I am a weird phenomenon in France. Indeed, I am French… and German. The specificity of enjoying double nationality is that I am aware of clichés and how outdated they are. In fact, many foreigners seem disoriented when I cheer for the Mannschaft in the world cup. Or when I choose, as favorite desert, a fine piece of mouth-watering Käsekuchen ! My main preoccupation lately has not been our President’s affair with a romantic actress and I do NOT go on strike every single time I get the chance to.
Stereotypes die hard. As a Frenchman my nationality is very often questioned when I happen to introduce myself in English, picture this: an English-speaking French! Are you really French ? How come you don’t have an accent ? I get this all the time, it’s okay…
The best remedy against stereotypes I have come across: travel. Travel as much as you can. It still is the easiest and most efficient way to find out what a people really is like. You’ll find out that not all French people wear berets and carry their baguette under their armpits. Just like not all Germans like beer and Fleischwurst!
About this article:
All Spaniards are lazy, all Greeks are corrupt and Romanians work for the mafia: Everywhere in Europe stereotypes are in full bloom. For the German newspaper www.sueddeutsche.de, six FutureLab Europe participants describe the impact of prejudices about their home country on their everyday life. This article is part a part of a series of reflections by young Europeans, prepared in cooperation between FutureLab and Süddeutsche Zeitung Online.