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Project Xpat: What The World Thinks Of America
By Linton Weeks
Updated: 7 months ago

"America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room," observed British historian Arnold J. Toynbee. "Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair."

And Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca said, "The only things that the United States has given to the world are skyscrapers, jazz, and cocktails."

Opinions of America are like bellybuttons everybody's got one.

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As part of Project Xpat an exploration by NPR we asked Americans living abroad to tell us in 10 words or less how they would answer the 10-word question: What Do People In Your Host Country Think Of America?

Here are some of the responses:

"Has a limited worldview and is absolutely crazy about guns." Andrea Eagleman, 33, New Zealand

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"Americans: violent, no culture; but you: humble, kind and different." Chantal Mpezo, 27, South Korea

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"America, the land of optimism, excess, economic and political decline." Yasmine Qureshi, 28, England

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"Most find America delightful. Tourism dollars help quite a lot." Brian Blakely, 30, Morocco

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"Fashion labels, excess money, beauty, USA means beautiful country." Renee Baker, 37, China

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"Full of contradictions: confusingly progressive yet behind the times." Thomas Mosley, 25, Spain

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"A place to gasp at, but not to go to." Holly-Nicole Nwangwa, 23, Japan

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"Americans are very patriotic and all have guns." Carly Erickson, 25, Italy

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"Americans are aggressive, paranoid gun-hoarders who don't want social health care." Towy Vaughn, 38, China

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"Cheap iPhones, rap music and better movies exist in America." Brenna Bethancourt, 28, Russia

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"Gun-loving but fun-loving; hard working but spoiled and fat." Anastasia Primbas, 47, Hungary

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The Protojournalist: Experimental storytelling for the LURVers Listeners, Users, Readers, Viewers of NPR. @NPRtpj


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