The United States is considered the world’s most powerful nation in terms of military strength, economic wealth and technological development. It is a really different country compared to the countries in Europe.
As a European, specifically from Madrid, I have noticed many differences between the two countries.
One of the main differences is the variety of races and ethnicities that coexist in the states. I think it is interesting that one of the most diverse countries in the world is one of the most racist at the same time. The way the U.S. president behaves is an example of said racism.
This being my third year in the U.S., I have experienced and seen signs of racism toward many who are not Americans. Racist acts are not as severe as they were decades ago, but there is still discrimination toward people from different countries or races.
What I found interesting is that these racist acts come from the young generation — not from the older. Years ago, the U.S. was not as diverse as nowadays. There was more discrimination toward African-Americans and women, but this has changed.
What I have experienced is that workers at our university, like professors, coaches, cooks, maintenance, etc., show more interest in learning about other cultures than the students. They want to engage in conversation with internationals to know more about their countries. That makes the student feel important and valued, especially for those who come from smaller countries where people often forget.
There are some American students who want to learn about other cultures, but they do not represent a large amount. They want to know about your culture, but they do not want you to become a part of their group of friends.
If you look around, anyone can notice that Hispanics, Arabs, Americans, etc. segregate themselves from one another on the basis of race or culture. From my point of view, this is a sad reality, and a step back in the evolution of history.
I understand there can be cultural barriers, but I see them as advantages to spread our knowledge about the world — to know more about different countries and to learn about our dream countries. Because I wonder, who does not ever wish to go to another specific country?
I still remember when many years ago, my dream was to visit Egypt, and nowadays, I still have that same dream. Hopefully, soon enough I will be enjoying the Giza pyramids, the Sphinx and many other interesting things that I do not know about this country yet.
Every time I meet somebody from a different country, I wonder how their lives are, being from there. I wonder how many similarities we might have and also differences.
I really enjoy when the stereotypes and the prejudices that society had built for most countries and races are broken. People should not judge anybody else whose background stories they do not know.
We should respect each other and want to learn from others. United we are stronger.
CRIS DEL DIEGO