If you have spent any amount of time online in the last few weeks, you have inevitably stumbled upon one of the ‘America First, Insert-Your-Country-Name-Here’ videos (now all linked on Everysecondcounts.eu, which have quickly gone viral and, like a good ol’ chain letter, have spurred the creation of countless mode videos about every possible country on the planet, including Fryslan (who knew that was an actual country?!).
To give credit where it’s due, The Netherlands pioneered the first brilliant video about how their country needs to come second, in response to Donald J. Trump’s inauguration speech, in which he infamously exclaimed: “From now on, it’s going to be America first,” and repeated it for higher impact.
Switzerland, Portugal, Lithuania and Denmark followed and shortly after, countries from Africa and the Middle East jumped on the congratulatory band-wagon, too. All videos are amateur and highly unofficial, of course, but we have to admit that they are all rather patriotic and extremely entertaining. Aside from the comedic value and brilliant satire, they are certainly far-from-malicious, and I dare say, educational. They’re currently getting millions of eyeballs, which means we are all inevitably:
- Learning about all these highly unpopular, small countries all over the world
- Getting a new perspective on global issues
- Being challenged to think differently, regardless of our political views
- … All while getting a good laugh!
Here are some of the more curious facts, possibly well-known for some of you, that I grasped from watching the vids:
- The Netherlands: has a disabled female minister. Bravo!
- Switzerland: women couldn’t vote until 1971, and in some places until 1990
- Denmark: has a huge number of windmills producing renewable energy
- Sweden: the Vikings were the first Europeans to reach America (not Columbus!)
- Norway: has 357 Nobel prize winners (wow!)
- Finland: ‘sisu’ s a Finnish word which means stoic determination, grit, resilience
- Iceland: the national dish is a hot dog
- Frysland: is an actual country (?!$&*@~)
- United Kingdom:
- Germany: FKK clubs are apparently the so-called ‘sauna clubs’
- Austria: have cities called Fucking, Hard, Stocking, Assling
- Belgium: dresses its national symbol in cute little outfits regularly
- Luxembourg: students are taught 4 official language in school
- France: has > 200 fortified cities on its territory
- Italy: has more than 8,000 different languages
- Spain: once ruled the U.S. State of Utah
- Spain on behalf of the UN: Spain infected the Aztecs with a virus
- Portugal: Portuguese is the sixth most spoken language in the world
- Poland: have Bison
- Czech Republic: is the home country of Trump’s first wife Ivana
- Slovakia: and Poland are the best of friends
- Croatia: the latest Star Wars movie was shot there
- Slovenia: Lipizaner horses are born black but turn white as
- Bulgaria: is one of the oldest countries in the world
- Macedonia: was only born in 1991
- Moldova: is one of the fastest shrinking countries in the world
- Lithuania: was the 1st European country to impeach its president
- Mexico: the president and his wife are actors
- Kazakhstan: has had its current president for 27 years!
- North Korea: their World Cup fans were hired Chinese actors
- Russia: is the largest country in the world
- Turkey: Ataturk is everyone’s idol
- Morocco: annexed the Western Sahara in 1975
- Namibia: Windhoek has been the cleanest city in Africa for the past 5 years
- Iran: since 1994, they ‘ve been manufacturing a very unsafe car called ‘Pride’
- The Muslim World: which country produces these indestructible passports?
- New Zealand: allowed women to vote before any other country
- Mars: Jupiter and Pluto are made out of gas
- Mordor: nothing new here for J.R.R. Tolkien geeks like myself
So, keep them coming! I’d love to see videos for all 196 countries in the world, granted that’d be a huge time commitment but I see it as a much more pleasant way to learn about the globe than the CIA World Factbook, thank you very much.
So far, my favourite is probably Portugal’s — well done! Let me know which ones you enjoyed the most, and why.