People Share The Popular Misconceptions People Have About Their Home Country
Ondrej Machart on Unsplash

Every country is unique in their traditions, their customs, and the way people live their lives. It makes traveling so desired by so many people.

However, with the spread of misinformation and the consumption of media that decides to simplify whole cultures, people think wrong things about an entire culture worth of people.

They might think a country acts a certain way, or sounds a certain way, or likes to look for elves in the mountains.

Wait, what?

Reddit user, SodaWithoutSparkles, wanted to know what people get wrong about where you live when they asked:

"What popular beliefs about your country just isn't true?"

There are the classics, the ones right at the top of people's minds when they think of another country, or another continent, worth of people. Wrong, yes, but popular, and maybe that's the problem.

Such A Small View Of A Large Continent

"Kenyans are all long-distance runners, live in huts, speak no English, and have pet wild animals. Ugh."

"So here goes: The long-distance guys are mainly from one community/ tribe called the Kalenjin that's about 15% of the population. Next, Kenya is still a developing nation with a lot of poverty, but there's a lot of modern architecture. Next, the country is rated 18 out of 100 on the English Proficiency Index. And lastly: you can apply for a special (and rarely-granted) permit for your bobcat named Babou, but keeping wildlife is not at all common. And the Kenya Wildlife Service will conduct regular visits to ensure Babou isn't being kept in Meowschwitz-like conditions."


"People in the west have really outdated views on Africa. We tend to see the whole continent as one blob, and assume everyone's poor or living in a shack."

"Think that's partly due to all the charity videos at christmas. If you see Africans, they're often in a charity ad because some war torn region is suffering from food shortages or a lack of clean drinking water. Meanwhile, as you know, plenty of African countries are poor but wealth discrepancies are large so there are plenty of living relatively affluent lives in modern cities. I assume living in Nairobi wouldn't be that different to living in many a western city, if you can afford that lifestyle."

"Most of reddit is too poor to live comfortably in Kinshasa for example, even if the DRC's a genuinely poor country. And if you explain Ethiopia was Christian centuries before eastern Europe, our brains shut down."

"We're entirely clueless. Sorry about that."


We'll Punch You, Then Apologize, Then Punch You Again

"We're polite"


"A fellow Canadian"


"We are polite. The misconception is that nice and polite mean the same thing."


They Also Aren't All Plumbers Who Fight Dragon Kings

"No Italian aren't all short, black haired, fat, mobsters that wear wine-stained tank tops and coppolas. We are loud tho"


"I spent six months in Italy as an au pair, and I don’t think I met a single person I could have mistaken for a mobster. Everyone was very loud and smoked a lot though. I loved every second of it."


"Jesus, we are so loud. I'm an Italian living with n Germany. We are sooooo loud. Every-single-one. Incredible."


Keep Things The Way They Are

"No we don't speak Spanish, yes we'll probably understand you when you speak Spanish to us but we'll probably think you're an a--hole. No we don't want to join up with Spain, we like our distance."


"You're from Portugal?"


'Ello Guv'na!

"People think British people are either stiff Upper lip public schoolboys or cockney brick layers/football hooligans. There's a whole world of people in between! Some of us don't even like football. One of my friends DOESNT EVEN DRINK TEA! Not sure why she's my friend to be honest."


It's not just people misunderstand, but the animals of the region. You might think one thing about the creatures of a region only to find out that it's just not true at all.

So Common A Misconception You Have A Retort Ready To Go

"Welsh people shag sheep. Temptation is there but the static shock wouldn't be worth it."


"I'm English but live in Powys. I get told this joke when other English people find out I live in Wales."

"The best retort I've heard from a Welshman is 'Yep. We shag them and we then sell them to the English to eat...'"


Let's Go A An Australian Bush Bash!

"We don’t all ride kangaroos to work fighting off giant spiders while keeping an eye out for drop bears."

"I work from home."


"There are a lot of kangaroos though. I feel like that is the one stereotype that tourists wouldn't feel ripped off at"


"Why would we fight off giant spiders? I keep them as pets, they protect me from drop bears."


Every country has myths, legends, or rumors themselves that spread about, gaining a legacy pushing them into lore. After all, how else do you explain the elves living in the mountains?

Think Of The Magic

"That some high percentage of us believe in elves."


"I know about 25 Icelandic people and 2 of them seriously believe in elves and gnomes. To me, that's a pretty big percentage"


"When there’s 5 people in your country and 2 of them believe in Elves, i don’t know, that’s a high percentage of people who believe in them"


Credit His Origins Where They're From

"Dracula is often depicted as living in Transylvania. While he was imprisoned there for a while, he was actually the ruler of Wallachia (another historic Romanian province that neighbors Transylvania to the south). As for the rumor that we are vampires, I neither confirm nor deny this statement."


"There was another similar question awhile back that said something to the effect of:"

"I don't know why people think Romania is full of vampires. I've lived here for 600 years and I've never met one."


At Least We're Nice Half The Year

"Iceland was not named as part of some conspiracy to keep folks away from a good thing. The name comes from the fact that early settlers arrived during summer and then suffered horrible losses of livestock and people once winter hit and icebergs were seen filling the fjords. It was more of a warning than anything, that this place sucked. Greenland on the other hand was probably named as such to make it sound more hospitable"


Try to educate yourself before you go out traveling.

Educate yourself on how to find those hidden elves, that is!

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