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Project Xpat: What The World Thinks Of America

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

"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.

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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

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"Americans: violent, no culture; but you: humble, kind and different." — Chantal Mpezo, 27, South Korea

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"America, the land of optimism, excess, economic and political decline." — Yasmine Qureshi, 28, England

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"Most find America delightful. Tourism dollars help quite a lot." — Brian Blakely, 30, Morocco

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"Fashion labels, excess money, beauty, USA means beautiful country." — Renee Baker, 37, China

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"Full of contradictions: confusingly progressive yet behind the times." — Thomas Mosley, 25, Spain

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"A place to gasp at, but not to go to." — Holly-Nicole Nwangwa, 23, Japan

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"Americans are very patriotic and all have guns." — Carly Erickson, 25, Italy

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"Americans are aggressive, paranoid gun-hoarders who don't want social health care." — Towy Vaughn, 38, China

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"Cheap iPhones, rap music and better movies exist in America." — Brenna Bethancourt, 28, Russia

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"Gun-loving but fun-loving; hard working but spoiled and fat." — Anastasia Primbas, 47, Hungary

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The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers – Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers – of NPR. @NPRtpj

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Source: NPR

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