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Is the Obsession With Heritage Statistics Only American?

Published October 1, 2022 in Miscellaneous Information - 0 Comments

There's a certain critique of Americans that you'll find in which people bring up how we Americans are very obsessed with "heritage statistics."

Where they'll bring up how they are 1% Norwegian, 52% Italian, 41.5% South Korean and the remainder % being "IN YO MOMS PUSSY."

Shit like that.

Anyway, it's apparently "just an American" thing when those critiquing this behavior bring it up.

What I find funny though about that is the people who say that are showing their true cards.

That they are not as traveled as they claim to be.

Because usually the people who critique this behavior among Americans are also the first in line to say how we are the ones who don't travel much or whatever else.

It's similar to the whole critique on tipping as it just shows that these people either 1) don't travel at all (beyond Europe usually) and/or 2) have their biases against Americans clouding their experiences in the real world as they wish to just dish out the same ol' talking point that isn't grounded in reality.

The fact is that, in my experience, there are other nationalities that will mention to you their heritage from other parts of the world that, for all intents and purposes, they don't really have any connection to anymore.

They might not bring up specific statistics necessarily but will mention how "actually, they are Italian" or whatever else.

Let me bring up some examples.

Tami the Ukrainian

Back when I was spending some months in Argentina, I was hooking up with an Argentine chick named Tami.

She was a white chick whose parents were also from Argentina.

As far as I knew, so were the grandparents and probably great grandparents.

However, there came a point where she emphasized to me that she is "actually Ukrainian" because there was some point in her family history where someone from Ukraine immigrated to Argentina.

And then eventually she came into this world.

Of course, she had never been to Ukraine.

Doesn't speak the language.

Doesn't know anybody from Ukraine.

No connection to its culture, language, people or anything at all with the country.

Despite that, she would not miss a beat in telling you that she is Ukrainian if the topic came up.

Tami is not unique.

There are other Argentinians out there that are the same in which they will emphasize their European heritage.

Usually from Italy.

You even have the Argentine President doing so here to the ire of most Latin Americans who have an inferiority complex and perceive any mention by Argentina that they have more European heritage as a statement of superiority.

Alberto Fernández: Los mexicanos vienen de los indios, lo argentinos de Europa

It isn't always. It's just part of their history.

And, to be fair to Argentina, it's not really just them that do this.

The Latin American Who is European

As I wrote here, there was a Brazilian dude I met in college who got annoyed when I somehow implied he was Latin American.

I forgot the exact conversation but you can check out the article cited.

Anyway, he said something that is typical of some Latin Americans where they say "I'm not Latin American, I'm European!"

Basically, the dude thinks that, due to his European heritage of whatever random ass country, he isn't really Latin American.

More European.

From my experience, Southern Brazilians are the most guilty of this when you speak of Brazilians in general.

I knew another Brazilian in my travels to Argentina that I became friends with that had a hint of this also in how he spoke about himself.

And, to be honest, there might be other regions of Latin America where this is not too rare but Argentina and Southern Brazil seem to be the most guilty of this.

Final Thoughts

As I said, it's more of an Argentine and Southern Brazilian thing.

Though, in my travels, I've heard that parts of Bolivia where you got more white passing folks (like Santa Cruz if I had to guess) have some people like this also.

I'm not sure how true that is as I don't remember any of the very, very few white Bolivians I met telling me how European they are or feeling the need to tell me where their ancestors came from.

Maybe it does happen but I wouldn't know from personal experience.

At any rate, it's definitely not just an American thing.

Even with those who are not from the Americas, I've even heard some white South Africans speak of themselves in a similar manner where they bring up more of their European or British ancestry.

Here's one video I found of such a case (or I think it was anyway).

Black South African and White South African discuss State of South Africa

So it isn't just an American thing.

Though, to be fair, I've never heard anyone outside the US bring up literal statistics.

The usual ol' 27.2% British, 13.9% French, 14.4% Paraguayan, etc.

Never seen that happen except from Americans.

However, most Americans don't bring up literal statistics like that either.

Almost none do.

I just know that statistics are part of the internal conversation among themselves because I am American and have seen my own statistics from random websites that supposedly track your heritage and tell you shit about it.

But no American I have met ever told me the specific statistics.

They usually just keep it general like "I'm Irish" or "I'm Italian."

And so given that I'm not Argentine or Southern Brazilian, I'm not sure if they ever read their statistics either.

Couldn't say.

But, like I said, you do have no shortage of folks from some of these countries that like bringing up their heritage even if they have no real connection to said country.

It's not just an American thing and can be seen in other countries of the Americas (well, if we understood American to mean from the Americas like I wrote here, then I guess it does sound more like an American thing!).

Anyway, I'll keep it simple in saying that I think it mostly has to do with countries that took in a shit ton of immigration recently (more than others) and where, for whatever reason, the recent descendents of said immigrants want to cling onto some identity because the idea of a national identity isn't as strong yet.

That's just my theory anyhow as to why some areas have more of this "I'm x" when actually they were born in in some other place.

But that's all I got to say for now.

Leave any comments below.

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And thanks for reading.

Best regards,


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