Let s talk about national character and stereotypes.
Let’s talk about national characters. They say every nation has got its national traits. What about Belarusians? What are our national traits?
Belarusian traditions and features of the national character were formed in the course of complex history. The country was engulfed by many military conflicts, World Wars, national liberation revolts, revolutions and repressions. So our extraordinary history cultivated special character traits of our people, the main of them are tolerance and diligence.
Different from anyone else, Belarusians are able to adapt to any circumstances — not to change the circumstances but to change themselves, to accept these circumstances, to live them naturally, in harmony and even with pleasure.
The second aspect of the Belarusian character is that a Belarusian holds tight to what he has gained. He regards the external world with little trust.
At the same time, in the view of Belarusians themselves, they are loved and respected by everyone. People turn to Belarusians for help and support, because they know that a Belarusian will always be responsive and helpful. Belarusian people always enjoy receiving guests and are perfect at this. This tradition is alive today.
To sum up, Belarusian features of character are tolerance and a lack of temper. Belarusians are kind, soft, soulful, hard-working and hospitable. But at the same time they are they are reserved, not very jolly and rather pessimistic.
New Belarusians are rather inclined to intellectual jobs. They earn their living by using brains rather than by digging the soil. The young generation has more Belarusian identity than the Soviet generation. New Belarusians express more interest in their roots and history. Many Belarusians, both young and old, are fond of gardening very much.
Are Belarusians similar to Americans? Tell me about American values and beliefs.
The United States has often been called a melting pot. This term refers to the idea that the country is a place where people from many lands have come together and formed a unified culture. Americans have many things in common. For example, the vast majority of them speak English, and people throughout the country dress similarly and eat many of the same kinds of foods.
At the center of all that Americans value is freedom. Americans commonly regard their society as the freest and best in the world. Americans’ understanding of freedom is shaped by the Founding Fathers’ belief that all people are equal and that the role of government is to protect each person’s basic rights.
Americans’ notion of freedom focuses on the individual. Individualism, understood not only as self-reliance but also as economic self-sufficiency, has been a central theme in American history.
Volunteerism is the soul of American community and political life. Volunteerism means people helping people through privately-initiated, rather than government-sponsored, agencies. Volunteers, usually unpaid, are highly motivated workers who organize themselves and others to solve a particular community problem or meet an immediate social need, rather than waiting for someone else to do it. The willingness to participate in such groups is so widespread that six out of ten Americans are members of a volunteer organization. Volunteerism reflects Americans’ optimistic pride in their ability to work out practical solutions themselves.
As a nation of immigrants, Americans have from the beginning shared the assumption that the practical solution to a problem is to move elsewhere and make a fresh start. Mobility in America is not a sign of aimlessness but optimism. Americans move from place to place with the sense of optimism, hoping to secure a better job or enjoy climate.
Moving about from place to place is such a common and accepted practice that most Americans take it for granted that they may live in four or five cities during their lifetime, perhaps buying a house and then reselling it each time they move. The American habit of mobility has been important in contributing a degree of homogeneity to a society of such extreme cultural diversity and spaciousness. Cultural differences still exist from region to region, but they are becoming increasingly less distinct as mutual exchange occurs.
What questions would you ask your American friend going to live and work in his/her country?
What are the main national characteristics of Americans?
What are the specific qualities of the American national character?
Do Americans feel patriotic?
What is their favourite sport?
What stereotypes connected with Americans do you know?
Your friend is going to study in America. Advise him/her how to communicate with Americans.
First of all, learn sport jargon
Americans love using idioms, especially sport phrases like "home run" or "slam dunk" when something goes really well. Another popular phrase is "taking a rain check," which comes from baseball when it rains and the game has to be postponed. These phrases are used a lot in business and in casual conversations.
Get comfortable with informality
Things are much less formal in America. Americans like being comfortable and relaxed, but that does not mean they are being disrespectful.
It is very common to call people you work for or your colleagues by their first name. One of the exceptions is teachers in school usually use Mr. or Mrs. Avoid confrontation
Americans do not like confrontation. They do not want to hurt anybody’s feelings, so they are very careful about how they say things. Americans avoid directly criticizing or opposing anyone. It would be considered very rude if someone just said, "you’re wrong" to someone else.
If you want someone to do something, you would always be very polite about it and avoid commands.
Get comfortable with interruptions
Although Americans believe being polite is very important, it is very normal for Americans to interrupt each other when they have something to contribute. It’s usually not that rude in American conversation especially with a good friend.
Give lots of compliments
Americans give a lot of compliments — all the time. It’s a popular way of building relationships with other people or just being nice. Even with strangers or people you don’t know very well, it is common to give a compliment.
Have you heard the expression "American dream?" How do you understand its meaning?
The term "American Dream," used in widely different contexts from political speeches to Broadway musicals, eludes precise definition.
J. T. Adams in The Epic of America (1931) expressed it as "the dream of a land in which life should be better, richer, and fuller for every man with opportunities for each according to his abilities and achievement." The "American Dream" is popularized in countless rags-to-riches stories and in the portrayal of the good life in advertising and on TV shows. It teaches Americans to believe that contentment can be reached through the virtues of thrift, hard work, family loyalty, and faith in the free enterprise system.However, throughout America’s history, reality has also taught her citizens, particularly minorities, that the "American Dream" is not open to all. Segregation and discrimination are effective tools which have barred minorities from equal opportunities in all spheres.