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STEREOTYPES: We need them in Europe to grasp reality

by Costanza Cerasi Every country in Europe has always been full of stereotypes, and it is important to know them in order to appreciate the different cultures. However, on the other hand, stereotypes are merely a simplification of some customs. .

Stereotypes can vary from country to country

The French are said to be snobbish, the Brits well-mannered, the Germans hard workers, and Italians… well Italians are known for “pasta, pizza and mandolin”. In Germany they believe that Italians as well they are all somehow involved in the Mafia and everyone is going to church. These not always accurate stereotypes don’t really teach us much about how our Europeans are, but they do teach us about how they are perceived. Here are the stereotypes of some of the major European countries,

Spain: Fiesta, siesta and macho men?

Europe seems to have the idea that Spaniards sleep every day from 2pm to 5pm and that is why all the stores are closed during that time. Fact is, that is not siesta time, but rather lunch time. Also, apparently Spanish people do not know the meaning of personal space as they are very incline to hugging and physical contact. All the women in Spain are beautiful and all the men are machos, and all the people in Spain drink cerveza and have a fiesta every night.

France: Snobs and romantic lovers?

The worldwide image of French people is that they are arrogant and rude most of the times, and if they are not, they are definitely falling in love with you. Also, French are generally seen as snobs and closed minded, even though that is just an assumption that has been attributed to the attitude people in France have, which is simply French. In Germany French people have an image of not showering much and being chaotic. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NSEfNDtPNs[/embed]

United-Kingdom: Football fixated binge-drinkers?

The British newspaper The Guardian defines the European image of the English people as “either pukingly drunk football fan or snooty City gent, both living off past imperial glories, sullenly resenting being in Europe rather than ruling the world.” Some other clichés about British people is that they are very polite, formal and obsessed with class and status.

Italy: Soccer addicts and food lovers?

The Guardian underlines the most common Italian stereotypes as “chatterboxes, and bad listeners interested only in the sound of their own voices.” It is also very common to believe that all Italians have olive-skin and are good-looking. Stereotypically the interests of an Italian rely only on fashion, soccer, pizza, pasta and corruption. Also, Italians are associated to excessively moving their hands while talking.
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