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Published: August 25th 2011
I am actually writing another blog entry on my time volunteering but I had to post this first.
Well it finally happened and just 2 weeks after reading it on another blog.
So on Monday afternoons I help teach English to a group of police cadets ages 10-18 years. I just assist the girl who teaches the class who is another volunteer here at Manos Amigas. She is actually very good at teaching and very good with kids. She has just one minor flaw. She is from England and she doesn't know how to spell and uses funny made up words. Lorrie driver?? Color spelled with the letter "u"?? The letter "z" pronounced as zed?? WTF? Actually I could do a whole post on those Brits and Aussies and maybe I will. Although the Aussies aren't as annoying.
So the second week of class we had 3 other volunteers join us for the English class. The week before we went over basic intro questions. What is your name, where are you from, etc. So this week we divided up the class into 3 groups and had them interview one of the 3 volunteers. Afterwards the group goes to the front of the class with who they interviewed and makes a presentation. So the first group interviewed a guy from NYC. So the final question was what's your nationality? So of course being from NYC in the good ol' USofA he answered "American" and that is what the kids presented to the class. The English girl tries to correct them and say he is "Norteamericano" and he goes yea I guess. So I have to step in and correct her and say that he is "American." There is no other word for it. She says that everybody else in the continent is "american" (I refuse to capitalise so called other americans who aren't from the US), that even these Colombians are "american."
Now I have heard this argument before and didn't really give it much thought and kinda agreed that these other people could call themselves "americans" if they live on one of the American continents. But a couple of weeks ago I read a blog entry on someones website that went over the whole "American" thing and I agreed. They might live on one of the American continents but their nationality isn't American.
If you are a native of Germany then your nationality is German. If you are a native of Italy then your nationality is Italian. If you are a native of Canada then your nationality is Canadian. If you are a native of Brazil then your nationality is Brazilian. If you are a native of Colombia then your nationality is Colombian. If you are a native of Argentina then your nationality is Argentinian. Start to see a pattern here? Sure this doesn't apply to everyone. People from France are French, Japanese people are from Japan, Chinese are from China, but you get how it works for most people's nationality.
Now I am American because my county is The United States of America. If Brazil wants to change its name from the Federative Republic of Brazil to Brazil of America , or The Republic of Colombia changes to Colombia of America, and the Argentine Republic becomes Argentina of America, well then maybe they have the right to call their nationality American. But I don't think that is going to happen. I am pretty sure that they are happy being called Brazilian, Colombian, Argentinian (but they may also be referred to as Argentine).
Aside from maybe someone who has a stick up their butt and just wants to argue with an American, no one else calls themselves American. Or "Norteamericano." Canadians don't want to be tied to us Americans, they are proud of their country. Besides Norteamericano would apply to everyone from North America, from Canada to Panama. You see Central America isn't a continent, it is part of North America. So "Norteamericano" doesn't describe or wouldn't be specific enough for the people from the USA.
Anyways back to the classroom. So the English girl says it's "Norteamericano." I went over many of the points I made here with her and I didn't want to undermine her credibility so I kinda let it go. Now I know I am right so for me to just let it go goes against my very nature. But you see I have an ace up my sleeve. Actually I have 2 aces up my sleeve but at the time I only see one.
So the next group gets up in front of the class with who they just interviewed. So when it comes to the last question about his nationality he replied that he was Canadian. So of course I then say no he isn't, he is "Norteamericano." After all Canada is in North America and if I have to be "Norteamericano" then he is too, right? Well the English girl didn't say anything but you could clearly see she wasn't too happy about what I was saying but it just goes exactly to my point why I wasn't "Norteamericano." At this time I realized the other ace I had up my sleeve. Hey I am from Vegas and I know nothing beats an ace, especially 2.
So then the third group goes in front of the class with who they interviewed. She is a girl who lives in California but is from Guatemala. Now she was agreeing with the English girl about the word American. So when she said her nationality is Guatemalan and once again I had to step in and say no it was "Norteamericano" since Guatemala is part of the North American continent. After talking to her more and explaining a little more she came around to seeing things my way (the right way, I might add :o ). The English girl still doesn't I don't think but she has to know that I won that one Game, Set, and Match.
There is another word that people from Latin America sometimes call Americans, Estadounidense. But that is a purely Spanish word, most Americans have never heard it and have no idea how to say it or what it means.
The thing is us Americans call ourselves Americans because that is what we are. It is what we have been calling ourselves since we (the people themselves not the country) were little and I nor anyone I know want to change that. Hell most Americans don't even think about it or know that there is some sort of controversy. We call ourselves that not as any slight to any other people or country in North or South America but because that is what we are. After all we are the only country that uses the work America in the name of our country. Anyone else could have but didn't. Do Americans think that they are better than everyone else? Well duh, but doesn't every country think that they are the best? Sure most of them do. Here is info from From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia about the United States of America: At 3.79 million square miles (9.83 million km2) and with over 310 million people, the United States is the third or fourth largest country by total area, and the third largest both by land area and population. It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations The U.S. economy is the world's largest national economy, with an estimated 2010 GDP of $14.780 trillion (23%!o(MISSING)f nominal global GDP and 20%!o(MISSING)f global GDP at purchasing-power parity)
So don't the people of the USA warrant their own nationality? We do and it is American.
Here is a link to a post to one of the blogs I follow on the subject. It contains adult language but is right on point and Colin writes a very good blog.
We’re Not All Americans, You Dumb Asses
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