Thursday, July 20, 2006

Being an American

I recently found this MSNBC site about Being An American. I tend to think of Americans as being more visibly patriotic in general than the British and the survey results on this page on the site seem to confirm that: "Patriotism is mostly a New World concept, the researchers said". You certainly don't see the Union flag flying everywhere in the UK the way you see the stars and stripes over here.

There's a quiz on the MSNBC site called Do you have what it takes to become a citizen? I scored only 65% :-(
65-80%: Hey, you may make a good citizen yet! Look at your wrong answers and a little revision should do the trick.

Hmm, well, I passed the citizenship interview at the INS office - maybe I've just forgotten stuff in the last 5 years! Or maybe the INS officer was just nice and gave me easy questions because I was clearly very stressed. I had travelled to the office with a 6 month old, been told I couldn't eat my lunch in the waiting room, and was suffering pretty noticeable post-partum depression.

There are some interesting comments following this BBC article on "What makes you British?" At least one person comments on the distinction between being British and being English - many Americans (and other foreigners) forget that being British does not necessarily mean being English. Hmm - in the same way, people often forget that Being American doesn't necessarily mean that you voted for the current government!

1 comment:

Mmm said...

So true.I like to say I am half American and half English--and no, not like someone says they are Polish or German or Irish because a grandparent from there came here!

And i'm sure you find yourself correcting people when they say "England" when thy mean "Britain!" This was even incorrect in the exam for citizenship my chinese friend recently took. It said that independence was claimed from England, when in actuality it is bigger--Greta Britain, as it says in the Declaration. Small things like that irk me--it would irk me more if I was Welsh or Scottish I should imagine.

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