Tuesday, October 28, 2008

An Unexpected Stereotype

Here was a new one for me.

In a conversation with a Chinese graduate student, the topic turned to nationalities. I mentioned my German background. "Ah," he said, "Germans are very clever." Intrigued by this comment, I asked why he perceived German people in this way. His response..."Karl Marx was a very clever man."

Wow. Didn't see that one coming. In retrospect, I definitely should have. This may be stating the obvious, but I'm amazed at how profoundly one's perspective affects his or her world view. (I'm not even sure if I knew that Marx was German.) I guess it's time to open up that world history textbook again. Maybe that was the chapter we skipped because we were rushing at the end!



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