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Thread: Questions about the USA, Russia, other countries

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    Questions about the USA, Russia, other countries

    Hi, I'd like to ask Americans and those who were in there. It's quite a variegated country. There are a lot of different ethnicities there. How do they live, get along, intercourse? Your feelings of particular ones?

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    А как вы бы ответили на такой вопрос:
    Hi, I'd like to ask Russians and those who have been there. It's quite a diverse country. There are many different ethnic groups there. How do they live, get along, interact? Your feelings of particular ones?

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    America has many kinds of people who are either from other countries and cultures or are descendents of people from other countries and cultures. Americans hold a variety of opinions and practice a variety of activities. Differences are important to some Americans, while they have little significance to others. Most Americans like the notion that everyone can respectfully do as they please and get along well, but some are quarrelsome and some dislike people who differ from them in some way. Fundamentally, Americans are probably very similar to Russians and all other folks.

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    I live in Texas, there are different races of people but since we all speak different languages we tend to keep to ourselves.
    It's kind of awkward at times.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Romik View Post
    Hi, I'd like to ask Americans and those who were in there. It's quite a variegated country. There are a lot of different ethnicities there. How do they live, get along, intercourse? Your feelings of particular ones?
    What mudrets said is accurate from my experience.. It's a hard question to answer, because of what he was mentioning - most people here really try to be fair and respect one another's freedoms.. Because of that, most people are uncomfortable thinking along the lines of ethnicity in culture, even though they are present in our society.. People will gladly discuss their own ethnicity and culture, and they will represent the good things about it.. and most of us are hesitant to discuss the bad parts of another person's ethnicity and culture, because nobody wants be offensive or to seem racist and so on.. That's not often said, but it's true about us.

    That said, there are a lot of little pockets of culture.. Most places now, though, are similar to each other, a lot less divided between cultures, because of the new media and the internet.. Standing on a street in suburban LA, for instance, or on a street in suburban Las Vegas - I couldn't be sure where I was. There are subtle differences.. no one in Vegas exercises (or so it seemed when I visited) and everyone in LA seems to exercise.. In general, the West coast has a lot of foreign cars, the South has a lot of domestic cars, and in the East a lot of people don't own cars.. there are things like that. And there are accents, and dialects. Little details for each place.

    Where I'm from, there's not too much culture. There is a lot of ethnicity lended to us from the Native Americans and the Latino peoples that live here. There's a little bit of a "cowboy" culture but mostly it's disrespected, and whether it's because it's become passe, or because white folk here are a bit embarassed about the actions of their ancestors (land-stealing, genocide, corruption, it's all there) I can't say for sure.

    If you want to know more, I would suggest looking at New York City first. Foreigners are fond of saying "NYC is its own country" and they're not far off - there you'll find a bit of almost every culture our country has, and you'll also have a good idea of what the whole country is like.

    That's all I can think of to say for now. But if you have more specific questions I'll be happy to try and answer.

    Culture of New York City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (in english, sorry, i couldn't find these in russian!)
    Culture of Chicago - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Los Angeles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Miami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Culture of New Orleans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidkboom View Post
    What mudrets said is accurate from my experience.. It's a hard question to answer, because of what he was mentioning - most people here really try to be fair and respect one another's freedoms.. Because of that, most people are uncomfortable thinking along the lines of ethnicity in culture, even though they are present in our society.. People will gladly discuss their own ethnicity and culture, and they will represent the good things about it.. and most of us are hesitant to discuss the bad parts of another person's ethnicity and culture, because nobody wants be offensive or to seem racist and so on.. That's not often said, but it's true about us.

    That said, there are a lot of little pockets of culture.. Most places now, though, are similar to each other, a lot less divided between cultures, because of the new media and the internet.. Standing on a street in suburban LA, for instance, or on a street in suburban Las Vegas - I couldn't be sure where I was. There are subtle differences.. no one in Vegas exercises (or so it seemed when I visited) and everyone in LA seems to exercise.. In general, the West coast has a lot of foreign cars, the South has a lot of domestic cars, and in the East a lot of people don't own cars.. there are things like that. And there are accents, and dialects. Little details for each place.

    Where I'm from, there's not too much culture. There is a lot of ethnicity lended to us from the Native Americans and the Latino peoples that live here. There's a little bit of a "cowboy" culture but mostly it's disrespected, and whether it's because it's become passe, or because white folk here are a bit embarassed about the actions of their ancestors (land-stealing, genocide, corruption, it's all there) I can't say for sure.

    If you want to know more, I would suggest looking at New York City first. Foreigners are fond of saying "NYC is its own country" and they're not far off - there you'll find a bit of almost every culture our country has, and you'll also have a good idea of what the whole country is like.

    That's all I can think of to say for now. But if you have more specific questions I'll be happy to try and answer.

    Culture of New York City - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (in english, sorry, i couldn't find these in russian!)
    Culture of Chicago - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Los Angeles - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Miami - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Culture of New Orleans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    In the northeast (New Jersey) where I live most people have cars. It's in the big cities that have public transportation is generally where people can live without a car.

    Scott

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    As Chaika switched Variegated with Diverse (which I would have done as well)...

    Variegated - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionaryvariegated.
    1. having patches, stripes, or marks of different colors <
    2. full of variety

    Examples:

    1. the variegated costumes of the dancers in the nightclub.

    2. a variety of variegated tulip that is highly prized by gardeners.
    Romik,

    The Washington, DC area has changed a lot since I was a kid growing up. When I was in elementary school, our neighborhood, with the exception of one black family who lived in a church owned house, was all white. They had to bus in the blacks from about 20 minutes away so that our school would be desegregated. Now that same neighborhood is predominantly black. The high school has metal detectors as guns were being brought to school. We are talking about a school 30 minutes away from Washington, D.C., not a BIG inner city school.

    The neighborhood I live in now, when I was young, it was predominantly white and Jewish. There were a number of Jewish delis and stores. Now it has been taken over by the Hispanics (45.5% of local high school) and blacks (22.3% of local high school) and is a very poor area with 67.2% of the students on Free and Reduced Meals (FARMS). The former Jewish stores are now Hispanic or Ethiopian.

    It is interesting for me to see how my daughters interact with other races/ethnicity/gender. I would say they are much more color blind than my generation and even more so than my parents and grandparents. The same goes for how they interact and treat Gay/Lesbian students. When I went to school, we didn't know about such things and if we did, no one talked about it or "came out of the closet." Now other students are openly gay/lesbian/bi. Or... they friends have parents who are gay.

    It is not a big deal to my girls and their friends. Whatever you look like, sound like or have feelings for... it is all good to them. If they do have a friend who is really biased, they usually just dump that friend or not discuss those issues with them. Sometimes it's the older generation who have the hardest time with adjusting to this new mentality. A number of their friends have parents with very strict and old fashioned values (Seven Day Adventist or Jehovah Witnesses or new immigrants). Their children however, don't have those same values or ideas about who is acceptable and who is not. But I think that has been true for each new generation... at least in this area of the U.S.
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    Thank you all for the answers, I understand that political correctness much more ingrained in Americans than in Russians to speak more freely about it.
    These are interesting details rockzmom, that changes are appalling for rather a short period of time!
    I hope this wouldn't be an uncosy question. There are numbers of whites in the USA - 72.4% but as I get it they have lumped there in Hispanics, Arabs, Pakistanis ... Could you tell you think how many nearly white Europeans there are? Of course there is no strict boundaries for that but what is your perceiving of it?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Romik View Post
    These are interesting details rockzmom, that changes are appalling for rather a short period of time!
    Romik, I'm not certain your meaning of the above sentence. appalling = : inspiring horror, dismay, or disgust. Does this mean you are saying it is disgusting the changes that have taken place in such a short amount of time and that the "old" way of thinking about diversity is better?

    Quote Originally Posted by Romik View Post
    I hope this wouldn't won't be an uncosy question. There are numbers of whites in the USA is - 72.4%; but, as I get understand it they have lumped in there in Hispanics, Arabs, Pakistanis ... Could you tell you think how many nearly white Europeans you believe there are? Of course there is no strict boundaries for that but what is your perceiving perception of it?
    Actually, the United States Census, (where the 72.4% number came from) requests that you list your race and break out Whites and Hispanics. Almost all demographic forms now have one question asking if you are white and a second question asking if you are of Latino or Hispanic descent. They also separate Asians, Native Americans, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians.

    Take a look at the 2010 Census information scroll down about half way and there is an interact map with data by the entire US and by state and within the states by county.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    Actually, the United States Census, (where the 72.4% number came from) requests that you list your race and break out Whites and Hispanics. Almost all demographic forms now have one question asking if you are white and a second question asking if you are of Latino or Hispanic descent. They also separate Asians, Native Americans, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians.
    Hmm, interesting. It may very well be that these figures are needed for statistics and statistics only, but I'm quite a bit surprised to learn this aspect of USA. For a country which fights for equality of race, ethnic-background and faith these questions stress on differences... Russia is also populated by about 180 different nationalities. In the times of Soviet Union we even had a special entry in our passports indicating the nationality. Now it's taken from there and the last population census questionnaire allowed us to enter any nationality... well, we even have Hobbits, Jedies and Elves now (I'm serious). Russia has many issues with nationalism, chauvenism and racism, but it tries to fight it by ignoring (with random success) the nationality of its subjects. US authorities, apparently, take them into account. Here are the two different approaches to similar problems.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    Romik, I'm not certain your meaning of the above sentence. appalling = : inspiring horror, dismay, or disgust. Does this mean you are saying it is disgusting the changes that have taken place in such a short amount of time and that the "old" way of thinking about diversity is better?
    Thanks a lot for the correction rockzmom, I think that would be dismaying when your ethnic group being prevalent becomes a minority in a few decades ... I'm not quite sure what you mean upon the "old" way of thinking, of course they say that all peoples are equal but in reality it's easy to live with some side by side and with some can be tensions.
    Actually, the United States Census, (where the 72.4% number came from) requests that you list your race and break out Whites and Hispanics. Almost all demographic forms now have one question asking if you are white and a second question asking if you are of Latino or Hispanic descent. They also separate Asians, Native Americans, Native Alaskans, Native Hawaiians.

    Take a look at the 2010 Census information scroll down about half way and there is an interact map with data by the entire US and by state and within the states by county.
    That Census data seems somewhat subjective ...
    Do you know that for the Census the people from the Middle East, Arabs, Persians, Pakistanis, Hindu are Caucasians and whites but not Asians?

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    Info about Census Data:

    The Census asks different questions each time and they older ones have been very helpful when researching your "roots" as they have what year you immigrated to the US, can you read and write and a lot of other "personal" questions. Look at the questions from the 1910 one and then 2010 and they are WAY different. I feel sorry for when my grandchildren want to go back and research as the information will just not be there.

    The hardest part of the newer Census has been what do you mark as your race if you are "mixed?" There is no easy way to say "Well, I'm half Black and Chinese."

    Why the Census and other surveys ask about the Hispanic/Latino origins, I have no clue.

    Here are some links to what was asked for different census and also what was changed and why:

    1910
    The 1910 census questionnaire was similar in design to that used in 1900. The most notable change was the late addition, at the behest of Congress, of a question concerning a person's "mother tongue." It was so late, in fact, that questionnaires for the census had already been printed. Information on "mother tongues" was to be added into "nativity" columns 12, 13, and 14.

    1930
    For the 1930 census, the population questionnaire was basically the same as it had been in 1910 and 1920.The biggest change was in racial classification. Enumerators were instructed to no longer use the "Mulatto" classification. Instead, they were given special instructions for reporting the race of interracial persons.

    A person with both White and Black lineage was to be recorded as Black, no matter fraction of that lineage. A person of mixed Black and American Indian lineage was also to be recorded as Black, unless he was considered to be "predominantly" American Indian and accepted as such within the community.

    A person with both White and American Indian lineage was to be recorded as an Indian, unless his American Indian lineage was very small and he was accepted as white within the community. In fact, in all situations in which a person had White and some other racial lineage, he was to be reported as that other race. Persons who had minority interracial lineages were to be reported as the race of their father.
    For the first and only time, "Mexican" was listed as a race. Enumerators were to record all persons who had been born in Mexico or whose parents had been born in Mexico and who did not fall into another racial category as "Mexican."

    1940
    The 1940 census was the first to include a statistical sample. Five percent of people were asked an additional 16 questions. In order to gauge the effect of the Great Depression on the nation's housing stock, a census of occupied dwellings was coupled with the usual demographic questions.

    The 1940 census was the first to include a separate questionnaire on the condition of the nation's housing stock. Unlike on the general population questionnaire, enumerators were required to check one of a series of options for each question, rather than write in a response.

    1960
    For the first time in 1960, the Census Bureau mailed out a combined population and housing questionnaire to all urban residents in the United States. Residents were to complete the questionnaire themselves and hold it until an enumerator came visit and collect the form. Enumerators then gave an additional sample questionnaire to 25 percent of households, with instructions to mail it back to their census office. Rural residents were enumerated by traditional visitation. The census "short form" collected only five questions: relationship to head of household, age, sex, race, and marital status

    2010
    For the 2010 census, the long- and short-form questionnaires used from 1940 to 2000 were replaced by a single questionnaire asking 10 questions. The questions asked by the long-form questionnaire are now asked by the annual American Community Survey


    As for WHY they ask the questions they ask...here is a link to a sample 2010 Census Form it is interactive so as you scroll down through the questions a pop-up box explains the reasoning behind the question.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Romik View Post
    Thanks a lot for the correction rockzmom, I think that would be dismaying when your ethnic group being prevalent becomes a minority in a few decades ... I'm not quite sure what you mean upon the "old" way of thinking, of course they say that all peoples are equal but in reality it's easy to live with some side by side and with some can be tensions.
    You are correct about it being dismaying or even upsetting at times. When my hubby and I bought our house 19 years ago, my hubby and the family across from us were the only "Hispanics." Now, I am known as the "white woman" in our neighborhood as I am the only white person on our block. There is one Black female who has been there for about 15 years and one house which I believe they are from India and the rest are Hispanics.

    So, when I go to the local fast food places/restaurants, the employees are predominantly Hispanics and a number of them don't speak English very well (try asking for something special, like no lettuce and no sauce... the little Spanish I know comes in handy then). The same goes for the local drug store or supermarket. That is when I get frustrated, when I can't communicate with people I need to. When my grandparents came to the US they HAD to learn English. There weren't forms in their native languages, you couldn't take your driver's test in anything but English. Now everything is bilingual, a separate form, or press 2 for English and 3 for Spanish. The former immigrants assimilated, the newer immigrants don't.


    Now, it is rather interesting as where I live as you can drive about 20 minutes and it will turn into an all white area (no Hispanics or Blacks) or all black area. There are certain apartment buildings that are just melting pots of immigrants. My grandmother's old building is that way. She moved in there when it was first built (in the mid 1960s I believe) and it was only whites. Then towards the early to mid 1990's... as the former tenants died or moved to nursing homes, the new tenants that moved in were not White but Jamaican, Hindi, Blacks, Hispanics... you name it.

    What was sad though was that these new tenants didn't care about the place. There was a sofa in the lobby where people sat as they waited for the mail or whatever, and they burned it. When I used to go visit as a child, I would have to be mindful of the people who lived below my grandmother. No running in her apartment or stomping feet, no screaming or very loud voices etc. That was no longer the case when she lived there in the 1990s early 2000s. You could hear kids everywhere running up and down the hallways and in their apartments and even the adults cranked up their music or tvs so loud you could hear them in her apartment.

    Now I must say here that this behavior change in young kids is not just with immigrants... it is all around. People are just not teaching their children how to be respectful of others and if a parent has a difficult child, well... as a mom told me yesterday her daughter threatened her to go to a judge and say her mom "verbally abused her" because the mom lectured her (a tongue lashing) on a car ride about something and she "had to listen to it all the way home." I remember when my kids were in elementary school and a white child spilled their drink. The child didn't even attempt to clean it up. When the one of the ladies in charge went over to give the child some extra paper towels and said to her to clean it up... the child responded, "that's what you're paid to do." I heard this and just about had a heart attack. I told the little girl in no uncertain terms she needed to clean up her mess.
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    My daughter said I should post this photo. Our family makes videos for their school and this one I love to use and we refer to as the "diversity photo" as it shows how very different the people are who attend her school. This was a casual photo taken during lunchtime and was her group of friends in real life. It wasn't staged in any way like saying, "okay, I need: one black, asian, hispanic, white and mixed kid over here for a photo."

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    I want to add that it can depend on the state you live in how people interact with eachother. (I hope I didn't mispell anything. I am not good at spelling.) I was born in Los Angeles, California. Growing up there people of all races, ethnicity, and religions usually got along well and mingled easily with eachother. My cousin, from Czech Republic lives in Queens, New York. I have noticed a difference there in regards to interaction between different people. For exapmle, the whole building my cousin lives in is full of various Slavic ethnicities. Some Neighborhoods or buildings have predominately one certain ethnicity. Like I had a very good Ukrainian friend and the whole building he lived in was mostly Russian and Ukrainian people. People can even get by easier without learning English in places like these as well, because whole communities, along with their places of businesses are usually made up of their ethnicity. For instance "China Town," is all Chinese people almost. "Little Siagon," "Little Italy," and so forth and so on... New York is more crammed together. Huge apartment buildings and houses right next to eachother. It is also very expensive so it helps to have the "extended family," to make a decent living there. California is not cheap to live in either (especially the Southern region), but it is a bit more manageable. You can survive and live more comfortably with a small "nuclear family." It is also more spread apart. You don't have a whole district just full of Russians. Everyone is spread out more. I now live in Texas, which is even more cheaper to live in and more spread out. The place where I live is mostly military people, so really this does not apply to us directly. The military is full of people from all across the United States and from all races and ethnicities. Because we all share a common interest in the military we all mingle and interact with eachother all the time. But, in the more rural areas of Texas it can be pretty isolated (as it is in all the Country areas of the United States). People tend to keep to themselves, sometimes because that is the way it just is.

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    Подающий надежды оратор MrsKlug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Romik View Post
    Do you know that for the Census the people from the Middle East, Arabs, Persians, Pakistanis, Hindu are Caucasians and whites but not Asians?
    I know this. My daughter's father was Moroccan. Some people don't know, but Morocco is an Arab country in North West Africa. They are descended from the Spanish Moors actually. And the Moors were descended from the Middle Eastern Arabs. When Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon annexed Granada in 1492 for Spain and began the Spanish Inqusition, most of the Muslim Moors, even the Jews, fled to Africa and settled upon its Northern Coast. They are considered white (except for the Black Arabs, because there are Black Arabs). I always wondered how it is politically correct to call a Black person "African American," when their family has been American for several generations, but not my white daughter? Whose father was directly from the continent of Africa? The whole Ethnicity/Race stuff confuses me! But, honestly it doesn't bother me all that much. My daughter is half African and proud!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    Hmm, interesting. It may very well be that these figures are needed for statistics and statistics only, but I'm quite a bit surprised to learn this aspect of USA. For a country which fights for equality of race, ethnic-background and faith these questions stress on differences...
    Ramil... I was very surprised when I received a letter not o long ago telling me to expect a package, and then the thick package, and then... a post card letting me know I should have received the package, and then another package as I didn't complete the first one... all about the American Community Survey and how:

    Why did I get an American Community Survey?
    Your address was selected as a part of a sample and represents thousands of other households like yours. We randomly select about 3 million addresses each year to participate in the survey.

    Do I have to answer these questions?

    Yes. You are legally obligated to answer all the questions, as accurately as you can.
    The relevant laws are Title 18 U.S.C Section 3571 and Section 3559, which amends Title 13 U.S.C. Section 221.
    Your answers are important. As part of a sample, you represent many other people. Find out how each question helps your community, your state, and the federal government in questions in the form and why we ask.


    I opened the package and almost had a heart attack at the questions they were asking of my: You can look at the 27 page thing here:
    http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downlo...12/Quest12.pdf

    When I did not complete the packet in a timely fashion, I received a nice phone call offering me assistance with completing it and reminding me it is against the law NOT to complete it!

    I love this answer from Ron Paul as to the answer if we should answer it or not:

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    I opened the package and almost had a heart attack at the questions they were asking of my: You can look at the 27 page thing here:
    http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downlo...12/Quest12.pdf
    They missed a question about PIN codes for your credit cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by rockzmom View Post
    When I did not complete the packet in a timely fashion, I received a nice phone call offering me assistance with completing it and reminding me it is against the law NOT to complete it!
    You live in a free country... ;D
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramil View Post
    They missed a question about PIN codes for your credit cards.
    You are so right about that!
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    Last Post: September 5th, 2005, 06:53 PM

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