was nice to see my family again, but I did get a sense of unconnectedness with the rest of them, because they all live close together and I understand that they see each other often enough. I especially didn’t have much in common with my younger cousins.

      CommentAuthorEmil 1.4021
    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2010 edited

    Mostly in response to lookingforme’s earlier input:

    The French are known to be generally hostile towards immigrants. My oldest sister has lived in central Paris for about six or seven years, yet knows very few native French, due to there being extremely few of them working in the tourism-business (Don’t want to have anything to do with foreigners, I suspect) so I can see how things would be quite problematic for you. My other sister actually went to school in rural France for two or three months a few years back, and in retrospect describes it as nothing but utter hell.

    My sister’s Japanese friend, who lives in Paris as well, had higher rent than the rest of her neighbors despite having a smaller apartment, and was on top of that a single mother, so she had to struggle quite a lot.

    Oh, and to answer your question, Looky, there are many things I like about Finnish culture. Among those things there is of course the food, which consists of really rough rye bread, fish, and among my favorites are the oven-baked dishes with cabbage or carrots that my aunt usually makes from leftover Christmas rice-porrige. Finnish culture is also quite rustic. My eldest siblings actually lived in a cabin with no running water (And had to hack at the ice-covered, outdoor well to get water in the winters) for a few years, before my dad met my mother. Growing up I spent a lot of time in the forest. Finns are also known for having a fiercer temper than the Swedes, something I’ve inherited, which I was always accepted for at home even when it was very disliked by my peers and teachers. So unlike the usual Svenson-Swede, I don’t suppress my feelings especially much. There’s also Moomins, don’t forget them…. Just kidding. (My caricature of the Finn is actually a Moomin with a knife. You see, there’s the saying “Finns and knives”...)

    What I feel most sorry about is that I I will probably never get any closer to my Finnish heritage. The language is tough to learn and is only spoken by about four million people, so to be honest I see many languages that would be more useful to me. Therefore me and my siblings bear some minor grudge towards my father for never teaching us Finnish when we were little, separating us from the Finn minority in Sweden as well as our relatives in Finland. I mourn the loss, but I’m not sure I feel like creating my own connections to Finland. Haven’t even been there since my grandmother died when I was about six or seven.

    I’ve actually always felt more Italian than Finnish, since I’ve spend practically every summer there since infancy there with pseudo-relatives. That’s the complicated part. The name ‘Emilia’ is actually from the grandmother in the family. And there you can really talk about a culture that I love. Even though I’m not related by blood, connections trace back to my grandfather (Mother’s side), and I’ve always felt like I’ve been accepted as a part of the family there. Perhaps they’ve also nurtured my temper, since Italians are known for that as well ;P

    Just to explain: My grandfather is a professor in Slavic language, and knows about ten or so languages fluently, and about another ten well enough be able to get around. He’s also been an abassador in… Ukraine, I think. He’s a phenomenon in his own right, so I’ve always grown up knowing that possibilities are endless where it comes to learning languages and traveling…. Darn, I hardly believe it myself as I write about him, but I’m dead serious.

    Complicated family, that I have indeed, but the bad are the same things that feed the good, so I have nothing to complain about….


    but I think RVL reacts more like you do.

    Yeah, I do. ;P Also, people assume that because I fumble a lot when I speak, I can’t understand a word they’re saying. It’s annoying, because I know exactly what they’re saying, but they never seem to believe me when I tell them so. D: So yeah, very frustrating. >.<

    • CommentTimeFeb 28th 2010 edited

    The thing is that practically most other people I know expect me to get As in everything. I’m Asian, therefore, I must get good grades, right?

    I hate hate hate hate HATE that stereotype with a passion. I suppose any kindergartener would be reading and writing competently if they’d spent every summer since they were three locked inside a room being forced to do Hooked on Phonics. Honestly, it’s a miracle I don’t hate reading or writing.


    Somehow, I was always more self-motivated than anything. My parents never pushed me in any way because I always pushed myself. It’s not my parents that are the problem so much as the people around me.

      CommentAuthorRed Sky
    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2010 edited

    I remember learning my multiplication tables in like kindergarten thanks to my parents. xD


    Well, since I’m blonde, forgetful and energetic, people usually assume I’m some sort of airhead. Believe me, I’ve experienced both that and being seen as the type who gets high grades, and I can’t really say that either of them is the worst….. Though I understand that the reason why you guys dislike the assumption is for a quite different reason.

    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2010

    I am a white American, but since I’ve lived overseas (in Singapore and Hong Kong) for so long, I don’t really identify with any particular part of the country the way Americans who grew up in America do. I don’t consider myself Californian, New Englander, Southerner, or whatever. Also, while my surname is English, I have many different Celtic and Germanic ethnic groups in my bloodline, so I don’t identify with any specific European ethnicity the way Italian-Americans or Irish-Americans do. I’m just a generic white American guy.

    In fact, I don’t even identify with other white Americans that much. I don’t hate my own race, but I don’t feel proud of it, either. Nor are my opinions on various issues typical of white Americans. I just want to be me rather than conform to what is expected of my race. I have my own set of values and opinions, my own worldview. I don’t care what other white people think.


    I don’t have enough time right now to explain my cultural roots, so I’ll just say I’m a Chinese guy who’s become estranged with Chinese culture. I’m essentially like No One in being the black sheep of the family and not knowing much about the language.

    • CommentTimeMar 1st 2010

    I’m several-generations Australian, but I’m not particularly patriotic. My ancestors come from Scotland and Ireland and England and possibly Wales, but I don’t feel any particular connection to any of those places.

    • CommentAuthorNo One
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2010

    Don’t know why but that strikes me as typically Australian.

    If that’s offensive, please forgive me.

    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2010

    Missy, I say, Missy, I resemble that remark.


    Also, has anyone noticed that Indian guys go out of their way to look gangster?

    Really? I only know one Indian guy, and he’s a total nerd.

    I’m Irish and German on my dad’s side and Czech and Irish on my mom’s. So I’m pretty much the standard white American, and I’ve lived in the same town my entire life.

    @ Snow White Queen--I agree that it's unfair that people immediately expect you to be smart because you're Asian. Not only that, but people think it's so weird if you're not interested in or good at certain things--many people I meet for the first time just immediately assume I LOVE math and chem and physics with a passion, when I really hated chem, have really fallen out with math because of the effort it takes on my part, and have never taken physics. People think it's the weirdest thing that I want to major in English, and they cannot ever fathom the fact that in fact, subjects like economics, history, creative writing, and English are way more intuitive for me.

    I don't know--do you get a similar reaction?

    And I also ditto the fact that I put WAY more pressure on myself than my parents do. I'm trying to break myself of the habit because it often leads to unhappiness (I cried for five minutes over my math homework today), but it's hard.
    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2010 edited

    I don’t know—do you get a similar reaction?

    Oh yes. It doesn’t help that I tutor math and chemistry. No one realizes/believes me when I tell them how much work I had to put into learning those subjects. >.<

    And I also ditto the fact that I put WAY more pressure on myself than my parents do. I’m trying to break myself of the habit because it often leads to unhappiness (I cried for five minutes over my math homework today), but it’s hard.

    I used to be like that (my worst nightmares involved failing tests or missing homework assignments), but I worked myself out of it and now I’m such a terrible procrastinator… I’m working on not procrastinating as much… >.>

    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2010

    I am a self-hating Irishman. My non-filthy-rebellious-scum half is the usual Western European Blend of Scottish, French and United Empire Loyalist, and I have always felt closer to the British Empire (at least in sentiment) than Canada. Everyone in my city is at least fifty percent Irish, including a rather unusual Goan-Irish friend of mine.


    Pottle, you let me down. There’s nothing better in this world one can be than filthy, rebellious scum.

    • CommentTimeMar 2nd 2010

    but you deal with that sort of stuff daily, sans. How can you love what you hate 9-5?


    It’s not the filthiness or the rebelliousness or the scumminess that I find off-putting. The kids I can’t stand just haven’t got any heart. A real Irishman, regardless of how dirty and sloshed, has a big heart.


    do you get a similar reaction?

    Kind of. People then just assume that I’m naturally good at everything, which is even further from the truth.

    No one realizes/believes me when I tell them how much work I had to put into learning those subjects. >.<

    Eeeexactly. I get good grades, sure, but I sacrifice having a life to get them. It’s sad, I even dream about chemistry. ;(

    • CommentTimeMar 3rd 2010 edited

    It’s sad, I even dream about chemistry. ;(

    Math haunts my dreams. If I have a homework assignment due for math, I will solve and re-solve each and every homework problem in my sleep. And then I wake up, usually in the middle of the night, and am compelled to make a mad dash for my homework because I’ve realized I’ve made a ton of stupid mistakes/the solution to an evil problem. And if I don’t wake up and fix those mistakes, math continues to haunt my dreams. D:

    Then again, this happens for everything I deem Important. Like brushing my teeth. twitch

    Math is my hated enemy. I hate integrals. I hate differentiation. I HATE MATH SOOO MUCH, THERE IS A REASON THAT I WANT TO BE AN ENGLISH MAJOR.

    To put this thread back on track: to those of you who know about/have lived in Europe--which culture is more open to immigrants, the US or Europe? I have an opinion, but I'll save it for later. RVL wants to sleep. :D Yes, she is a wimp.
    • CommentTimeMar 9th 2010

    Europe, open to immigrants? Um. Been to France/Spain/Greece lately? Hope you picked the US.


    ahem She lives in France, so I think lookingforme would say the US. I think I would say that they both have their ups and down. Europians are a lot more direct about how they feel, but I don’t know that Americans aren’t just thinking the same things and not verbalizing.