September 2013 – Expat Blog Carnival
But whenever home is, it’s probable you’ll fall victim to, or are an observer of, stereotyping. It’s a common trait no matter where in the world you are, and I think this is evidenced by the vast and varied selection of featured entries in this month’s Expat Blog Carnival.
Is being called an “Expat” a stereotype? And while we’re on the subject, what’s the difference between and Expat and an Immigrant? There’s different perceptions for both … or am I just stereotyping? 🙂
ARE YOU GUILTY OF STEREOTYPING CULTURES?
Expat Blogger: Torre is a writer who travels, a painter who potters and is a designer and an illustrator by trade. She’s also the author of the book “Love with a Chance of Drowning“.
“So where, exactly, is the line between cultural observations and stereotyping? What is gossip and what is bigotry? Is it irresponsible to report a culture as being ‘rude’ or ‘bitchy?’ If it’s wrong to call people ‘smelly’ or ‘cold,’ then is it also wrong to describe a country of 67 million people as ‘friendly’?”
Five expat stereotypes you might come across
Expat Blogger: Katy is the Communications Manager for HSBC Expat.
Expat Stereotypes: – 1. the Missionary
Expat Blogger: at Africa Expat Wife left the UK 2 days after her wedding to Tanzania, but now lives in Kenya. She speaks good-ish swahili and spends time writing in between being a housewife without convenience foods and appliances, but with the convenience of tons of lovely help at home.
The expat life as seen through the eyes of an Ecuadorian; battling stereotypes and adapting to new environments
Expat Blogger: Yolanda Reinoso Barzallo
“Early in my expat life, I learned that a change of attitude requires a lot of energy and that adaptation is not easy.
I am reminded of a speech presented by a professor at the university where my husband was teaching in the Middle East, about the stages a person goes through in the process of becoming a well-adjusted expat; it is similar, he said, to the process of grieving because we feel the loss of things that have been familiar.”
Expat Blogger: brought to you by the MazReal team.
“Glaringly obvious then that the stereotype of the British expatriate isn’t all that favourable either. Having lived for much of their lives in the constant murkiness of British weather, the stereotypical British expatriate has been attempting to harness the power of the Mediterranean sun to power an existence as British as roast beef and just as bland.
They socialise with other expatriates in bars named after famous London landmarks, shop in British supermarkets and speak Spanish less fluently than Christina Aguilera.”
Not Just Gin and Tonics: Why Being An Expat Wife Is Harder Than You Think
Expat Blogger: Erica Knecht is a mother, writer, and professional nomad, currently based in Southern Japan. When not gallivanting across the globe with her one-year-old, she writes about the lighter side of tricultural parenting on her blog Expatria, Baby.
“What she meant was one of those women whose days are laden with gin-soaked lunches and manicure appointments. One of those women who have a driver, nanny, cook, and cleaner yet who moan about how difficult life is. I was 24 years old with a head full of adventure and a wallet void of cash. I didn’t think there was much danger of me becoming ‘one of those women’.”
I am an expat wife, but does it define me?
Expat dictionary, word of the month: Expat wife. A woman who follows her husband abroad, often for his job, while her new job is caretaker and taxi driver. She takes care of the kids, the home / showroom, herself (as in shopping, body treatments and tennis) and the social network (as in voluntary work, lunches and tennis). As a taxi driver, she takes her kids to and from school, play dates and activities such as – tennis, usually in a fancy-schmancy car or a SUV.
10 mistakes that Expats in Italy make
Expat Blogger: Georgette is an American girl living in Florence, Italy. She was born and raised in Texas, lived in Los Angeles and somehow ended up in the wonderful continent of Europe.
“Referring to yourself solely as an expat and not remembering that you are also an immigrant. The word expat actually kind of annoys me because for some reason I have thought it to sound a bit elitist compared to the word “immigrant”. I will admit, It’s easier to write “expat” in blog posts as an identifier and I myself do it, (see title) but the truth is , I always have considered myself an immigrant first because I emigrated to another country. Sometimes when I think of the idea of what is actually an expat I imagine a group of English ladies sipping tea in the shade of their huge Tuscan villa, not exactly the same reality as me in a small apartment working a few jobs.”
Become an Ugly Expat in 12 easy steps
Expat Blogger: Maria was born in England and raised in Canada, but has also lived in France (twice), Australia, and Singapore. She’s been back in Canada for five years, and in some ways, this is her toughest gig yet.
“It comes from the 1958 bookThe Ugly American, a cautionary tale that tells the story of corrupt and ethnocentric American bureaucrats in Southeast Asia. One of the characters in the book characterizes Ugly Americans like this:
“A mysterious change seems to come over Americans when they go to a foreign land. They isolate themselves socially. They live pretentiously. They’re loud and ostentatious”.”
When Stereotypes Get Blown Out of the Water
Expat Blogger: Becky is a writer from a small town in the USA, living in Burma with her husband and daughter. She blogs about transitioning to a new country.
“As I was finishing up a chapter in the eBook I’m writing called “Moving to Myanmar,” my friend, L, pointed out that expats shouldn’t make assumptions that the staff they hire are uneducated. He mentioned that their driver has a degree in geology. L’s story reminded me of a Yangon taxi driver I met a few months ago who had his degree in physics.In fact, if you take a taxi in any big city within the US – and probably many other countries – it’s likely your driver will be an immigrant. And it’s not too uncommon to find out the taxi drivers were professors or police chiefs or teachers back home.”
THE PROBLEM WITH FOREIGNERS…
Expat Blogger: This Kiwi blogger called Australia home before moving to Denmark. Earlier this year she founded Scale Angel, which helps Danish companies scale their businesses internationally.
“I am merely pointing out that, just as I don’t enjoy the Danes who typecast me as the welfare-dependent foreigner, I don’t enjoy the expats who depict Danes, as a people, as xenophobic and closed-minded.”
When random British people (that you’ve only just met) tell you what is wrong with America
“She couldn’t believe how many obese people were in America. That she couldn’t imagine how unhealthy THOSE FAT PEOPLE OVER IN AMERICA are.
Running through my head as Mrs. Harrogate ranted at me: Hello? have you seen all the white muffin tops pouring out of jeans in Leeds City Centre lately, honey? There are fat people here too, and it seems its getting worse according to obesity reports!”