Friday, 22 August 2014

Sorry Peruvians, You're Not Americans

I first had this argument over 10 years ago and I was flabbergasted. I wasn't trying to be mean or rude or look down on Peruvians, I just simply couldn't understand what they were getting at. Let's do a quick exercise.
  • Britons are from. . . . Britain
  • Chinese are from . . . . China
  • Danes are from . . . . Denmark
  • Latvians are from . . . . Latvia
  • Russians are from . . . Russia

What would you say if I told you:
  • Americans are from . . . . Peru
If this were on a test I'd mark it as wrong. Americans aren't from Peru. They're from America. Peruvians are from Peru.

The issue that some Peruvians have with this is that they say that there are only five continents: the Americas, Antarctica, Asia, Australasia, and Europe. Due to this anyone from the Americas is American. Now depending on who you talk to you'll find out that there are 4-7 continents in the world.

The issue I have with this is that people don't refer to the continent they're from. Peruvians are proud to call themselves Peruvians, until of course they can call themselves Americans. Blame it on their culture. They refer to the country they're from. They might tell you what continent their country is on, but they're not going to use that adjective to describe themselves. For example, a Kenyan isn't going to say, "I'm African". They're going to say, "I'm Kenyan". Or they might take it a step further and refer to the city they're from, stating that they're from London or New York.

Peruvians also have another issue with this and that's due to language. You see, in Spanish Americans are called "norteamericanos/as" if you want to translate it directly it would be North American. However, there are three countries in North America: Canada, the USA, and Mexico. In Spanish, Canadians are called "canadienses" and Mexicans are called "mexicanos/as". For that matter in Spanish, Peruvians are called "peruanos". If you don't speak Spanish, you should start. It'll help you assimilate to the culture and you'll be able to communicate easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.

I guess we'll just have to agree to disagree, but to the Peruvians who insist that they're "American" I tell them to go to the USA with no visa or no green card and to tell the immigration officer to let them in, because after all, "they're American".





The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

3 comments:

  1. Hola!
    I live in the region known as North America, I also consider my self a serious student of this life that we are all a part of. I'll try to make this short and to the point. This is my educated opinion, I see both North and South American territory as territory of the 'americans'. Yes, I know that this world has grown accustomed to 'dividing and conquering', and I know that the knowledge the world we live by is fairly complex; however, one can not shake the fact that the continents of the Americas are labeled as such. Another thing for certain is there will always be more than one perspective on the people and land, but what is more important than our differences is our similarities. I do understand that with different dialects comes different interpretations. One can not sum up the truth in one breath, unless it is without words and with an open heart. Through my personal research and proper understanding there is a macrocosm, which can one's respective land, the Americas, Australia and so on, and there is a microcosm, the city, town, village or tribe one is a part of. One could even go as far saying we all are earthlings, or to an even smaller descriptions of us being all atoms. Of course we can continue to separate ourselves and each other from the big picture and make life more complex, but life already is. The more we separate the farther we push each other and ourselves away from truth.

    You've probably heard this before, but I had to comment something.
    And great blog. :)

    ReplyDelete

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