Before I begin, let me just say that I am an American; I was born here, grew up here, and I love many of the ideas that Americans say we stand for. However, I know that we get a bad rap, and with just cause, often times. To the rest of the world, we live in a bubble, and we seldom care about news and events that are going on outside of our borders.

As a travel writer who is somewhat of a [tooltip text=”a person who is attracted to foreign peoples, cultures, or customs.”]xenophile[/tooltip], I know that my interest and knack for retaining information on other countries, cultures, geography, and history might be a bit above average, but I believe that everyone should know some of the basics. And everyone should want to know at least the basics, but who am I to say what others should like.

Yesterday night, I was emailed a video that made me sick. I literally had to suppress an upchuck, and I kinda felt the urge to cry at the same time. This video is just about the most depressing thing I have ever seen, and I’ve also literally witnessed murders (yes, literally, and yes, plural). The video is from the redneck comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s show, Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader? In it, a woman goes for the $25,000 question: “Budapest is the capital of what European country?”

I’ll let you watch the rest, though I don’t recommend giving this video any more views:

Did you notice what was wrong with this video?

  • “This might be a stupid question,….. I thought Europe was a country.”
  • Budapest?! I never even heard ‘o that. France?”
  • “Like, I know they speak French there. Don’t they?”
  • “Like, I wanna say, is France a country?”
  • “I don’t think France is a country, but I would have said that; I don’t know.”
  • “Is what? HUNGRY?” switch to Mr. Foxworthy: “Like, I’m hungry.”
  • That’s [Hungary] a country?!?!?”
  • “Now, I’ve heard ‘o Turkey, but… Hungry? Never heard of it.”

Yes, HungAry is a country, located within the greater CONTINENT of Europe. Some Hungarians might very well speak French; that is quite possible. French is the national language of France, also a country that also is located in Europe. This episode should not have been aired, but why wouldn’t FOX air this? This was pure gold for them. I know it is not realistic for every adult to be able to know and remember the capital of each and every country, but this shit is insane! To never have heard of the country of Hungary might be a borderline absurdity, though it doesn’t create too many waves, but to think that Europe is a country? And I know that this woman does not represent all of America as a whole, but when the ignorant game show host says some complete nonsense, such as, “Hungary… Like, ‘I’m hungry’,” I start pulling hair out. And when the audience all laughs, in a way that is not so much at her but at her cute, little mistake, I want to jump off the Queensboro Bridge.

Americans, please, for God’s sake, we need to do better!

4 COMMENTS

  1. LOL, that was fun to read! :) I saw this video like a thousand times as most of the Hungarians, and thought the same! :) I know Hungary is such a tiny country, but who can say Europe is a country?! Not even mention the sentence: “Hungary, … like I am hungry!”
    Christian, we are so proud of you that you know a lot of things about the world outside the USA borders, and about Hungary! :)

  2. OK, first off, I’m not one to typically make comments on posts, however, being an American, I had to read this and had to throw my two cents in. To be honest, there are many people in the US that really are this bad. Upon turning in my notice to leave on a world trip, my boss asked a question which during my response, he told me he thought France was in South America…. Yes I’m serious!

    I truly don’t believe this represents the majority of American’s ignorance but the media does control so much of what goes into people’s heads back home and unfortunately, most people never travel far from home to learn about the world themselves.

    I’m currently in China but heading home for a quick stop after traveling for a year and I’m trying to prepare myself for the reactions I might have if I run into someone such as the woman in this video.

    I actually decided to start my blog upon leaving to hopefully educate my family and friends on world travel in those unheard of places (I don’t think this includes Hungary)! And maybe, just maybe, inspire them to also venture out across borders and see this beautiful world…

    • Rory, thanks so much for the insightful comment! I, too, don’t believe that this video represents the majority of Americans, but I posted it with vitriol as I guess I was angry at the time. The thing is, we as Americans have so many opportunities to gain knowledge and achieve a better understanding of the world that we live in, that it makes me sad/mad to see something like this. I’m going to check out your blog and email you back shortly. Cheers!

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