If I ever want to know how to answer questions on a future survey, these Ugandan students are professionals. Here are two examples before I share them all:
Describe the United States.
“It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine minor outlying islands, and 326 Indian reservations. The United States shares land borders with Canada to its North and with Mexico to its South.”
I mean, wow. Someone’s really shooting for a good grade.
How would you describe Europeans?
“A native of Europe; a person of European descent”
Literally, that’s it, for like 70% of the questions. It’s not what I was expecting, but as I’ve reflected on it, it makes perfect sense that students would respond with these literal answers.
For the paper version, I had separated out the country/region description from the description about the people. I was kinda hoping that two questions would encourage respondents to add in more details to their gut reaction or at the very least, give them more time to think about a region or country before moving on to another one. My literal student participants weren’t having it.
There is value in provable facts when we find ourselves up against questions that are a bit broad and not well-defined. It’s a good way to get our mental filing system charged up by going for answers that are straightforward and concrete.
Anyway, enjoy reading through their answers.
How would you describe the United States?
- It is the world’s third largest country in size and nearly the third in terms of population.
- It consists of 50 states, a federal district, five major unincorporated territories, nine minor outlying islands, and 326 Indian reservations. The United States shares land borders with Canada to its North and with Mexico to its South.
How would you describe Americans?
- They are extremely independent and individualistic.
- 4.66% of the population are overweight, 37% are obese
- They focus on development and that’s why the country is among the world’s super powers.
- They are citizens of the United States and they identify as American.
- They are intrepid working towards liberties of thought and expression, speech, and self-defense.
How would you describe China?
- It is the world’s most populous country with a population of 1.44 billion people.
- The largest of all Asian countries.
How would you describe Chinese people?
- Chinese people are creative and make many different things through their knowledge and skills
- Hardworking, dress modestly, and they tend to keep a low profile.
- They have a reputation of corruption and arbitrariness. They are also benevolent, righteous, and courteous.
How would you describe Europe?
- It is a peninsula of the Eurasian supercontinent, bordered by the arctic ocean in the North, the Atlantic Ocean to the West and the Caspian seas to the South.
How would you describe Europeans?
- They have good skin.
- They are known for freedom, democracy, equality, rule of law and human rights.
- They have less stress because of their strong social safety nets.
- They are mainly white-skinned.
How would you describe South America?
- It has the world’s largest river – the Amazon
- It is the fourth largest of the world’s continents. It is the southern portion of the landmass generally referred to as the New World.
How would you describe South Americans?
- South Americans are friendly.
- They are a mixture of two or more of the following: African, Amerindian, European, Marranos, and to a lesser extent Arabs, Romani and East Asians.
- They are primarily Roman Catholic
How would you describe Russia?
- Is a transcontinental country spanning Eastern Europe and Northern Asia. It is the largest country in the world and occupies one tenth of the land on earth.
How would you describe Russians?
- Russians are hospitable, generally open-minded, cheerful and have a good sense of humor.
- They are generally cheerful people and love telling funny stories.
How would you describe the United Kingdom?
- The UK is a country in Europe that is considered an island country made of mainland Great Britain (England, Wales, and Scotland).
How would you describe British people?
- They are citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas and the Crown dependencies.
- They always talk about the weather because it changes all the time.
- They are self-disciplined.
- They have a stiff upper lip and are tolerant and culturally aware.
How would you describe Southeast Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines)?
- It is a vast region of Asia situated east of the Indian subcontinent and south of China. It is best known for perfect beaches and tasty cuisine, low prices, and good flight connections. (Good to know!)
- The most popular tourist destination.
How would you describe Southeast Asians?
- They have a reputation for being fun loving, compassionate, gentle, hospitable, open-minded, smiling, and friendly.
- They are mostly muslims.
- They are creative and innovative.
How would you describe the Middle East ? (Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen)
- These are the lands around the Southern and Eastern shores of the Mediterranean sea, encompassing at the least the Arabian peninsula.
- There is a lot of sand.
How would you describe Middle Eastern people?
- The Middle East is mainly Arabs and Muslims.
- They are rigid and can be hostile. There are some welcoming and hardworking people among them too.
- They are generous and hospitable.
- They are very religious.
- Loving and caring
How would you describe Africa?
- Africa is the world’s second largest and the second-most populated continent. It is wealthy in resources and offers breathtaking tourist attractions.
- It is the mother continent due to it being the oldest inhabited on earth.
- Great climate with many countries and good vegetation.
- The African continent has been inhabited for more than five million years.
How would you describe Africans?
- The largest ethnic African group is the Hausa. Africans are descendants of indigineous inhabitants of Africa.
- They are black.
- Very welcoming. They mostly do agriculture.