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When Thinking About Stereotypes in SA

There was a point in my time here when a lot of my American friends back home were asking me questions like, do I see lions and zebras everyday on the way to class? Or, do I live hut? I guess you can say that a stereotype about South Africa is that the people there are of the jungle and very tribal. So far I have not seen this stereotype; the people and environment of Pietermaritzburg is very urban. Some stereotypes South Africans have about Americans are that we have a lot of money, that take-out food is a big part of our diet, and in my case as a black American, that we’re all rappers. Here, stereotypes of other cultures are acknowledged but rarely used negatively. So far I have not encountered negative uses of stereotypes, of any culture, not just Americans. If I could bring anything back from here to the US, it be the friendliness and openness of the people. You don’t really see that a lot in New York City, mostly because people are always in rush to get somewhere. The people here are more relaxed and I really appreciate that.

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