We all have them…

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…stereotypical ideas of what people from other countries are like.

The Guardian took part in a lovely little exercise where 6 national papers (from the UK, Germany, Italy, France, Spain and Poland), as part of the Europa Project, were asked to stereotype one another. Commentators in each country then assessed the views to see if, and how far, commonly-held views held true. You can take a look here.

With the current European crisis, European Cup and the Olympics either upon us, or rapidly approaching, these national stereotypes will be trotted out, with more or less humour, more frequently.

The interesting – and silly – thing about these kinds of stereotypes is although there seems to be some basis of truth in them, how many of us actually identify with them? And of all the people who you know personally from a particular country, how many of those come anywhere close to the stereotype? Not a lot, would be our guess.

We think that being aware of these “differences” is all well and good, but being able to deal with others on a personal level is far more important.

Ta very much and take care,
word/plei/

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