What you need to know about 15 countries according to people who live there

Wednesday 05 October 2016 15:15
Picture:(Milos Bicanski/Getty Images)

Patriotism is a funny thing - it's remarkably hard to pinpoint individual characteristics about your country without citing historical factors.

Regardless, people will talk about countries they've visited as if each one had a personality that was unique.

In an attempt to give tourists a flavour, in a recent thread on Quora, users were asked:

What should every foreigner know about your country?

We've compiled a few of the responses we found the most interesting - you can full the full directory here:

1. England

We do not have bad teeth, in fact due to our free healthcare, until 18 you can go to the dentist and orthodontist for free, due to this I know very few people with bad teeth.

- Alex Konala

We're not the descendants of the people who invaded you 150 years ago. We're the descendants of their servants.

- Mark Harrison

2. Australia

Although foreign travellers, whether tourist or business or work, generally fail to observe it, Australia’s infrastructure is generally very poor compared to other OECD nations. Our public transport, the key to environmental sustainability, has been neglected for eighty years at the expense of wasteful freeway and highway building, and is quite inadequate for required greenhouse emissions targets. Bus and rail services run only hourly in suburban areas, thrice daily or less in country areas, and at a third the speed expected in Europe or Asia.

- Julien Benney

3. Bosnia and Herzegovina

We have lots of educated young people, almost everybody has some kind of college degree, but sadly there's a high level of unemployment.

- Oara Leila

4. South Africa

We don't find ignorant opinions about Africa funny. We don't have lions in our backyards, we don't suffer coups every second year, we are not fighting a civil war (though some have been known to say that our high crime rates are almost the same as a low-level civil conflict), we are perfectly well-informed about what happens in the rest of the world or what the latest trends are. We are too civil to tell you off for such comments.

- Sebastian Czartoryski-Chatov

5. Armenia

Armenia was the first Christian country, when Christianity was officially recognized in 301, and our church is not subject to the Vatican.

- Lilit Khachatryan

6. Indonesia

Bahasa Indonesia is the official language here. But there are actually more that 700 dialects spoken here. Isn't that amazing?

- Sharon Loh

7. Kazakhstan

We have 134 nationalities and 17m (2013 estimate) people in territory the size of Western Europe.

- Berik Dossayev

8. Italy

We aren't all chefs. Not everyone is Mafioso. Not everyone knows classical music, operas or art. We don't look like Super Mario - actually also in the southern part of Italy you can find blonde-haired, blue-eyed people, due to the Norman supremacy a thousand years ago.

- Fabio Red

9. Lebanon

Although our country suffered from 15 years of civil war between Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Christians are brothers and family now. The problems today are purely political.

- Majd Saoud

10. Latvia

"Latvia has it’s own social network – draugiem.lv (“for friends”) and Zuckerberg’s Army can’t do nothing about it."

- Yuri Burcheny

11. Moldova

"There's no Moldavian language, it's Romanian."

- Alexandru Baxanean

12. Uruguay

Previously known as an agricultural country, Uruguay is now considered the foremost software developer-exporter of South America.

- John Nunez

13. Philippines

We were ruled by Spain for 300 years, give or take. The King (Phillip II of Spain) even boasted that the sun never set on his kingdom (with Spain to west and us, along with other Pacific islands, to the east). Spanish influence is still evident all over the country, not only through the buildings and the mestizo (part Spanish) families, but also through lifestyle and religion. At one point in history, ours was the only Christian nation in the whole of Asia.

- Eris Bolt

14. Qatar

Petrol is cheaper than water. 1 litre petrol (platinum) for 0.95 Riyal or 0.26$, while for 1 Riyal you get 600ml of water.

- Hisham Hazari

15. Rwanda

Women are 52 per cent of the total population, but their representation in our political life is epic.  63.8 per cent of our parliamentarians are women (first in the world). The 2003 Rwandan constitution provides for a minimum 30 per cent quota for women in all decision-making organs, covering the bicameral parliament, political parties, and other government bodies. 

- Olivier Ntaganzwa

More: The best countries in the world to experience life abroad