This article is my response to the article ‘Americans Try To Place European Countries On A Map’ published by buzzfeed.com. Lately I saw tens of articles on the Internet blaming Americans for their poor knowledge of European states. Expressions like ‘stupid’ or ‘dumb’ were used to describe American people, who tried to fill out the blank map of the European union. This made me think, whether Europeans and their knowledge of 50 American states is better. Are we stupid, as well? I decided to figure this out.
The knowledge of Americans about Europe is weak, according to these articles I’m talking about. The most know state in the Europe is Italy and Italy is also the state, what the most people know where is. Maybe because of the wellington shape of their country? Surprisingly, the next state is Poland, then Germany, Spain, France and England. These states are European most known ones, according to the research provided in the article. Italy is known for itself, it’s rich culture and pizza. Poland? I guess it’s because of pope, most of the Americans are religious persons. Germany? The history of Germany is thought all over the world and their beer is just gorgeous. Spain is, I guess, well known for tomatoes, bullfighting and fiesta. England has Big Ben and France wine and Eiffel tower. That’s it.
The United States of America consist of 50 states. This is what everyone know. But what about positions of each state? People are blaming Americans, that they don’t know, where Slovenia lies, but do Europeans know, where state Maine lies? Or what about Nova Scotia? I decided to test myself and tried to figure out, how is my knowledge of United States, whether is weak as Americans about Europe, or not. I printed out blank map of USA and it took me time to guess, which state is where. Here’s the map I did.
I used black pen to write, then red to correct it. I had no idea where the most of the states are. I was sure only about Florida, Hawaii, Alaska, New York and California. And do you know why? Because these states are most known in the world. I figured out, there are states named Arkansas and Iowa, which I never heard of. I know the names of the other states, most of them, but I wouldn’t point them at the map, at all. Where the hell is New Mexico? People know states which are popular for something, states they hear about in news. Have ever American heard of Latvia? Maybe, but not as much as about France. It’s the same, like I’ve never heard of Arkansas but I heard of New York. Literally, every second movie was shot in New York.
I find it very unfair to call Americans dumb, because their knowledge of Europe is weak. My knowledge of America is weaker, does that mean that I’m dumb? I wrote this article during my stay in USA and I must say, that during these months I met hundreds of Americans. Of course, there were some who I didn’t like, but there are some who I will remember for the rest of my live, even if they don’t know where Slovakia lies.
Milan Bardun 2014, because it is better to travel than to arrive