Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Is there a country other than your native country that you know a lot about?

Asked by wundayatta (58571points) April 8th, 2010

I was reading the NYT and a lot of the news there is about other countries. Supposedly Americans are pretty parochial and hardly ever pay any attention to news about other nations. For example, even though we share a long border with it, many Americans might know nothing about Canada other than it is cold and it has Mounties. Other Americans and people from other nations may know a good deal about one or more other countries.

I was a Russian Studies major in college. Before that, I visited the country when I was sixteen. I was there for five days. It was very interesting, and that inspired me to learn the language and read the literature. That was back in the Soviet times. Now I don’t know so much. I keep tabs, sort of, but I don’t make an effort to get a lot of information, because I no longer feel like I have a handle on it. The free market Russia is too wild west for me.

So do you have another country you know something about? A country that perhaps you might follow? What country is it, and why do you follow it?

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40 Answers

Hexr's avatar

I know a bit about Germany. I just finished a German culture course. But I’m Canadian so I don’t know if I count. I also know about the US but that’s not too different.

bob_'s avatar

I know a lot about the U.S., so yes.

Vunessuh's avatar

I know quite a bit about Cambodia.
The production company I work for filmed a movie there last year about the Khmer Rouge.
My goal this year is to take the time to learn their language, Khmer.

Lve's avatar

I am doing my Master’s in International Relations, so I kind of have to keep up with current events in countries other than my own. My focus is mainly on EU-countries, and the US.

susanc's avatar

It’s a complicated question (and a good one). I’ve travelled some, in an independent-tourist way, so all the places I’ve already been continue to interest me if they’re in the news. And my favorite kind of reading is travel writing, or novels set in places I’m curious about. But if a book isn’t beautifully written, I can’t read it, so my armchair travelling isn’t concentrated on places, but on wonderful sentences.

njnyjobs's avatar

Yes, to a certain degree I try to follow the latest news on certain countries that interests me. I have friends and acquaintances that hail from other nations and the usual and customary conversations do sometimes end up in discussing local affairs and areas of interests.

rahm_sahriv's avatar

I am preparing for a move to England, so I keep up with the current news there, as well as brushing up on my history and civics. I know a lot about the past in regards to such countries as early 20th century Germany and Japan. Being interested in Irish history I have a background in that as well.

emergence's avatar

Israel. Amazing country, and a lot of misinformation out there.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

I know a little about most countries in the world—starting with (generally) where they are in relation to other countries. Does that count?

Ron_C's avatar

I’m not sure that I know a lot about my native U.S. or the other north American countries of Canada and Mexico although I have spent a lot of time in them. I often travel to the east in countries like India, China, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, then to the west to Europe. I would say that I am familiar with many but a master on none.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I know a lot about Russia, the U.S. Japan and S. Africa (native country: Azerbaijan).

TexasDude's avatar

Germany, Austria, Italy, and the UK.

TogoldorMandar's avatar

I know a lot’s about Japan, The Netherlands, and China, Korea. and i have a fair knowledge over Europa. Like history , economies, language, culture

lilikoi's avatar

In my traveling experience, yes, Americans pay little attention to global news in general. I hear virtually no news about any other country in America on a regular mainstream basis unless I seek it out. When you travel to other countries, their news coverage is much more international. Disappointing, really. I know a little bit about most countries. I know quite a bit more about those countries that I have visited. In some cases, even more probably than I know about my own country, the U.S….which is not saying much since I never payed attention in the one U.S. history class I took…in high school…When I was traveling last I kind of felt like the Europeans I met knew more about the U.S. than most people that live here.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Psst, @lilikoi… there are no other countries in the USA. “In America” maybe, if you wanna be technical.

wtfrickinfrack's avatar

@emergence I love you for your answer!

slick44's avatar

Rwanda. had to do a report in detail about it, studied it for weeks

mangeons's avatar

I don’t really know about news there, and I wouldn’t say I know a lot about it, but I do know a good bit of information about the culture in France.

janbb's avatar

i know a lot about England and France. England because I lived there for two years, my husband is English and we frequently go there. France because I have traveled there many times and my son is now living there.

emergence's avatar

@wtfrickinfrack aw thanks, are you Israeli? anyway, it’s true right!? Israel blows my mind. I want to visit!

wtfrickinfrack's avatar

@emergence my maternal grandparents live in Tel Aviv! I try to visit there every year…. I have major love for Israel :)

Draconess25's avatar

Japan, England, Egypt, Ireland, France, Singapore…...wish me to continue?

mollypop51797's avatar

I know a lot about African culture, and Italy and France. I guess it depends on what you want to do with your life. If you prefer to only know about your native country, then great. If you decide to immerse yourself in the cultures and art and rituals etc of other places, then you get to know about all the other places around the world. However, I’m not so sure about which way the new generations will decide to go….

the100thmonkey's avatar

I lived in Japan for five years. I’m moving back there within the next year. My wife is Japanese and our default language is Japanese. I guess I know “a lot” about Japan, but very little of it is declarative, I suppose.

phillis's avatar

Yep. I know Mexican culture intimately. I’ve been there a lot, then married into that culture.

lilikoi's avatar

@CyanoticWasp That was a joke right?

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Actually, @lilikoi, for once that was accurate but said jokingly.

Trillian's avatar

I know some about Italy and Guam as I lived in both places when I was stationed there. The news in Italy is a lot more international, but I’m afraid Guam is fairly myopic. I used to laugh at the puffed up self-importance of the people there. Most people have never heard of Guam and couldn’t care less about the place. I almost crashed my car once laughing when I saw a sticker on a truck window that said; “Don’t mess with Guam”.
Yeah, right.

Draconess25's avatar

@bob_ Greece, Italy, China, India, Peru, Australia, Iceland…...

jeanmay's avatar

My husband is American, so I’m constantly getting to hear about American politics and am berated daily for never having heard of Doogie Howser or Cheez Whiz.

I’m English myself, so I know a lot about England. I also studied for my undergraduate degree in Scotland, so I’m familiar with that territory (and it’s definitely another country, maybe even another planet. A nice planet, before I offend anyone.). I have lived in France too, and my mum has a farm there. After that I lived in the Czech Republic, another marvelous country. Currently I live in South Korea, so not only am I learning about a whole new country, but a whole new continent too.

If anyone feels like filling me in on what on earth one does with Cheez Whiz, please feel free.

Draconess25's avatar

@jeanmay You put it on crackers, or eat it straight from the can.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

@jeanmay piss on it. That’s why they call it Cheeze ‘Whiz’. Foul, disgusting stuff. Not even fit for compost.

Draconess25's avatar

@CyanoticWasp Most is. It’s a last resort for me.

Jeruba's avatar

“A lot”—I’m not sure how much is a lot. I’m not even sure I know “a lot” about the U.S., and I have lived here all my life, in three different parts: Northeast, Midwest, and Northern California.

But I have read so very many British novels and seen so many British movies and TV shows and listened to so many installments of the BBC World News that I think I must have absorbed a great deal of the history, culture, landscape, and so on. If there’s anyplace I know a lot about besides the U.S., it’s probably the U.K., even though I have spent far more time in Canada than in the U.K.

mattbrowne's avatar

Yes, the US.

Draconess25's avatar

@bob_ I can’t think of anymore….

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