I’ve lived in Finland for nearly 5 years after moving here from the United States. I’ve been asked many questions by curious Finns over the past few years, usually starting with “Why did you come here?” (to go to university) quickly followed by “But why did you stay here?” (because I love it here). After a couple of drinks, the conversation often turns to American stereotypes, in particular the American stereotypes and tropes that are portrayed in movies and television. A good part of the entertainment that the world consumes comes from Hollywood, so most Finns have seen the same tropes over and over and are left wondering whether it’s a case of Hollywood invention or Hollywood reflecting real life in the United States.
When it comes to American stereotypes, there are plenty to take your pick from. Let’s take a look at 5 of the most common questions that I’ve been asked about life in the United States, based on what movies and TV are telling the world.