On Poetry and Culture Shock

American and patriotic

I wonder what the average citizen of the United States would think if they knew that in Spain, “American” is a bad thing to be. Oh, don’t get me wrong, we don’t have anything against people born in that country. There is plain old American-in-origin and there is the negative American-in-style.

So if we say that something is “very American”, especially something to do with entertainment, we mean that it is simplistic, even cheesy, and extremely commercial. “Very American” food is too sweet or too rich or too much or all three at the same time. Something “American” is always over the top. A fake. That does not mean we believe that all things American-in-origin are like that.

Something similar goes for patriot. Spaniards are not patriots (noun), ever. Even though the word exists, we don’t use it. Some people are patriotic (adjective), but again, that’s a bad thing to be. I would use it only ironically. You just don’t make a display of being proud of your country, although being proud of your region, which corresponds roughly with American states, is normally OK.

I pity all those Americans going on study programs in Spain and getting the third degree on American foreign policy from everyone they meet. Someone should tell them this sort of thing before they cross the ocean.

1 comentario

enrique -

Hola... despues de leer tu blog actual (y el anterior)... una duda... eres Esther?
En caso de que si, dime que si, en caso de que no, que sepas q yo tb soy un espanol en el exilio (Bruselas) y q antes estuve viviendo 1 anno en EEUU y que me ha gustado mucho tu blog... contestame o algo!