Do foreigners want Americans to know their cultures or not?

I’ve often heard the cliche criticism that North Americans are in their own world, can’t find any other country on a map, blah blah…

But in my experience, foreigners really don’t seem to want Americans (or Canadians) looking into their cultures. There was a time when I would try to show off some knowledge about the art/language/politics of other countries, but it most often goes over like a lead balloon and gets taken as as a passive-agressive dig by people from those places (example, asking if someone could recommend some music from their country, but getting a sullen lecture about how they never paid attention to that stuff and only ever listened to American country music.) It also seems foreigners can be quite susceptible to batshit convervatism, Ted Cruz/Bobby Jindal style (and in Canada, Rob Ford got lots of support from immigrant communities.) I’ve also heard many times that Asian-Americans despise being asked which Asian country they come from.

So I’d come to the conclusion that all most foreigners want is to be seen as an Average Joe good old boy who drives an SUV and goes to Super Bowl parties … and any talk about their country of origin is a cheap shot. I’m not trying to do a Bill O’Reilly rant againt political correctness but is there a fine line on this that I’m missing?

Wait are you talking about foreigners, immigrants, or Americans with a non-European background?

It all seems a bit jumbled up in your post.

And as an American, if you ask me where I’m from because you assume I’m a foreigner, yes that’s going to offend me.

to me I could see it perceived as nosiness. It’s something I would leave to them to bring up if they wanted to, rather than me prodding into their backgrounds.

I guess I was talking about first and second generation immigrants from anywhere. Is “so where are you guys from” or whatever really an aggressive question?

I’m a foreigner to the citizens of roughly 195 countries.

What do you want to know?

Uh, this is news to me. One of the first topics of conversation I’m used to is talking about ethnic background.

Perhaps you should reflect upon the term “Asian-American” and think about why an Asian-American person might not wish to be treated as a foreigner in America or asked which non-American country they come from.

I’ve seen a ton of articles etc. saying “don’t do it, it’s annoying and rude”. Example

Why not just come out and tell me? Not trying to be dense but I’m happy to chatter all day about Canada to any American who actually wants to hear it.

Generally, it’s because the “come from” America.

Asian-Americans are Americans. That is why they are called “Asian-Americans”. They are not foreigners in America. They are Americans. The country they come from is America.

If your attempts at making small talk with Asian-Americans often go badly, it’s probably because of your attitude that they are foreigners in their own country and that their race precludes them from being real Americans.

I’ve never actually had that issue with any Asian-American myself - I’m too well trained by all those articles I’ve read. :stuck_out_tongue:

And as a Canadian-American, I can’t imagine going around being that feisty about being considered a foreigner. In some ways a “foreigner” is actually in a privileged position to give information about other countries and it can actually (shock horror) even be fun.

If you learned so much from all those articles, why are you asking us why people who aren’t foreigners dislike being treated as if they were foreigners in their own country?

Because it’s hard to relate to them? I never consider simple curiosity to be an act of aggression with dark political overtones.

Your insistence that Asian-Americans are foreigners is not “simple curiosity”.

Whatever. So going forward I’ll pretend everyone else is a Roger Goodell clone and I’ll start yelling at people who want to know about Canada. :smiley:

How is a “second generation immigrant” a foreigner?

A first generation immigrant used to be a foreigner but is no longer a foreigner because they immigrated.

Their children were never foreigners in the first place!

Your conversation starters make as much sense as “You have some cro-magnon genes, tell me what it’s like to use stone tools and hunt mammoth.”

Maybe “foreigner” is too loaded a word, I was just referring to people with close connections to other countries.

I’m Asian-American. I think only a fairly small minority of Asian-Americans react that way.

Kind of strange that they don’t drop the “Asian-” part, then, isn’t it? Implying as it does a separate ethnicity and place of origin, which we’re not supposed to talk about.

I get that “what country are you from,” posed to, say, a third-generation Korean-American with a Rust Belt accent, probably gets old. But in cases when it’s simply a well-meaning question posed ineptly, borne of genuine curiosity, I think we need to dial back the outrage just a bit. Particularly we ever-so-culturally-sensitive liberal white people, who seem to generate a disproportionate amount of it.

Yup, this. A good Asian-American friend of mine once told me that she used up all of her goodwill toward this line of questioning before high school, because friends’ parents would ask where she was “from”. She’d say the name of her town, then get asked where her *people *were from. To which she’d reply “Alabama”.

Friend was one of the few Asian-Americans in the schools at the time. The Question was just code for, “Yew ain’t white and yew ain’t black and yew don’t speak Spanish, so what are yew?”