Publisert av: For the Little Prince - Per | mars 6, 2008

Genetic Trait or Stereotype?

What Do YOU Think: Genetic Trait or Stereotype?


From time to time, I hear people speaking proudly of their

international heritage. Speaking of their background, they will

declare, «Well, you know that I am a stubborn German!»

Having a few parts of German in my background, I can say

that. I am stubborn. People will tell me that.


The German-Americans admit to being stubborn over and

over again. Norwegian-Americans will admit to being bashful.

The people with Spanish-American heritage might be prone

to being passionate people. The people with an

Italian-American heritage might brag about being

hot-tempered. The Irish-Americans have a little twinkle in

their eyes, and are cute and funny. Perhaps, the

Scottish-American people, I have always thought,

have quiet, strong, bold personas. That is my perspective.


When I think of my Russian-American friend, I might

conclude that the Soviet Union consists of men with

high cheek-bones, long legs, deep voices, and having a long

gait that resembles MARCHING. They are serious about what

they do. They are fearless.


My Russian friend’s grandmother was from Russia.

Freda was just a cute, petite, sweet little lady, probably

weighing in less that 110 pounds. She had a tiny little face,

tiny little feet and gentle blue eyes- and resembled a garden



The Russian citizen I traveled with years ago had the

traditional Russian Cossack. The hat, itself,

was intimidating. He wore a big, fluffy brown fur coat.

He had a big, shiny briefcase sitting by his feet.

While I sat next to him, he was lecturing me on the subject of

my Lutheran background. While I held my ground

in the debate, it was then that I learned

NOT TO debate someone with a different political

and/or religious view while 20,000 feet up in the air.

I decided that without a parachute, that I should probably

STOP talking. That was ONE single perspective of a

Russian citizen.

The list goes on that describes each people

and their heritage. Is it really true? Are all Norwegians

bashful. Honestly, I think that stereotypes are



The Norwegians I know just know WHEN

to open their mouths and when to keep them shut. They are

NOT necessarily shy, but PEOPLE SMART.


When I was in

Norway for several months, as a foreign exchange

student at a university, a woman invited me over for an

evening of visiting and popcorn. When I arrived at the

door, she greeted me with, «Oh, I can just see the

HAMBURGERS and fries in your eyes!» Ronald McDonald

is NOT my first cousin. I did not respond that her eyes

looked like fiskebollers or anything of that nature. I didn’t do

that. We both had/have a good sense of humor and laughed.

I think that Norwegians are strong and a little bit bucky, but

in a quiet, thoughtful way. The dreamers went to

America. The practical ones stayed home and from that

lineage was grown strong, courageous people willing to climb

mountains and to row across deep fjords. Norwegians are,

overall, very athletic people and, for the most part, are

healthier than their Norwegian-American cousins. They

are more physically fit, I believe. They are also pretty

intelligent in terms of current events, world policy and



I am puzzled by some of the Ole’ and Lena Jokes.

These are not the same kind of Norwegians that I met in

Norway. Perhaps, the Swedes published the Norwegian joke

books and sent them over to America. 😉


I don’t have any clear answers. I do have some hunches.

I don’t want to start a war; I just want to understand what

makes people tick. Why do they say the things that they say?

Why do they do the things that they do?


I wished that my Norwegian relatives never left.


Click on:

In the words of,

I am a Norwegian wanna-be. It would be hard to convince

my family and friends otherwise. And, I am proud of my roots.

Sandy S. Zoo



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