Oh, you're from Russia? Do you only live on vodka and caviar?! Canada, eh? How 'bout some poutine and hockey? G'day, mate! Pass me some vegemite ...
These are all terrible stereotypes people from mentioned countries have heard at least once in their lifetime. And as sorry as we are, we gotta say — they don't originate from nothing, do they?
So instead of grouching at how ignorant and wrong everyone else is for making opinions about you based on your origins, sometimes it's best to sit back, relax and wholeheartedly laugh in the face of world's prejudice.
And what better way to do it than with a comprehensive map of stereotypes created by a 17-year-old Slovakian artist, Martin Vargic?
Vargic's map is probably not something you would use in a geography lesson, yet it paints a pretty good picture of how we perceive our neighbors.
In Vargic's own words, his map "depicts the world from a more comedic point of view, showcasing the most prevalent Western stereotypes about other countries and regions all over the world."
The entire cartographic wonder is divided into several sections that feature a detailed map of the world, two maps of the North and South Poles, plus six mini-maps covering alcohol drinking per capita, cigarettes smoked per capita, average penis and breast size, average male height and average human weight maps.
Data was gathered from various sources, such as TV and Web, and resulted in more than 1,800 individual stereotypes and pop culture references. So let's peek inside!
Take America for an example. Or, according to Vargic's map — "Land of Liberty (For Rich White Guys)."
While geographically correct, state and city names are replaced by popular cultural references. So Chicago becomes "Al Capone," Detroit is filed under "Sh*t Hit the Fan" and California is simply named "Sunshine."
What about the United States' neighbors? Well, Mexico is apparently most famous for tacos, while Canada can boast about a few things: maple syrup, ice hockey and its fauna.
Here comes Europe's turn.
Going from the top, Vargic acknowledges Norway as the country of "Black Metal," Sweden — the country of "Metrosexuals" and Finland — place for "Polar Bears."
Germans are noted for their well-known "Bratwurst," French for "Pubes" and Spain is harshly named "Animal Abuse" after its infamous tradition of bullfighting.
Italy wouldn't be Italy without mentioning "Pizza" and Romania can't go a long way without "Dracula's" name attached to it. But could you ever guess what name Vargic gave to Bulgarians? Try "Fake Nike" and you'll be correct.
However, Martin desperately wants to remind everyone that his map shouldn't be taken seriously: 'THIS MAP WAS NOT MEANT TO OFFEND ANYBODY IN ANY WAY,' he writes in caps lock.
"Take everything you read there with a massive grain of salt, most of the things there are not in any way true, and a lot of them reflect negative opinions and stereotypes," the artist says on his website.
Also, remember — just as they are formed, stereotypes can also be denied. It all comes down to your choices and actions to form new traditions and eradicate the tendency of ascribing false prejudice.
Be the change you wish to see in the world!