Stereotypes and The Xenophobes Guides!
There’s an old adage that heaven is where the cooks are French, the police are British, the mechanics are German, the lovers are Italian and everything is organized by the Swiss.
And hell is where the cooks are British, the police are German, the mechanics are French, the lovers are Swiss, and everything is organized by the Italians!
National stereotypes have been the subject of many jokes for centuries. Even today when the international community promotes diversity and encourages tolerance, we are often still labelled according to perceptions of our nationality.
Whilst a common stereotype of the French is a man in a beret and stripy shirt with a string of onions round his neck – Parisiennes in particular have a reputation for snobbishness.
In an attempt to shake that off, a new Guide has been produced by the Chamber of Coommerce in Paris for hoteliers, restauranteurs and shopkeepers.
Dubliner Siobhan Silke of France 24 in Paris to explain more...
Stefan Zeidenitz is co-author of the Xenophobe’s Guide to the Germans and also edited the German edition of ten other Xenophobe titles. The guides take an analytical but affectionate look at different nations, their character and quirks. He’s also a consultant on national mentality differences and intercultural communication, and he joins us with his thoughts on national stereotypes, as does Michael Vaughan, who is President of the Irish Hotels Federation...