What do Dutch Europeans think of Americans?



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In the above video I ask Dutch Europeans what they think about America. Below I’ve written a concise summary of the reactions I got to that question and 4 other questions on the topic.

1. What comes to mind about America?

Right off the bat, the responses weren’t very rosy. One person mentioned America as “a community that lives under a rock”.

Political division was also a hot topic, with mentions of the widening rift between Republicans and Democrats. The name “Trump” was dropped several times, associated with words like “chaos” and “crisis”.

One person even went so far as to comment on “the mess that Trump made”. Politics aside, there seems to be a consensus that America has its fair share of challenges.

2. Want to go to America?

Historically the United States, with its Hollywood allure and “American Dream” narrative, has been a sought-after destination for many. But the people I spoke with didn’t buy into that narrative at all.

One individual said, “I used to want to go there, but not anymore”. Another person had been there a few times but just wasn’t a fan.

I’m sure there are still plenty of Europeans that would love to visit, but it seems the allure of the U.S. has dimmed substantially compared to say 20 years ago.

3. What else comes to mind?

Delving deeper, one person voiced concerns about school shootings. The ease of acquiring weapons in America came up, with one respondent pointing out, “Everyone can buy a weapon there”.

Racism and segregation were also mentioned. One person found “racism intense there” and another noted the relatively stark distinction between various racial and ethnic groups.

4. What about the characteristics of Americans?

Ah, the classic stereotypes. Let’s see if they held up. One respondent thought Americans were “louder than Europeans” and another believed many were self-absorbed.

But it wasn’t all about personality traits. Physical attributes were mentioned too, with several comments about obesity while another simply stated “fat”.

It’s clear that some classic stereotypes still persist, but it’s important to remember that these are individual perceptions and not broad truths.

5. Are there also things that you like?

These responses were more upbeat. One person appreciated the American way of life, stating that “a lot is within your own control” and another mentioned the music culture.

One man expressed admiration for the American sports culture. He said, “What I love about America is how fans from opposing teams can sit together in harmony”. Another contrasted it with Europe, where supporters from opposing teams often fight.

The film industry got a shoutout, which isn’t surprising given its global influence. And hey, Harley Davidson made the list too!

It’s evident that while there might be criticisms and reservations, there’s also admiration for certain aspects of American culture and contributions.