So far in our ‘stereotypes’ videos, we’ve picked on a handful of countries and talked in some detail about each place. Today we are going to spread the net much wider and cover many countries, but because of that we’ll only be able to mention a few stereotypes. We might call these the biggest, or most prevailing stereotypes of that country. Some of these will no doubt be quite amusing, or even insulting, so please take them with a pinch of salt. We’re going to include all of the 28 European Union members, but not all of the 50 countries in Europe and those handful of transcontinental countries.
We’ll go through the list in alphabetic order, and that means our first place is Austria. We’ll hazard a guess and say that many of our viewers haven’t visited this small country that sits in Central Europe. For that reason, you’ll know little more about Austrians than the dubious fact that they all like to drink beer, wear funny green hats, and of course enjoy yodeling.
Over in Belgium, too, people are natural born beer connoisseurs, but besides that they love nothing more than filling their faces with fries and chocolate. According to the stereotype, they are a funny breed who take life at a relaxed pace, except they can’t seem to agree on speaking just one language.
As for Bulgarians, well, we know you don’t know much about them. What we can tell you is that in the small world of stereotypes, Bulgarian men are all macho tough guys. All the politicians there are corrupt, and of course you won’t go far in Bulgaria without meeting a gypsy.
Over in Croatia, the land of beautiful women. It’s a land of coffeeshops and heavy smokers. Everyone is superstitious, and they are generally a friendly bunch. Just don’t go getting into arguments about those bad times in the 90s.
Now in Cyprus, the sun-bleached nation where everyone is a devout Christian. These tanned skinned islanders live a life of leisure even if they are not rich. Their doors are always open to the traveler who wants to check out the laid-back lifestyle.
It’s certainly nothing like that in the Czech Republic, where the people can seem hostile and rude at first. Don’t worry, they don’t mean it. The men spend half their life in the pub watching sports and drinking, but the women stay home and cook. It’s easy to spot them as they all have a funny sense of what fashion is.
Ah, Denmark, one of those places in the world where no one is poor. In fact, all Danes have good jobs and never worry about being broke. They are a bit depressed, though, what with everything being flat and the sky always being grey. For that reason, they have a lot of, er, open relationships. Some of the men still think that they are Vikings, so they join motorcycle gangs and cause trouble.
As for Estonians, not many people know much about them as they get few visitors. We do know that all the women are tall and attractive, and the men are quite macho. But maybe the macho days are over, because the stereotype now says Estonians are all computer geniuses. We can throw in a few hackers, too.
In Finland, well, people don’t exactly live the vida loca. It’s a functional place and everything is clean, but still many people choose to live in the forest in wooden huts where they brew vodka over a log fire. Here folks enjoy their isolation, so don’t be surprised if no one speaks to you. Just do what they do, keep your head down and enjoy the saunas that are everywhere.
France is easy, because it’s one of the most stereotyped places on the planet. Yeah, they drink a lot of wine, and yes, they love their food and hate the English. They are a haughty bunch, critical of many things and are not afraid to tell you. They seem to have a penchant for the stranger things in life, and that’s why they have a history of making very messed up movies or writing books that most of the world think should be banned. The French don’t care, they are proud of being the world’s avant-garde.
The French may have some misgivings about their neighbors, the Germans. For good reason, too. Those Germans are just good at everything. They are never, ever late, and even take great pains in organizing just a breakfast. They are all born with an acumen for engineering, but unfortunately this hasn’t helped their ability to cook cuisine that isn’t bland. All they seem to eat is sausage and potato and sauerkraut…washed down with beer, of course.
Life is very different in Greece, where the folks live a much more laid-back lifestyle. They are all hairy for some reason, including the women. Nothing is more important than family, and you’ll find the Greeks spending hours around the family table involved in gossiping about someone else’s family.
In Hungary it’s back to grim weather. To counter that, they eat stew for pretty much every meal. Everyone is quite tall and speaks a language that no one in the world can learn if they didn’t grow up speaking it. That’s not such a bad thing, seeing as they like to argue and will have loads of contradictory and pessimistic opinions to annoy you.
Over to Ireland, and everyone in this alcohol-soaked nation likes nothing more than to sing and be merry. They love a bit of the Craic, and no, we are not talking about the kind you smoke with a pipe. Don’t make them angry, though, as the men, and women actually, are natural born boxers. Well, that’s besides all those soft-spoken poets living in Ireland. A strange stereotype came from Sigmund Freud, who once famously said they were, “the only people who are impervious to psychoanalysis.”
Italians on the other hand, don’t bottle anything up because they just talk and shout and argue with anyone and everyone. These people are passionate about everything, especially food. If they can, they’ll do everything the easiest way possible, even if that means breaking a few rules. They are yet to grasp political correctness when it comes to sexual relations, and for them a bit of wolf-whistling is fair game. You could say people really enjoy the three Fs: Food, Football and Fashion. And to be sure, they’ll tell you about it.
We know much less about Latvia, perhaps only that it’s one of those Baltic nations that quite likes a drink now and again. They also eat a lot of fish. They have a strange sense of humor that you won’t understand. Don’t tell them they are Russian, as that won’t go down well. They are a tough bunch usually, but will cry if their hockey team loses.
Over to Lithuania, a country famous for its incredibly high suicide rate and consumption of alcohol? Again, don’t tell these folks they are part of Russia, as they won’t like that. When they are in good moods, they like nothing more than to knock back some vodka while singing and dancing along to the accordion.
As for Luxemburg, it’s so small that it’s almost hidden. Everyone here has money, and most people either work in the civil service, the steel industry, or are farmers. They don’t get out much, and we mean out of the country, so it’s unlikely you’ll ever meet one of these mysterious people. Imagine a bit of German and French mix, and you are close.
Now for the Maltese, another nation full of laid-back people. They have a special relationship with goats, and they love their bread. A traditional bunch, they enjoy church, dancing, and gossiping with the whole family intact.
Over to The Netherlands, the country of progressive clog wearers who speak perfect English but with a very funny accent. These tall, blue-eyed people like nothing more than to ride around on a bicycle stoned out of their minds. If they are not doing that, they are tending to their windmill or tulip garden.
Now to Poland, the land of rude people who will not spare your feelings by speaking nice to you about your weight. They’ve taken some grief from Germany and Russia in the past, and this has made some of them a little bitter and aggressive. Half the country moved to the UK, but now they all went back home to greener pastures.
In Portugal people are much more relaxed, relaxed to the point of laziness. All the men are handsome and have bronze skin, while the women like to cook while listening to Fado music. They take life easy for the most part, because they know it’ll be over soon enough. And one thing, stop confusing them with the Spanish. Kinda like the Indians, they have a thing for moustaches.
In Romania life is much tougher, according to the stereotype. Poverty is everywhere and small grizzly children live in the sewers. They are very religious and some of them believe in witches. A past time there is for gypsies to put spells on people.
As for Slovakians, it’s a country full of castles but not like those scary ones in Romania. It gets lumped in with all those former Soviet Union countries, while most people think they are the same as Slovenians. So yes, the stereotype exists that says folks wander around in traditional dress, drinking vodka, singing and fighting. When they are not doing that they are dreaming of a holiday on a Croatian beach.
As for Slovenians, seeing as half the world thinks they are the same as Slovakians, we might share the stereotypes. But as the stereotype goes, these mountain loving folks love their houses and making everything in them just right. They work hard, speak foreign languages, but it’s said they share some of that melancholy that people often experience in Scandinavia.
The Spanish don’t, they live the joie de vivre even if it means sitting about all day drinking Sangria and watching soccer on TV. They don’t care, they live in a warm country full of beauty, with beaches, too. They stay up late, flirt all the time, sometimes torture bulls and enjoy the Eurovision song contest.
As for the Swedish, these blond haired, blue-eyed tall people live in the snow, or some people might think so. They are open-minded, but suffer from sadness, as everyone in that part of the world does. They live in the dark much of the time, so it’s pretty easy to understand. They don’t worry about money, or finding good work, and they tell jokes about the Norwegians. They like pastry, coffee, and some weird meats. They also keep a very clean house, and country, for that matter.
Last on the list is the UK, a country stacked with pie-eating poor people fighting over soccer and politics. Their overlords have funny, posh accents and still think they are living in the middle ages. The working people like the pub, a safe place to hide from the perpetual rain and cold. They have white skin that burns easily, drink a lot of tea, and everyone watches hours of telly daily – which is full of programs showing them nice sunny places they could visit if they had any money.
So, there you have it…stupid stereotypes that exist about different European countries. Have we missed any? Let is know in the comments!