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Word Count: 579
We know most foreign cultures and much of our own culture by reputation only Actually we have an image of the English Scottish and Irish Belgian French or Spanish national character Even though we personally may know a handful of people from those countries we cannot evaluate how typical these persons are as representatives of their nation But many people have no problems in recognizing certain temperamental attributes as being typical for certain nations the Scottish reputation for stinginess the Belgian reputation for stupidity the Spanish reputation for pride are well known for us from jokes and stories which rely on a knowledge of those attributes As a result we consider all the Scottish to be tight-fisted the Belgian to be foolish etc I judge most of the national stereotypes to be concocted Once perceived reality is not reality itself but is a mixture of fact and fiction if not total fiction On the other hand we cannot say that the English Scottish and Irish Belgian French and Spanish are the same There are some differences between nations and we could make some generalization but I think we should be more accurate and take into account many facts Most current thinking on national identities relies not on a first-hand observation of reality but almost always on an existing reputation I mean that somebody has mentioned about a proud Spaniard heshe met the other has said that a lot of them are proud the following concludes that pride is generalisation of Spanish nation This idea goes from one to another through generations though in reality it is just illusion and such representation shows nothing but somebodys desires to see the nation from hisher own point of view Stereotypes can be positive or negative depending on the political circumstances Countries which present a threat in political and economic rivalry are usually described in negative terms But countries which do not pose any threat are
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