As American as frozen apple pie
The American Dream. The Land of the Free. Hollywood. You may recognize these terms from almost anywhere in the world and right away connect them to the U.S.
This country that was placed on a pedestal as the country to emulate has been the main influence on every nation and every human being – be that influence good or bad. You have a general idea of what America is in your mind, but what do you tell someone who isn’t from here?
“What do you think of when you think of America?”
Over the past year and a half that I’ve been here, I’ve asked that question to a number of people and they all start with the same thing, “Erm, I don’t know.”
The concept of finding the right definition has had many vague ideas that revolved around animals, food, sports, media and even the actions that people take. Classifying something huge like a country takes years and years to be developed into something habitual or routine that almost everyone does or is a part of.
Being a Malaysian myself, I classify my country as a food lover’s great getaway adventure. It thrives on the vast varieties of food that came from all parts of Southeast Asia and it is without a doubt that we attract people from that sense. So, what associates with America then?
First off, no country should be defined by its people, because they do not represent a genuine truth based on their imperfections. Most people are hypocrites and lie to themselves and other people of what the concept of living is. If a piece of land or an island is able to sustain life by itself, then it needs no one to step foot in it to prolong its existence.
Most people would use food as a juxtaposition to represent this great nation. You’ve heard the burger, hot dog and apple pie comparisons, but have you ever wondered why this is so? The hamburger traces its origins back to Hamburg, Germany, whilst the hot dog, or frankfurter, claims to be from Frankfurt, Germany. And for the apple pie, some say it’s linked back to the Greeks, but with its usage in America, its inconceivable to think about this desert from anywhere else.
What else do we think of? Hollywood represents the bourgeois, politics the never-ending deception, sports being in its own world, and land as a getaway into the unknown. So, what truly represents America without any kind of sinful or misleading nature?
It is easy to pound on your chest and scream out America the Great, but with no concrete basis other than what we are programmed to know, you are then just cheering for a team that is barely winning on the field for a sport that doesn’t interest you too much.
But with all that’s said, I consider myself lucky to be in this great country and I hope there will be many more years to come, and maybe even someday make this place a home for my future endeavors.