Many U.S. states have a “stereotype” that is far from corresponding to the reality of the people living there, but which exists in much the way that the frugal, kilt-wearing Scotsman of legend does. For example, the dour, taciturn New Englander from Maine or Vermont, the hillbilly from West Virginia or Arkansas, the Dukes-of-Hazzard “good ol’ boy” redneck from Mississippi or Georgia, the mountain man from Montana or Idaho, the spendthrift, boastful Texan…
Other than the stereotypical Scot, the only stereotype I’m aware of from outside the U.S. is the Newfie, the image of the typical person from Newfoundland.
Are such stereotypes common outside the U.S.? Is there a stereotype picture that comes into an Australian’s mind when you say Tasmanian or Queenslander? Do Manitobans evoke a picture to the typical Canadian?
The GQ here is, do such stereotypes exist outside the U.S., and if so what are they?
In Brazil, there is a stereotype about people from the state of Minas Gerais. The stereotype is similar to the US stereotype about people from, say, West Virginia. Mineiros (as residents of the state are called) are seen as rural hicks, ignorant, uneducated, and superstitious. In comic books I’ve read, they are portrayed as speaking in a nonstandard accent that I presume sounds uneducated (something like the accent of a lower class US Southerner). There is actually a popular Brazilian comic book character named Urtigao (there should be a tilde over the a) who lives as a stereotypical mineiro with his wife and dog. You could translate it into English as being in the “Snuffy Smith” universe and it would pretty much make sense (save for the Brazilian legends and superstitions that often come up).
There is a stereotype about Brazilian Northeasterners in general that says they are lazy. I lived in the Northeast, and there certainly does seem to be a general relaxed atmosphere that manifests itself in people getting things done slowly. I don’t know if I would call it laziness exactly, though.
I think there’s at least one Brazilian on the board. Perhaps he’ll come along and correct me or add to what I said.
The Sloan Ranger, or sloanie, is (if I understand correctly) the London version of the valley girl.
From the short time I spent in Israel, it seemed like the general image of the Tel Aviv young person is similar to the American stereotype of the young white Californian: neo-liberal, new-agey, secular, pot smoker, etc.
Reminds me of a popular Scouser joke back in 2001/02:
I would think that every European country, and probably every Latin American one too at least, has a stereotypical divide between big city residents and countryfolk. And of course there are regional stereotypes. Internationally well-known are not only Scots, but for example Bavarians, who are generally seen as very conservative Catholics, dressing in traditional outfits, keeping their houses and towns extremely tidy, and being obsessed with food and drink. All of this contrasts with other Germany, more or less. But I don’t know how far from reality that stereotype actually is; of course not every man in Bavaria wears Lederhosen all the time, but on the other hand they really are heavily CSU-voting there, etc.
Interestingly, here in Finland our national identity is based, more or less, on stereotypes of our different regions. This stems from the situation that there wasn’t really a concept of Finland as a nation before 1850s or so. Before that, we had a Swedish-speaking educated upper class (with flexible class boundaries), and some seven or ten (depends how you count) big tribes speaking various dialects of Finnish. When Russia had conquered Finland (before that often known only as Eastland) from Sweden during Napoleonic Wars, the upper class started to emphasize the notion that these tribes constitute a nation. This development - which finally led to independence a century later - included writers and poets describing the land’s regions and their peoples in a rather favourable way, but otherwise often surprisingly accurately. Thus a Tavastian would be serious, untalkative and trustworthy, while a Karelian is talkative trader type who cooks all that wacky Eastern stuff, but we don’t have our own equivalents for, say, dishonest fraudsters or dumb hillbillies, since that kind of negative popularity wouldn’t have gone well for the literary side of the nation-building. Ironically the only ones being stereotyped inaccurately seem to be those who started it all, the Swedish-speaking Finns of the coast. In a true heartland thought, they are labelled as living in a duck pond all rich and happy; and if somebody isn’t rich and happy themselves, then they probably are looked after by someone other, more affluent Finland-Swedish. And even this has some truth in it.
Tasmanians get the inbred, six-finger jokes. Queenslanders are said to be slow-talkin’ hayseeds. People from Darwin are supposed to all be runaways from the southern states (running from the police, ex-wives, etc), and they’re said to be a bit touched in the head from the tropical heat.
English Canadians and French Canadians, of course, have stereotypical images of one another. The stereotypical French Canadian is a dumbass, rude, chain-smoking loudmouth, not entirely dissimilar from what Americans have as a stereotype of people from France except without the “never bathes” part. The stereotypical English Canadian, to a French Canadian, is a running-shoe-wearing dork who can’t dress himself and worships the Queen. In other words, except for the Queen-worshipping part, it’s wholly accurate.
Albertans are mildly stereotyped as wannabe Texans. British Columbians are stereotyped as wanna be Berkeley students. Absent really distinctive accents, though, I’m not sure those stereotypes are as culturally ingrained as the Newfoundland or French-English ones.
You left out the two majors. People in Sydney are supposed to be obsessed with property prices, money, glamour, drugs, how much everyone earns etc. “Sin City” in the eyes of our southern cousins.
Melburnians, on the other hand, are supposed to be obsessed with “class”, what school a person attended, family background, the more refined, cultural “European” lifestyle etc. Or “Bleak City” as it’s often referred to in the Sydney papers.
Japan has lots of these, but the big one is the Kanto/Kansai (Tokyo v. Osaka) split. Different attitudes, different tastes, different language. Tokyoites are supposedly more uptight, more cosmopolitan and generally colder. Osakans are supposedly more open, have better senses of humor, and are much louder. Osaka views Tokyo as stuck-up and condescending, Tokyo views Osaka as a bunch of semi-criminal bumpkins.
Hmm…no, execept for a possible mutuall reputation for being ditzy, I’d say they’re definatly not Valley Girls. More Preppies.
And since Yorkshiremen have been mentioned I have nothing to add…except a bit I just read in an Evelyn Waugh novel about some Welshmen that could have been a (highly racist) decription of blacks in America from about the same era. (I was thinking of posting it on stormfront.com just to mess with their heads.) The English don’t seem to have anything better to say about the Welsh than they have the Irish.