Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Casual discussion amongst spiritual friends.
Justsit
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Justsit » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:36 pm

binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 6:23 pm
JeffR wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:29 pm
We are not the same, and it's not merely about politics or wealth (although there is some of that too).
Given that Americans are geographically so mobile (moving to another state because of education or work seems to be regarded as normal, not sure how statistically common it is), how can they maintain some kind of specific culture for each state?
It's not so much individual state variation as regional variation. Although, as they say, Texas is a whole 'nother country.

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Each region has it's own history, culture (often related to which immigrants settled there), foods, language (accents, phrases, and idiomatic expressions), political leanings, etc. New England, Mid-Atlantic, South, Deep South, Midwest, Upper Midwest, Mountain states, Southwest, West, Northwest; all with their own unique styles. Blue states mostly along either coast, red in the middle. 80% of the population live within 200 miles of either coast. Hardly homogenous.

Yes, some people are mobile, but hardly everyone, and some of the regional areas have families that have been rooted there since the American Revolution, There are pockets of solidly ethnic communities throughout the country as well.

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Sam Vara
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Sam Vara » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:44 pm

JeffR wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:29 pm
...
Many thanks - interesting! Here's an outsider's view, for what it's worth. My first visit to America was in 1986, when I drove across the country but with an enormous detour, rather than from coast to coast direct. From Connecticut to New york City, up through New York State to Niagara, through a bit of Canada to Detroit, Chicago, then dropped south to pick up the Mississippi all the way to New Orleans. Then West via Texas, New Mexico and Nevada, ending up in Los Angeles. The main thing that struck me - apart from the huge size of the country, and the overwhelming friendliness of the people - was how different the various states were. Obviously, language unites the country in a way that does not happen with Europe, but there was a huge range of cultures, and the "feel" of each place was very distinct. I would get used to an accent, and then after two days driving, peple were incomprehensible again. I remember one extremely courteous exchange with a man I met in a restaurant who was intrigued by my journey, and thinking afterwards that I hadn't understood a tenth of what he had said to me. I was struck by the way that many Americans seemed incurious or just ignorant of other states and regions. Hearing my accent, people in Oklahoma guessed I was from New York, and inhabitants of the deep south thought I might be from California or maybe the prairies.

Subsequent visits did not give me the same sense of how huge the place is, because I stayed in the same places (East and West coasts). I have heard that there is much more homogeneity now, due to more travel and the internet, and that everywhere in the world has (sadly) got more similar. The old "Route 66" experience of driving across the continent has now gone. Thirty years ago, though, I was amazed at the diversity and vastness. America seemed big and varied enough to contain the whole world!

binocular
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by binocular » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:44 pm

Justsit wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:36 pm
Image
Jesus, that's horrible!

I think that many of us from Europe have great difficulty relating to the sheer size of the US and its states. It's just mind-boggling.
Every person we save is one less zombie to fight. -- World War Z

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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by DNS » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:46 pm

Yes, rather than being one nation or 50 nations, it's more like there are regional differences. They are starting to evaporate with people moving around, but there are still large segments of the population that don't move at all, so you currently find regional variations, rather than by state.

Image

The sun belt, where I live is characterized as being very tolerant, progressive, very diverse, not very religious and semi-libertarian.

The deep south is the bible belt, very religious, less tolerant.

New england and the West coast, coastal areas are very liberal.

The Rocky mountain areas are militia types.

The midwest are rural farming communities.

The rust belt is union workers, patriotic.

Texas: God, guns, country.

Deep North: like Canada

Appalachia: God, guns, coal

Florida: old farts waiting for their social security checks (mostly seniors from cold states who migrated down for the warm winters).

Generalizations, though, of course.

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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Disciple » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:29 pm

DNS wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:46 pm
Yes, rather than being one nation or 50 nations, it's more like there are regional differences. They are starting to evaporate with people moving around, but there are still large segments of the population that don't move at all, so you currently find regional variations, rather than by state.

Image

The sun belt, where I live is characterized as being very tolerant, progressive, very diverse, not very religious and semi-libertarian.

The deep south is the bible belt, very religious, less tolerant.

New england and the West coast, coastal areas are very liberal.

The Rocky mountain areas are militia types.

The midwest are rural farming communities.

The rust belt is union workers, patriotic.

Texas: God, guns, country.

Deep North: like Canada

Appalachia: God, guns, coal

Florida: old farts waiting for their social security checks (mostly seniors from cold states who migrated down for the warm winters).

Generalizations, though, of course.
Huge generalizations.

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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Coëmgenu » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:25 pm

Justsit wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:36 pm
Image
Hey everybody! Pay attention to us! We're cool too!

Image

:tongue:
如無為,如是難見、不動、不屈、不死、無漏、覆蔭、洲渚、濟渡、依止、擁護、不流轉、離熾焰、離燒然、流通、清涼、微妙、安隱、無病、無所有、涅槃。
Like this is the uncreated, like this is that which is difficult to realize, with no moving, no bending, no dying. Utterly lacking secretions and smothered in the dark, it is the island shore. Where there is ferrying, it is the crossing. It is dependency's ceasing, it is the end of circulating transmissions. It is the exhaustion of the flame, it is the ending of the burning. Flowing openly, pure and cool, with secret subtlety, and calm occultation, lacking ailment, lacking owning, nirvāṇa.
Asaṁskṛtadharmasūtra, Sermon on the Uncreated Phenomenon, T99.224b7, Saṁyuktāgama 890

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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Polar Bear » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:47 am

Coëmgenu wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:25 pm
Hey everybody! Pay attention to us! We're cool too!


:tongue:
Of course, we’d never forget the 51st state :tongue:

I kid, I kid. Seriously though, thanks for not wiping out your wildlife the way the US did in the 19th century.
"I don't envision a single thing that, when developed & cultivated, leads to such great benefit as the mind. The mind, when developed & cultivated, leads to great benefit."

"I don't envision a single thing that, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about such suffering & stress as the mind. The mind, when undeveloped & uncultivated, brings about suffering & stress."

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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Saengnapha » Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:23 am

JeffR wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 5:29 pm
Saengnapha wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:25 am
binocular wrote:
Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:33 am

Absolutely. Some Americans explained to me that in their view, the US is comparable to Europe (as a whole; especially comparable to the European Union); ie. that just like in Europe, there are different countries that are in some kind of union, so in the US, there are different countries that are in some kind of union. But that there is as much difference between any two US states as there is difference between any two European countries.

I can't quite understand that, but it's interesting to know that some Americans have this perspective.


To me, personally, the US seems pretty much like all one, all the same. I don't understand how Americans can see such distinctions between the states as many seem to do, other than geographical and economical. But maybe to them, those distinctions are of much more significance and they understand them in much more detail than an outsider can.
I think you are essentially correct. Keep in mind, all Americans speak English, basically have the same laws with minor variations, watch the same tv programs, and eat the same style food. The biggest variations are economic, rich and poor, and the racial divide. Americans tend toward exaggeration and make mountains out of mole hills. It is nothing like European cultures with their own histories. Perhaps they share some hobbies with Europeans like drug use and drinking, but smoking has declined dramatically. :D
Lots of comments, as a well traveled Minnesotan/American, I'll attempt to clear up some of the great misconceptions.

Saengnapha, your response to binocular's response is incorrect. We are not the same, and it's not merely about politics or wealth (although there is some of that too). Lots of wealthy people in Minnesota, lots of poor people, lots of insane Trumpie's, lots of common sense politically; we're all Minnesotans.

I have lived and traveled outside of the US and believe I understand why NoMind thinks it's hubris; I am quite familiar with what we Americans who've lived as expats call "the ugly American" (it's embarassing, as an American. One reason not to identify as one). That is something different which rears it's ugly head outside of our country, rarely within.
NoMind, to your point, there is a 'syndrom' that occurs with some immigrants here who have come from an oppressed situation (economically and/or politically) and become engroused in self pride of their newly gained "status". That is an individual thing, it does not reflect anything about Americans, immigrant or born & bred.

When abroad, you can pick out an American in a crowd a mile away; so there is an appearance of gentrification. Get us together and that goes away. I explained in a different post on this thread about a job I worked on in Shanghai where we had an American from each of the following cultures: Minnesota, Boston, North Carolina, Texas, and California. When we went to dinner together with a handful of the locals we were working with, the locals were astonished at how different we are. Yes, the way we all talk different was one thing but it is far more than that. Hard to explain, we're just different and I am NOT like anyone from the South, although I love their culture (hate their Jim Crow). I stick out like a sore thumb anywhere in the New England area. Then there's all those cultures spread out across the great plains and all the way to the Pacific Ocean; not to mention Alaska and the island state & territories. Even in nearby states we're different. I can typically pick out a cheesehead pretty fast, you'll be hard pressed to find someone from other parts of the US that can distinguish a Minnesotan from a Cheesehead (Cheeseheads are people from Wisconsin).

The simple answer to the OP, for most, is we don't say from the USA because that's not what we identify as.
NoMind has explained where his query came from and that is a different matter.
For me; I'm from Minnesota. I understand many people don't know where that is so I had put Minnesota, USA.
I am an expat. I get asked several times a week where I am from. I always say America, never from the state that I was born in or lived in unless they ask me, which state.
The Ugly American is an old and probably outdated term that was very applicable in the mid to late 20th century. They seemed to have been replaced by the unruly Brits who like to drink their way through their holidays and have become louder than the rest. When you live outside the U.S. for a long time, the view of Americans change. They seem more similar to each other no matter what their beliefs tend to be. Body language, way of speaking and expressing themselves identify them. Whether they say they are from Minnesota or Alabama is a domestic communication issue, not an international one. Thais don't visit America and say they are from Korat or Chiang Mai. French don't say I'm from Perpignan, they are French. This is probably due to America being so big and the infrequency that they have had in talking to others outside of the country. Aside from that, people are people. Same issues, problems, concerns, ideas.................samsara.

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No_Mind
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:46 am

Saengnapha wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:23 am
The Ugly American is an old and probably outdated term that was very applicable in the mid to late 20th century. They seemed to have been replaced by the unruly Brits who like to drink their way through their holidays and have become louder than the rest.
The British were/are peculiarly loveable rogues. In spite of the fact that Churchill killed few million of us by denying us food grains in 1942 and thought "Indians are beastly people with a beastly religion" .. he was a great man! I am not sure I would forgive an American for committing a percent of the same crimes against us.

As with most cities in India - streets in Calcutta have two names .. a British one and a post-independence Indian one.

For me it is still Harrison Road and Beadon Street and Dalhousie Square and not Mahatma Gandhi Road, Aurobindo Sarani and B.B.D Bagh (making cab drivers go crazy since they only know the post-independence names and I would insist on using colonial names which only few like me know and use).

This strange love-hate relationship between Indians and British, where we blame them for colonizing us but would only visit doctors with the FRCP, London degree after their name (most patients here have not yet heard of Harvard Medical School .. and that is why budding doctors still make a beeline for Britain and FRCP/FRCS degrees) is both funny and tragic.

Same for lawyers .. it has to be Middle Temple and not Yale .. becoming a barrister who is called to bar from four Inns of the Court .. and someone who is "Her Majesty's Counsel learned in the law" is seen as more impressive than "U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York" though the latter is a position of greater distinction.

It was not one way - several Britishers really loved India, gave their life to uplifting India and reforming it .. and without any restraint adopted India as their country .. such as the famous hunter Jim Corbett, Margaret Noble who became a famous Hindu nun called Sister Nivedita, Madeleine Slade daughter of Rear-Admiral Sir Edmond Slade who became known as Miraben a famous Gandhian, Rev Alexander Duff and so many more.

And then there was Hindoo Stuart a.k.a Major-General Charles Stuart an official of East India Company who in mid-eighteenth century became more Hindu than most "Hindoos" of that time and lived rest of his life as strict conservative Brahmin!!

His Indian counterparts who would only have smoked kippers and eggs for breakfast were too many to count.

I suggest anyone interested in this strange synergy between two very different cultures read "White Mughals" by William Dalrymple and also watch the film "A Passage to India" by David Lean. It is interesting when two complex cultures collide .. I do not think there is another parallel in history.

Anyway :focus:

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Last edited by No_Mind on Thu Mar 22, 2018 3:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Dinsdale
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Dinsdale » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:40 am

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:46 am
This strange love-hate relationship between Indians and British, where we blame them for colonizing us....
Reminded me of this for some reason... :tongue:

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No_Mind
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by No_Mind » Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:45 am

Dinsdale wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:40 am
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:46 am
This strange love-hate relationship between Indians and British, where we blame them for colonizing us....
Reminded me of this for some reason..
And that reminded me of this ..



:namaste:
I know one thing: that I know nothing

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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:54 pm

No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:45 am
Dinsdale wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 9:40 am
No_Mind wrote:
Thu Mar 22, 2018 7:46 am
This strange love-hate relationship between Indians and British, where we blame them for colonizing us....
Reminded me of this for some reason..
And that reminded me of this ..



:namaste:
One of my uncles was in the British army in WW2, and was captured by the Japanese. He died building the Burma railway.
Buddha save me from new-agers!

Saengnapha
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by Saengnapha » Fri Mar 23, 2018 1:20 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:54 pm
One of my uncles was in the British army in WW2, and was captured by the Japanese. He died building the Burma railway.
A few years back, we drove up to Kanchanaburi and visited the monument and museum they built there. The bridge is right there in town. We then drove all the way up to 3 Pagoda Pass on the Myanmar border. This is a beautiful area, still very pristine. I thought about the travail these people must have encountered building this railway. Dense forest, mountainous terrain, malaria, and systematically being worked to death. Now, it is a very peaceful area and well worth a trip if you ever get out this way.

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No_Mind
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by No_Mind » Fri Mar 23, 2018 2:59 pm

Dinsdale wrote:
Fri Mar 23, 2018 12:54 pm
One of my uncles was in the British army in WW2, and was captured by the Japanese. He died building the Burma railway.
May his soul rest in peace :candle: :candle: :candle:

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chownah
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Re: Why do Americans not have to announce which country they are from?

Post by chownah » Fri Mar 23, 2018 3:17 pm

Soul?
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