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Wed December 18, 2013
Project Xpat: What The World Thinks Of America
Originally published on Wed December 18, 2013 8:35 am
"America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room," observed British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. "Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair."
And Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca said, "The only things that the United States has given to the world are skyscrapers, jazz, and cocktails."
Opinions of America are like bellybuttons — everybody's got one.
As part of Project Xpat — an exploration by NPR — we asked Americans living abroad to tell us in 10 words or less how they would answer the 10-word question: What Do People In Your Host Country Think Of America?
Here are some of the responses:
"Has a limited worldview and is absolutely crazy about guns." — Andrea Eagleman, 33, New Zealand
"Americans: violent, no culture; but you: humble, kind and different." — Chantal Mpezo, 27, South Korea
"America, the land of optimism, excess, economic and political decline." — Yasmine Qureshi, 28, England
"Most find America delightful. Tourism dollars help quite a lot." — Brian Blakely, 30, Morocco
"Fashion labels, excess money, beauty, USA means beautiful country." — Renee Baker, 37, China
"Full of contradictions: confusingly progressive yet behind the times." — Thomas Mosley, 25, Spain
"A place to gasp at, but not to go to." — Holly-Nicole Nwangwa, 23, Japan
"Americans are very patriotic and all have guns." — Carly Erickson, 25, Italy
"Americans are aggressive, paranoid gun-hoarders who don't want social health care." — Towy Vaughn, 38, China
"Cheap iPhones, rap music and better movies exist in America." — Brenna Bethancourt, 28, Russia
"Gun-loving but fun-loving; hard working but spoiled and fat." — Anastasia Primbas, 47, Hungary
The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers – Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers – of NPR. @NPRtpj