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The largest continent on Earth with the largest percentage of the global population. Famous for their rich cultural traditions and the first civilizations in history. Also the birthplace of the major religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, etc. Roughly, Asia can be divided into six large chunks: Western Asia (The Middle East and The Caucasus), Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), South Asia (Afghanistan and the Indian Subcontinent), North Asia (Asian Russia), Southeast Asia (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar/Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam) and East Asia (China, Japan, Korea and Mongolia). Of course, this is a political categorization. Russia is usually considered to be a Eastern European country, bolstered by the fact that the majority of its population is densely concentrated in the European half, but geographically it stretches across the entirety of North Asia including part of The Far East and in terms of land-mass, Asian Russia is the largest country in Asia, and the largest country on Earth. Turkey is another transcontinental state, with European and Asian sections and being a great power in Southern Europe and the Middle East. Its largest city İstanbul is a major world city on both continents. Likewise, the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt is in the Middle East and thus Egypt is considered a transcontinental country in both North Africa and the Middle East, and the Caucasus is considered both Eastern European and Asian. Cyprus is geographically a part of the Middle East, but is culturally a part of Southern Europe and a member of the European Union. Of course, by and large in Anglophone media, Asia is mostly associated with the Far East, with China and Japan being the shorthand for exotic Asian cultures.


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The Middle East

  • To most people the Middle East is just one large desert. Not entirely true, as Turkey, Israel, Iraq (primarily Iraqi Kurdistan), Syria, Lebanon and Iran have forests and mountains.
    • This also brings up many desert clichés. Characters will be Crossing the Desert by camel under the hot scorching sun. Typical obstacles when crossing the Impassable Desert are heat strokes, intense thirst, sand storms, whirl winds, robbers and fata morganas of oasis that are simply not there. You might faint from hyperthermia, step on some Scary Scorpions, rattle snakes or a Giant Spider, feel Squick from seeing skeletons from previous unlucky travellers, sink into quicksand or lose all hope when Circling Vultures appear. If they are lucky they'll find a real oasis, a city or are rescued by a Bedouin Rescue Service. When they are really lucky they might also discover oil sources or hidden treasures beneath the sand. But this too can turn out to be a Hollywood Mirage in the end...
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    • Contrary to what popular culture wants you to believe it's not always sunny in the Middle East: reports of rain and even snow are not uncommon, and Turkey, Iraqi Kurdistan, Syria, Lebanon and Iran even have ski resorts.
  • All Middle Eastern countries are of course Qurac cities, ruled by sheikhs, sultans, shahs, califs, vizirs or evil wizards, or for a more modern take, by sunglasses-wearing dictators suffering from delusions of grandeur. The names of the fictional countries in this region all end in "-stan", even though all of the real countries with such names are in Central and South Asia, although some regions in Russia and Western Asia do have -stan in their names (ever heard of Kurdistan?). The word stan ("land") comes from the Indo-Iranian languages, such as Persian and Urdu, although ironically, four of the seven independent 'Stans are Turkicnote . It may be mentioned that this Qurac's place is "between Persia and Iran".
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  • Popular Middle Eastern city images are temples, mosques and minarets. No image of the Middle East is complete without a scene where a muezzin is calling/chanting the ritual morning prayer.
  • Most people know the Middle East as the setting for The Bible, The Talmud and The Qur'an. It was the breeding ground for the founders of Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, Islam, etc. — all of whom live there in significant numbers the modern day — yet to most people it seems to be just a region full of Muslims.
  • In Ancient Mesopotamia, Assyria, Persia, Babylon and Phoenicia there were cities, art and a justice system centuries before much of the rest of the world had such luxuries. During the Middle Ages Muslim scholars preserved many ancient texts and enhanced them with numerous important discoveries in the fields of math, astronomy and medicine. Various Western words, particularly Spanish ones, are of Arabic origin and the positional base-10 numeral system had its origins in India but was transmitted to the western world through Muslim travelers and merchants. For this reason it is quite inaccurate and simple minded to describe the Middle East as an inherently primitive and backwards region. Even today, many countries are modernizing.
    • For that matter, the popular concept of the Golden Age of Islam of enlightened scholars and romantic artists has fuelled imaginations for long enough that it has become a bit of a trope in fiction, especially when a Medieval Islamic society (whether a real one or a fantastic expy) is compared with its European (or likewise) counterpart.
  • The oldest traditional stereotypes associated with the Middle East are derived from 8th to 18th century history and feature sultans, caliphs, grand viziers, shahs and sheiks dressed in turbans and long robes, typical of these centuries. Most common are images borrowed from Arabian Nights, including a Flying Carpet, dreamy palaces, story telling princesses, waterpipes, harems full of sexy belly dancing women, eunuch guards, thieving gangs with daggers and/or scimitars, people hiding inside giant jars, caves full of treasure, the giant bird Roc, people climbing on an erect rope and djinns fulfilling wishes. (See also "Arabian Nights" Days).
  • The films of Rudolph Valentino like The Sheik also provided the image of the young, sexy Arab prince abducting Western women into his tent.
  • Another popular image is the Bazaar of the Bizarre. An exotic street bazaar and flea market will feature all kinds of strange, forbidden Black Market or fantastic items. A typical Arabic stock character is the cunning merchant who will welcome you in his store, haggle over the prices and afterwards sent you away with more useless junk than you originally intended to buy. If you want to register a complaint the bazaar will have vanished.
    • Just like South Asian people (who aren’t Arabs), Arabs are frequently depicted as being shopkeepers or supermarket managers. In certain parts of the United States, Arabic-speakers (again, also like South Asians) are specifically stereotyped as owners of gas stations or hotels, with the ethnicity varying based on location. In Michigan, they tend to be Iraqi or Lebanese; in New Jersey and some parts of New York City, they tend to be Egyptian or Palestinian.
    • In some South American countries, there were a lot of street peddlers and shopkeepers of Arab origin, all under the generic label of "turco" (Turkish) due them immigrating from what was then the Ottoman Empire, despite most of them being Palestinian, Syrian or Lebanese. There is a phrase, "con el turco atrás" ("with the Turkish man behind") which means that a person is pursued by their creditors, based in the real phenomenon of these sellers literally stalking the ones in debt.
  • Negative stereotypes about Arabs are that they are all supposedly hyper-aggressive fanatical assassins. A typical image found in old books, films, comics and cartoons is that Arabs out of nowhere will pull out a dagger, saber or scimitar. When they attack they will ululate, praise Allah or shout gibberish with many "ch"-sounds and heavy emphasis on the letter "r".
    • The Middle East has become synonymous with bloodshed over the centuries. Especially since the second half of the 20th century Arabs are stereotyped as fanatical Muslims still stuck in religious traditions. They will be slaughtering sheep in the kitchen, beat and force their women into submission, have many children and will have sex with goats, sheep or camels on occasion. They are easily agitated and will haggle, shout, demand respect while not showing it to others, fight, kill, call out for jihads, suicide attacks, plane hijackings, terrorist bomb attacks and/or a Middle Eastern Coalition. Specific berserk buttons are infidels, Jews (particularly Israelis), scantily clad women, Westerners (especially Americans) and blasphemous remarks. When victorious they will ululate, yell "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great") and shoot in the air. These images are frequently exploited in racist, extreme right wing Western propaganda, as if moderate, calm, religiously tolerant or peaceful Arabs or Muslims are non-existent.
    • Arabs will often be Mistaken for Terrorist, solely based on their looks.
    • The Middle East at large is generally seen by the West and East Asian countries (especially countries with heavy Western influences, like Japan and South Korea) as a problem that no one particularly wants to deal with, particularly after a decade and a half of The War on Terror, with a sizable slice of public opinion in Western Europe being that it should be left to sort itself out. These stereotypes are even worse in East Asian countries, where Arabs and Muslims are sometimes treated in a similar way like Jews were treated in the past in Europe, especially in China (see Xinjiang below for details).
  • Positive stereotypes about Arabs are that they produce beautiful carpets, exquisite calligraphy and mysterious mesmerizing music that can last from one to three hours in length. Adding to the Oriental atmosphere are lutes, an oboe, tambourines, rhythmic percussion and sometimes a masked singer with a veil on his/her face who sounds hypnotized himself.
  • Arab handwriting is also world famous, especially since it lends itself perfectly for the most expressive and curly calligraphy you ever saw in your life. Still, there are many people who don't speak Arabic who tend to forget that you're supposed to read the sentences from right to left.
  • Another stereotypical image is the rich Arab Oil Sheikh. He will have a huge beard, brown skin, sunglasses, a turban (often mocked by Western comedians as being a towel or a diaper). Usually he is sitting in a tent and smoking hookah. He will take great pride in owning several cars, horses and a harem.
  • All Arabs will praise or mention Allah in almost every sentence they speak. Other popular stock phrases are: "Salaam", "Peace be upon him", "May Allah be with you, my friend"...
  • Arab women are either overdressed to the point of being nothing more than a burka or Niqāb, or will be scantily clad and sexy belly dancers. They carry vases on their heads, wear henna or special piercings.
    • Bedlah Babe: Most often in period pieces, Middle Eastern noblewomen, handmaids, and concubines are portrayed wearing bedlahs as casual wear.
  • Arabs have their own set of stereotypes about one another including each other’s country:
    • Bedouins have two stereotypes, one old, one new:
      • The old stereotype is of the Bedouins as noble desert nomads, living in tents and tending their goats/sheep/other livestock, proud and tough but honorable, and willing to help travelers who come their way and show them some kindness. They are also seen as the reserve of the ancient Arab culture; particular emphasis is given to the supposed closeness of their speech to the speech of the time of the Prophet Muhammad.
      • The new stereotype is of the Bedouins as marginal, uncivilized merchants in guns and drugs (particularly hashish and other forms of cannabis), who are all-too-fond of using their products (both kinds). They are sometimes also seen as traitors for working with Israel in one way or another (most often, dealing in Israeli weed).
    • In the Arabic countries themselves people from the Gulf States are typically portrayed as being filthy-rich lecherous drunks and drug addicts, who hide behind religion to justify their sinning. The guy from the Gulf who goes to marry another woman (sometimes multiple women, although that is allowed in Islam) in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, or Morocco on the sly is practically a trope in itself.
  • In (beat 'em up) videogames, for whatever reason, there are a number of ambiguously Middle Eastern characters. That is, their design evokes the look of the region, and a few cultural clues may be mentioned, but mention of actual nationality is outright avoided. Examples include Zafina, from Tekken, who's background and cut-scenes hint at an Egyptian origin, but who has "unknown" listed against birthplace on her official bio. Word of God states that she is of "Middle Eastern" origin, but no more information has been provided. The newcomer in 7, Shaheen, might be a more stereotypical example. Algol from the Soul Series is another example - his name is clearly Arabic (literally "the ghoul"), as well as his move-list, and his story is an homage to the Sumerian (modern day Iraq) Gilgamesh epic, but his origin is never confirmed outright. Zasalamel, also from the Soul Series, is similarly ambiguous, with a look that references Egypt (his ibis-head scythe especially) and a movelist named after several Babylonian gods. The incongruently name Sinclair from Art of Fighting has an unmistakably Arabic look, complete with harem-pants, head scarf and a scimitar, although her country of origin remains unknown. Why the country of origin of these "Middle Eastern" characters remains unknown isn't clear, but it could be to avoid Unfortunate Implications in a sensitive global region, or simply to enhance the mystery of certain characters.
    • Pullum Purna from the Street Fighter series, who hails from Saudi Arabia, is one of the few Middle Eastern characters with an actual nationality, and of course they gave her a stereotypical background (belly dancers and Oil Sheikhs and all of that)... in V, they have another Arabian fighter that looks more like a sheikh: Rashid, though as per the examples listed above, he is only ever described as "Middle Eastern", and his actual country of origin (albeit likely the UAE) has yet to be confirmed.
  • All Muslims Are Arab: All countries in the Middle East are depicted as being nothing but Arab in most media, except Israel, which is depicted as being nothing but Jews (even though it actually has tons of Arabs itself) . In reality, even leaving aside Turkey (Turks) and Iran (Persians), plenty of non-Arab minorities exist in the Middle East, including Assyrians/Chaldeans/Syrians (yes, those Assyrians), Azerbaijanis, Circassians, Greeks, Kurds, Laz, Lur, migrant South Asians, Turkmens, and many others.

  • Back when the country was named Persia it was known for the Shah, Persians with Pistols, Persian cats and Persian carpets.
  • Iranians are seen by the West as religious fanatics. Ayatollah Khomeini did a lot to create this image. Another stereotype is that Iranians are terrorists who want to do nothing more then blow up America. Most Iranians, especially in the West aren’t particularly religious and can celebrate Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, and even Jewish holidays.
  • Iranians are commonly mistaken for Arabs and receive the same treatment. When someone does bother to note the difference, Persians (the men, anyway) will be stereotyped similarly to the so-called Guidos. Think tacky "club" outfits with lots of gold chains, hair gel, cheap cologne, over-priced designer sunglasses, etc. (South Park did a version of this in their 300 spoof, with Family Guy also making fun of this) plus a white BMW. Certain Arabs such as Egyptians and Lebanese also share this stereotype. The track-suit "jock" variant of Guidos isn't usually associated with Persians quite as often, however. There's also the over-zealous Shi'a Muslim guy in the street, whipping himself until he draws blood (although it's actually illegal in Iran) stereotype, but that tends to overlap with Arab stereotypes.
  • Iran's western neighbors — particularly the Arabs — regard them as stuck-up know-it-alls who aren't willing to give credit where credit is due. The Iranians, for their part, tend to regard the Arabs and the Turkic peoples as somewhat barbaric fools, who were still nomadic nobodies at the time that Persia ruled everywhere.
  • Many stereotypes about Iran/Persia originated in Ancient Greece and proved to be remarkably enduring, being the Trope Maker or Trope Codifier for Orientalism in general.

  • Iraqis still feel proud about their ancient history (Iraq being Mesopotamia, i.e. the cradle of civilization, home of Sumer, Akkad, Assyria and Babylonia, among many others). The Babylonian empire is remembered for King Hammurabi (who codified one of the first law systems in history), Nebuchadnezzar, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon (one of the Seven Wonders of the World), and biblical associations such as "the whore of Babylon" and the Tower of Babel.
  • The city of Ur is known because, according to the Bible, Abraham was born there. Historically it was also known for the ziggurat of Ur.
  • Nineveh is remembered being the capital of the Assyrian empire and the city Jonah went to, after surviving being swallowed by a whale.
  • Baghdad also lives on as the archetypical Arab city. If an Arabian Nights story is set in a specific Middle Eastern city, Baghdad seems to be the most popular choice.
  • Since 1990 the West knows Iraq primarily for the Gulf Wars and Saddam Hussein.
  • Within the Arabic countries themselves the Iraqis are seen as the poor buggers. Naturally, seen as badass, and a bit tribal, but that's about all that can be said about them. Their dialect is noted for being difficult to understand, but also very cool, or at least intimidating (kind of like a Scottish accent in English).

    Israel and Palestine 
  • Most clichés about the country are derived from The Bible or the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Even though Israel has a large Christian and Muslim community the Jewish community is always remembered foremostly.
    • Most locations in Israel are known for are in essence temples or holy sites, like Bethlehem, Mount Zion, Masada, Al-Asqa Mosque, The Lions' Gate, King David's Tomb, the Armenian Quarter, The Wailing Wall, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, The Damascus Gate, the Lake of Galilea, the Olive Mountain, the Temple Mountain, the Valley of Jehosaphat, the Garden of Gehtsemane, Mount Golgotha, Mount Hebron, Mount Sinai, Cana (where Jesus turned water into wine during a wedding) and Nazareth and the Dome of the Rock. Only the West Bank and Gaza Strip are more famous now as conflict zones than for their historical merit.
    • The one location that exists without a strong holy or violent association attached to it is the Dead Sea, which is actually a lake, by the way. It's famous for its high salt level which makes people able to float on it without being able to sink. And even this location is actually not just Israeli, but also bordering Jordan.
  • All Israelis are Jewish in ethnicity and religion.
  • Palestinians are all Muslims who wear Yasser Arafat scarfs.
    • Within the Arabic countries themselves the Palestinians are seen...well... again as poor buggers. Also known as being crazy-tough and very proud.note  Also noted for being crazy-smart; Palestinians who were expelled from their land but managed to get out of the country tended to take advantage of educational opportunities to get ahead, leading to a disproportionate number of Palestinian doctors and teachers in much of the Arab world. The similarity to the Jews — who similarly scattered (under duress if not direct threat of force) out of more or less the same territory and took up education as a means to counteract the effects of discrimination in the lands in which they found themselves — has not been lost on Palestinians, who have a particularly strong appreciation for irony.
  • Regarding the Arab–Israeli Conflict:
    • Team Israel's view: Israel is a plucky little freedom-loving democracy constantly under threat from evil Palestinian terrorists who love throwing rocks and bombs around. If not being threatened from within the country will have to strike back against non-freedom-loving dictatorships ten times its size.
    • Team Palestine's view: Israel is a Nazi apartheid state where evil, racist imperialists mow down innocent Palestinians who were actually living in this country centuries before the Jewish population got their own state.
    • Actual Israelis' view: Israel has a lot of problems, of which the Palestinian issue is just one. Heck, a lot of these Palestinians are decent guys, and excellent employees, as long as they stay on their side of the line. Anyone who can keep things stable while we figure out what to do in the future will get our support.
    • Actual Palestinians' view: Israel is the occupier, yes, and they kill our people, but we're not about to deny we have some bad eggs who go out and kill their innocents. A lot of these Israelis are just ordinary folks, and truth be told they can be pretty nice employers as long as they stay on their side of the line (sure, it'd be nice if it wasn't always them employing us, but one step at a time, guys). Heck, we've even learned to like matzo. We'd just like a little dignity. Can we have a deal now?
  • It may also puzzle foreigners that Israel has the reputation for being one of the safest countries in the world. At first, this seems almost like a joke, regarding the fact that it mostly makes the news with reports about violence. But in reality there is so much control from police and soldiers, with constant passport checks before you can enter buildings or zones that this reputation is really not that far off the mark.

  • Best known for the historical city Petra.
  • Jordan is where ancient civilizations such as Edom and other civilizations, many of which are Biblical, flourished.
  • Yes, it's also a common name in the West.
  • Among Arabs, Jordan is mostly known for being the boring, stable country you run to when your country turns into a war zone. This is pretty much true: nearly half of Jordan's population is Palestianians expelled from what is now Israel after 1948, and the country has taken in vast numbers of Iraqi and Syrian refugees during those countries' respective civil wars. There's even a substantial contingent of Circassians (from the area around what is now the border between Russia and Georgia) who came to Jordan after fleeing the Circassian Genocide and the Russo-Turkish War in the 19th century.
  • Arabs also tend to regard Jordanian cuisine as being pretty boring, consisting of one tasty dish (the yogurt-flavored meat-and-rice platter mansaf) and pretty much nothing else (or at least, nothing else that their neighbors — particularly the Syrians and Lebanese — can't make better).

  • Mostly known for being one of the main battlegrounds of The Gulf War and the subsequent oil fires lit by the Iraqis.

  • Lebanon is where ancient civilizations such as Canaan, Phoenicia, and many others flourished.
  • Within the Arabic countries themselves they are seen as being tough and resilient, loving life despite the crappy hand they've been dealt. Known as the leaders in the Arab world for good old-fashioned drunken debauchery (without the taint of hypocrisy that goes with Gulf revellers — Lebanon is 1/3-1/2 Christian and many self-identified Muslims are pretty much secular); despite this, also known for Hezbollah, (yes, Beirut is a conflicted city) — whose members are reputed for also being able to have a good time without alcohol (although, as is common in the Arab world, that doesn't include hashish...). Also noted as shrewd traders and businessmen, with contacts everywhere (quite true; there are four times as many Lebanese outside Lebanon than in it). Lebanese women, according to stereotype, are good-looking, uncovered, and kind of loose.
    • For a while in Australia, Lebanese men (especially Muslim ones) were stereotyped as criminals and gang rapists. This was especially common during the Cronulla riots, though it seems to have died down.

  • A sparsely populated country on the Arabian peninsula whose only real claim to fame is being the birthplace of Australian actress Isla Fisher.
  • Oman are also known for their distinct curved daggers called khanjar, which feature prominently on their iconography.
  • Other Arabs knew Omanis for being oddjobs religion-wise; most Omanis are not Sunni or Shia Muslims, but of the Ibadi sect. They also avert wearing keffiyeh in the typical style, prefering colorful turbans, instead.

    Saudi Arabia 
Saudi Arabia
  • Usually stereotyped as a country full of oil sheiks.
  • Also increasing known as the homeland of The Fundamentalist and primary exporter of extremism, with people increasingly observing that the differences between the self-proclaimed Islamic State and Saudi Arabia are mostly that one is more peaceful and long established than the other and the belief that the country is basically the Evil Empire. This is a belief expressed most eloquently by the Royal Band, who traditionally greet visiting dignitaries and responded to a state visit by King Abdullah in 2007 by playing 'The Imperial March', the theme music for Darth Vader.
  • Otherwise best known for Mecca and Medina, the 2 holiest cities in Islam.

  • Civilizations such as Arameans, Amorites, and many others flourished in Syria.
  • Within the Arabic countries themselves they are seen as the more serious cousins of the Lebanese, sharing the same quasi-Camp accent that belies their inherent badassery, but without the fondness for just having a good time. They are also known for being intensely proud. Syrian women, according to stereotype, are even better-looking than the Lebanese, but more conservative.
  • These days, Syria is mostly known as a conflict ridden hellhole partitioned between an insane, murderous President who is the son of the first, Russian soldiers, an evil would-be theocracy of terrorists and any number of random rebel organisations.
    • On the upside, though, Kurds, along with some Assyrians got a very good press in the West following their heroic defence of Kobane, aided by Western airpower.
  • The capital Damascus is also known because, according to the Bible, one of Jesus' future apostles Saul was struck down by God on his way to the city and converted to Christianity afterwards, taking the name "Paul".

  • Turkey forms the border between Europe and Asia, symbolized by the Bosporus. To this day there are ongoing discussions whether it should be considered part of Europe or not, and the same argument is made about Israel. Both Turkey and Israel compete along with the Eurovision song contest, yet none of them are part of the European Union. Usually, Turkey is considered to be part of the European continent, while Israel is purely Middle Eastern.
    • Turkey is also seen as a Muslim country not too different from other Middle Eastern nations. While most of the population are Muslims the county is in fact a democratic, secular state with no official state religion and even freedom of religion and conscience, specifically stated in their constitution.
  • The reputation of the Turks is kind of history-dependent.
    • For most of Antiquity it was known as Anatolia in Greek and was home to a multiplicity of civilizations like the Hittite empire, Caria and Lydia, becoming largely Hellenized after its conquest by Alexander the Great.
    • Although added to the Roman Empire fairly early, Anatolia remained culturally Hellenistic. After the fall of the Roman Empire it was known for the Byzantine Empire, which was ruled by Greeks who called themselves Romans.
    • In the Middle Ages the Byzantines were in turn conquered by the Turks. The Ottoman Empire became the most famous and powerful Turkish empire in history.
    • People familiar with World War I know Turkey for Gallipoli and the Dardanelles.
    • Since the 1920s the world knows at least one historically important Turk: Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey and also modernizer of its culture and society. He is still seen as a hero by the Turkish population and someone who should not be criticized at all.
  • Today Turkey is mostly famous for İstanbul, which used to be called Byzantion first and later Constantinople. The city is well known for the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace (made famous by the film Topkapi) and the Basilica Cisterne, which is a famous underground water reservoir. Foreigners often think it's the capital, which is actually Ankara, the only other well known location in Turkey. Ankara in itself is best known for animals like the Angora cat, Angora rabbit, Angora goat and Anatolian shepherd.
  • Turkey also has one of the most recognizable flags in the world: a white moon and a small star seen against a red background.
  • In popular culture Turks are often portrayed wearing a fez. In reality this headwear has been banned since Ataturk modernized the country in 1924. If they are worn it will be part of a traditional ceremony, not everyday life.
  • Romanians and other Eastern Europeans tend to see Turks as shrewd merchants, food shop keepers and peddlers of all fakes imaginable in the world. But this is based strictly on Istanbul, Ankara and other few modern Europeanized cities and the migration of Turk businessmen towards Europe after The '80s.
  • Turks are often portrayed as being very proud of their country, history and heritage. The negative end of this stereotype caricatures them as people who have a supreme genocidal hatred for Armenians, Greeks and Kurds.
    • Turkish women tend to be depicted as bellydancers.
  • Since a "soft-Islamist" government took power in Turkey, the image in the Middle East has been influenced by their primary cultural export: Soap Operas featuring rich settings, convoluted family-related melodrama (just like they like it!), and fanservice beyond imagining (the star of Gümüsh, Kivanc Tatliug is so hot several women in the Arab world were Driven to Suicide when they heard he was getting married). Turkey has since become a soft-power powerhouse in the Arab world.
  • A very old but very enduring stereotype of Turkey is that of a land of hedonistic pleasures: hookahs, strong coffee, Turkish delights (very sweet and tough to chew candy), veiled belly-dancers and the infamous Turkish baths, where you can take a sauna. In popular culture the Turkish massage will always be given by a huge moustachioed Turk who beats heavily with his fists on the back of his relaxing customer.
  • The country is also famous for Sufi whirling, a specific dance style practiced by dervishes of the Sufi Islam. It's typified by men wearing a felt cap a, a sikke and a white dress, the dhikr. While they dance around in circles the dhikr whirls along.
    • Another typical musical phenomenon are the Ottoman military bands mehterân, whose music has been famous for so many centuries that even Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven have tried to imitate the sounds, especially the Turkish stop, in their own compositions.
  • Since the film Midnight Express (1978) Turkish prisons do not have a very good reputation...
  • Another negative reputation associated with the country are frequent reports of disregard for human rights, with people being arrested, tortured and executed for protesting against the government.
  • Turkey has also gained a reputation for plagiarizing films and comic strips from other countries and putting them into a weird amateurish context. Though sometimes titles like "Turkish Star Wars" or "Turkish Rambo" are just slapped on the movies by Western salesmen, it cannot be denied that the similarities in plot, characters, soundtrack,... are sometimes perplexing. These movies are usually cheap, badly edited and have soundtracks that often jumpcut to another track when a scene abruptly changes. You'll also often notice instrumental music for which no copyright permission was paid. This would probably not be that notable, if it weren't for the fact that the makers often use very famous and recognizable melodies that you can immediately identify.
  • In most of Northern Europe, the convenience-store owner who would be Asian in an American or British production will be an immigrant Turk (usually, though "generic Middle East" is gaining traction). Impressive facial hair is optional, shouty voice, huge gestures and Flowery Insults are not.
  • And, to conclude, in the English language Turkey cannot be mentioned without making an Incredibly Lame Pun about turkey birds.

    United Arab Emirates 
United Arab Emirates
  • Known primarily for Dubai and the Burj Khalifa, to the point that the rest of the country is basically non-existent in media.

  • Although the home of many civilizations of Arabia, Yemen is now seen as a war-torn country full of diseases such as cholera.
  • Following on the theme of "home of many civilizations", Yemen might be vaguely recognized as such, especially by people with some familiarity of the Bible. Foremostly of the several fabled ancient kingdoms which were roughly located in the general area of the modern-day country is Sheba, of the Biblical Queen of Sheba fame.

Central Asia

Often nicknamed "The Stans", due to every country in this region having a name that ends with -stan. Usually does not exist in popular culture, but whenever its existence is acknowledged, Central Asia is an extension of Commie Land, since all of them are ex-Soviet republics, and most of them still retain Soviet-style governments in one form or another. If depicted in pre-Soviet times, they will be Hordes from the East who invade Europe and destroy and plunder settlements there, due to being the former homeland of the Scythians and Huns with Turkic peoples later becoming the dominant population of the region as well. They are also predominantly Muslim, though Tengrists, Zoroastrians, Orthodox Christians and other religious minorities exist. With the exception of Tajikistan, they are usually described as "Muslim Mongol Russian Turks", a stereotype that is partially untrue but not far off either.

  • Kazakhstan will be portrayed exactly like in the film Borat despite the many things the movie gets wrong about the country. For this reason, the people are also stereotyped as taking offense at the slightest Borat joke despite its surprising popularity in the country.
  • Other Central Asians, on the other hand, see Kazakhs as arrogant snobs for being the richest country in the region and looking down at them for their less developed economies and getting less attention on the world stage. Kazakhs, in turn, stereotype the other Central Asians as wretched slobs undeserving pity.
  • Kazakhstan hosts the post-Soviet Baikonur cosmodrome, and might appear in contexts of Soviet or Russian space programs.

  • Kyrgyzstan has an unpronounceable name for a country, making it a favorite country of the website Sporcle.
  • It is also regarded as a poor man's Kazakhstan because both countries share a nomadic culture, speak closely related languages, and their titular ethnicities look similar. At the same time, however, Kyrgyzstan has the misfortune of being mostly mountainous, experiencing much political turbulence, and having a less developed economy largely dependent on remittances from much of its workforce working abroad.
  • On the bright side, Kyrgyzstan is considered to be freer and more democratic than the other Central Asian countries thanks to a traditionally strong democratic tradition among the Kyrgyz. Unfortunately, this is losing ground because of restrictions on civil liberties happening from time to time, resulting in its first two presidents kicked out of power to uprisings.
  • The country is also infamous for its bride kidnapping.

  • Tajikistan is the oddball: they are a people related to Iranians and Afghans and speak a language related to them, hence their Hufflepuff House status in the region. In Russia, they are considered to be the equivalent of stereotypical Mexicans. In Afghanistan, the Tajiks are considered to be rather timid by the majority Pashtun population.
  • Tajikistan was a very vital part of the Silk Road, with cities such as Khujand flourishing.
  • Its government is totalitarian, like many Central Asian republics, and has laws that ban beards, hijabs, and other things to “combat extremism”.
  • Tajikistan is often nicknamed "the Roof of the World" due to being extremely mountainous and high in elevation, with more than 90% of the country being mountains and 50% of the country being 9,800 ft above sea level.

  • Turkmenistan is basically the resident North Korea on the block, with the deification of their first president (who died in 2006) abound, from the months of the calendar being changed to bread being named after his mother, who died in an earthquake when he was young. Even Turkmenbashi became a city. Golden teeth and other things were once banned. Unlike North Korea, these antics were widely seen as funny rather than horrid, though one figures it still wasn't funny for those who had to live there.
    • They are also fond of shishkebab.
  • Turkmen people are sometimes thought of as having speech impediments, mainly because some Turkmen dialects, particularly the northern ones, pronounce s and z as the th in thing and this, respectively.
  • Turkmenistan, like Tajikistan, was also a very vital part of the Silk Road, with cities such as Merv flourishing.
  • Turkmenistan is known as one of the most difficult countries in the world to gain entry into, even moreso than North Korea.
  • Turkmenistan is also known for the Darvaza gas crater, AKA the Door to Hell, a large flaming hole in the ground that is the result of a natural gas field having collapsed into a cavern before being ignited, and has been burning for more than 50 years.

  • Uzbekistan was a very vital part of the Silk Road, with many cities such as Samarkand, Bukhara, and many others flourishing. It was vital to Ancient Persia.
  • Uzbekistan is considered to be more conservative and laid-back than the other Central Asian countries while still being a Commie Land, having one of the most repressive regimes in the world, although it is a bit more relaxed as the first president Karimov died in 2016. In Russia, they tend to be equated with immigrants. The Uzbeks also are fond of jewelry.

South Asia

  • South Asia and Southeast Asia are known for their native fauna. The mountainous areas of Bhutan, India and Nepal will be home to yaks, wolves, possibly a snow leopard, and likely a yeti in more fantastical works. The jungles will typically feature tigers, Asian elephants, monkeys (usually macaques — or, more likely, capuchins), black and spotted leopards, peafowl, cobras, giant pythons and crocodiles (don't ever count on seeing India's endemic, thin-snouted gharial instead). Orangutans might appear, either in their native Borneo and Sumatra or as far northwest as India. Komodo dragons are infamous, but are rarely seen in their natural range outside of documentaries. The environment brims with archipelagos, volcanoes and bamboo. Typhoons, tornadoes, floods, monsoon rains and earth quakes will frequently ravage the land.
  • Economically, the area has been known internationally for centuries for the trade of spices like pepper, ginger, cloves and nutmeg. Rice, tea and rubber are also prominent export products.
  • South Asians are typically depicted in media as dark brown-skinned people with black hair and bindis on their foreheads, often with matching facial hair if they are male and adults.

  • War, war, and more war. Everyone is either a terrorist, a victim of terrorism, a victim of a foreign army, or an oppressed woman. The Taliban's draconian rules will have been in place for untold centuries, never mind that the Taliban have only existed since the 1990s. Every great empire in history feels the need to invade, only to get burned by Afghanistan's sheer unconquerableness. Invading armies range from Alexander's Greeks, to Mongols, to Victorian Brits, to Russian commies, to the present-day NATO forces.
  • Afghanistan is also known for the production of opium and heroin, which are exported to the rest of the world. While it would easy to blame people there: the locals who farm it don't really have a choice and only earn a small part of what Western drug dealers earn from this trade.
  • The country has a rich history, being vital to the Silk Road and the Persian empire. It is known as the graveyard of empires.
  • Like Iranians, Afghans are also often mistaken for being Arabs in the West. Pashtuns make up the largest ethnic group in Afghanistan, the second-largest in Pakistan (including their Prime Minister) and their homeland is divided between Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the Hazaras are also a significant minority in both Afghanistan and Pakistan.

  • Being a part of India and later Pakistan, some of the stereotypes concerning these countries also apply to Bangladesh.
  • Bangladesh has an unfortunate reputation to be repeatedly struck by natural disasters such as the 1971 Cyclone.
  • Also a place where many sweatshops are located.
  • Also the place where George Harrison mentioned for his "Concert for Bangla Desh."

  • Bhutanese people are typically depicted as bald Buddhist monks who wear orange robes and live in monasteries. Basically, it is a mini-Tibet.

    India and Pakistan 
India and Pakistan
  • Indians are often confused with Native Americans as a pun.
  • Both countries are often depicted as if they're more or less the same. With one important stereotypical distinction: All Indians are Hindu, all Pakistanis are Muslim. Sometimes Indian Muslims are acknowledged (although mostly in works dealing specifically about Hindu-Muslim tension), but Sikhs rarely are, despite one of the most stereotypical depictions of Indians (guys with turbans and big beards) being very much based around Sikhs — to say nothing of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh being Sikh. Jains, Buddhists, and Christians are almost never mentioned (this despite there actually being more Indian Christians than Sikhs).
  • India and Pakistan are also known for being stereotypically poor. People live in slums or rural backwaters, where they farm with oxen. They will all travel by train since they can't afford any other way. And even then most train passengers will simply climb or hold on to themselves on top or on side of the train. Essentially, it's still The Raj but without so many upper-class British people.note 
  • Mystical India: The countries also bring up images of very devout gurus, yogis, swamis, fakirs, snake charmers and other people who seem to be a cross between a philosopher, a Messiah, a cult leader, an illusionist or just someone who's difficult to understand from a Western perspective. Usually these people spent their time chanting mantras or spouting off wise aphorisms, in search of enlightment. They will be able to do all sorts of magical tricks like hypnotizing people, fly on a carpet, levitate, meditate, walk barefoot on burning coals, climb on an erect rope (Indian rope trick), stick knives inside their body, make cobras "dance" to the sound of their flutes or go without food for months! Sometimes they bury themselves underground with only their head or hands sticking out- or- in even more bizarre antics: with just their head stuck underground while the rest of their body remains above the ground in a stiff and upright position. They're able to twist their arms and legs in all kinds of seemingly uncomfortable positions. When they sit down or lie down they'll use a bed of nails.
    Indian and Pakistani religions and cults are usually hardly distinguished from each other (and often mixed in with New Age stuff). In the end they all worship the most well known Hindu deities in the Western World: Shiva, Brahma, Kali, Vishnu or Ganesha. They all practice yoga and veganism, believe in reincarnation and worship holy cows. They're usually two perspectives in Western popular culture. Either it's treated as being more deep, meaningful, spiritual and philosophical than other religions, or it's just dismissed as mindless scary brainwashing.
  • Many images of India are derived from the ancient mysterious exotic days, usually overlapping with Middle Eastern "Arabian Nights" Days imagery.
  • Other stereotypes are derived from 19th and 20th century British colonial times, for example: people going tiger hunting while riding an elephant. Jungle Book also did a lot to create the Western idea about India: jungles, bamboo, tigers, panthers, Indian elephants and rhinoceroses, cobras, wolves, monkeys, feral children,...
  • Indian or Pakistani men all wear turbans. A long thick beard may be mandatory, but a moustache will do too.
    • Indian or Pakistani women are all young, slim, long black haired women with a gopi dot on the forehead, dressed in saris. Expect a big deal to be made of their innocent/virginity; if they have a romantic partner, chances are it will be forbidden. And if they marry they will be child brides.
    • When Indian couples have sex it's all kinds of Anatomically Impossible Sex positions learned from the Kama Sutra. Or instead of sex, they go dancing in various exotic locations like they do in movies.
    • There are also a few very offensive stereotypes of Pakistani men as a whole, particularly in the UK following media coverage of incidents where several large gangs of Pakistani men have groomed and sexually abused young white girls. The high profile nature of these cases, and the fact that the media mentions statistics like "Asian men make up 3% of the British population and 25% of all sex crimes", encourages belief that Pakistani men are all paedophile rapists.
    • In recent times, a number of high profile rape cases in India, some of whose victims are foreign tourists, has also lent India a reputation for sexual repression especially among lower classes. On a related but milder note, in the late 2010s there was also a spate of memes about Indian men pestering women online.
  • All Indians and Pakistanis eat rice, hot spices and curry which will burn your throat.. No miracle they sometimes go without food for months or simply starve to death.
  • Modern stereotypical images of Indians and Pakistani depict them as shopkeepers, taxi drivers, workers in the "Indian" food industry (generally but not always Bangladeshi) or supermarket store clerks. Cf, The Departed.
  • Another modern image is the Bollywood Nerd or Operator from India.
  • All Indian movies are, of course, Bollywood movies. They will all be made in Bombay and feature a lot of young Indian men and women singing and dancing to a catchy and hypnotizing beat. The stories are usually romances, but the musical numbers are more important. In fact: the couples hardly every kiss each other! Usually the woman will sing in a very high pitched voice. Everything always has a bad acoustic echo to it and seems to be recorded on a scratchy soundtrack.
    • Apart from Bollywood soundtracks most music in India will be sitar music, usually by Ravi Shankar. It will usually drone on for hours and bring the listener into a spiritual trance.
  • No visit to India is complete without showing the Taj Mahal!
  • The Ganges river will also be shown, when Hindus are washing themselves in the "holy" river.
  • The monsoon seasons are also a point of reference, with either not enough rain or too much of it for months!
  • A characteristic of British people contemplating former colonies in the East is that they'll stick to the old names and wonder why the natives had to go around confusing everybody by changing them. Perhaps younger Brits are more likely to use terms like Mumbai, Kolkata, Madras, Sri Lanka; but many (perhaps older) people think "Stuff that, they've always been Bombay, Calcutta, Chennai, Ceylon, and I'm not changing for change' sake!"
  • Currently, Indian women are viewed as being oppressed and in need of rescuing from her so-called 'patriarchal' culture.
  • All Indians have an Overly-Long Name.
  • India has also become infamous for its stereotypical free-defecation zones (the streets) and lack of toilets.

  • The Maldives are usually seen as a big tropical island resort full of coconut trees and beautiful beaches with crystal-blue water and pure white sand, basically Asia's equivalent to the Caribbean or Hawaii.

  • Nepalis are typically depicted as badass mountaineers who always carry Kukris with them, primarily thanks to the Gurkhas.
  • Nepal is home to many mountains in the Himalayas, including Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the World. A Nepalese who isn't serving in some foreign army at the moment is probably hauling stuff up the Everest, acting as Hypercompetent Sidekick for some clueless Westerner with delusions of living in an adventure story.

    Sri Lanka 
Sri Lanka
  • Mostly known for the civil war between the Sinhalese and Tamils.

Southeast Asia

In popular culture, Southeast Asia is that place where the Vietnam War happened. Not much attention was paid before then (with the exception of resorts such as Bali), nor did it have a culture except for mysterious statues of Buddhas and ruined temples half-hidden by jungle overgrowth. Everyone wears those conical hats and is a peasant, drug trafficker or ex-guerrilla. All Western tourists who go there will be caught up in some sort of scam or civil war or be imprisoned on trumped-up charges (usually drug trafficking). See: Holiday in Cambodia.

  • Basically they are an even more refined version of Malaysian stereotypes.
  • Being an oil-producing Islamic monarchy, the stereotypes of Gulf Arab states are also put into Brunei.
  • Usually referred to as Borneo, even though Borneo is actually the name of the whole island that Brunei shares with Malaysia and Indonesia and those two countries have the majority of the land.

  • Similar stereotypes to Cambodia (see The Bridge on the River Kwai for a major example) with the exception of being more devoutly Buddhist. The Burmese are either saffron-robed monks, armed revolutionaries or oppressed city folk. Unfortunately, this one is closer to Truth in Television.
    • If British people think of Burma at all, there's a vague memory that we fought a war there once, didn't we? And a lot of our people were taken prisoner when it wasn't going well for us and forced to build a railway. Post-Imperial baggage means that unless the British are forced to sit up and pay attention, they think of places like this as they were imagined to be in Imperial days; and Burma was merely seen as an eastern extention of the Indian empire rather than a country in its own right.
  • Nowadays, Myanmar are viewed as genocidal psychopaths due to their treatment of the Rohingya minority.

  • Angkor Wat, the ancient temple of the Kingdom of Angkor, is the most recognized symbols of Cambodia, even appearing on the national flag.
  • Cambodia came under international attention in the 1970s, when it was revealed that the U.S government under instigation of President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger had illegally bombed the country during the Vietnam war conflict. Between 1975 and 1979 it even turned worse when it became a Communist tyranny ruled by dictator Pol Pot. Despite his short rule he still managed to oversee one of the worst genocides in history. Virtually everything about Cambodia is known from these events, powerfully depicted in the film The Killing Fields. As a result Cambodia lives in people's memory as a poor jungle country overrun by Communist guerillas and anti-Western fanatics who force their captives to do hard labour at gunpoint and starve. Phnom Penh is a fairly modern French-style city, but everything else is wilderness.
  • Sadly, modern portrayals of the country depict it as a haven for child exploitation and Western pedophiles. The government, however, has put cracking down on it a top priority.
  • As of 2018, a lot of mileage was made from the fact that the current King Norodom Sihamoni is an internationally famous dancer, having already made himself a name in the ballet circles before his father Norodom Sihanouk was restored as a King after Khmer Rouge regime was overthrown. It's sometimes said that he's more interested in ballet than in politics.
  • See also: Holiday in Cambodia.

    East Timor 
East Timor
  • East Timor's portrayal in fiction is rare and if does crop up, expect poverty, gang violence, and ethnic violence as common cliches.
  • East Timorese people are usually seen as being closer to Australian Aborigines than other Southeast Asians, due to being mostly of mixed Austronesian and Melanesian/Papuan descent.
  • East Timor is the most Catholic country in the world after Vatican City, with more than 95% of the population being Catholic, surpassing even their fellow Southeast Asian country of The Philippines.

  • Stereotyped in the West as fanatical Muslims, even though Indonesian Islam was relatively moderate, until recently.
  • If the maids in Hong Kong and Singapore are not Filipinos, then they must be Indonesian.
  • All Indonesian men wear a songkok hat or a blangkon headgear. The cloth will be batik, ikat or songket.
  • All houses are built on stilts.
  • Historically, Indonesia is best remembered for its Dutch colonial history, exemplified in the Dutch literary classic Max Havelaar.
  • Indonesian culture is famous for its dances and shadow puppet theatre.
  • The martial art "silat" is also something unique to the country.
  • Indonesia is also known for its volcanic islands, like the most infamous ones: Krakatoa and Tambora.
  • The most famous Indonesian isle is Java, best known for the "Java Man", Javan coffee and tea, Javascript, and various unique animal species.
  • Another famous isle is Bali, best known for its percussion orchestra gamelan music, dances and, recently, as the location for the "love" part of the book Eat, Pray, Love.
  • Some Komodo dragons and the Javan hawk-eagle will make a cameo too.

  • When it exists, is identical to Thailand despite being landlocked. The Souphanousinphones from King of the Hill are one of the few realistic portrayals of a Lao family that will be familiar to Western viewers.
  • For Thais, Laotians are forever stereotyped as country bumpkins, maddeningly familiar and different at the same time.

  • In the West, they are a more refined version of the Indonesians, and richer.
  • Also in works concerning Malaysia, expect the Petronas Towers to crop up.
    • For British people, perceptions of Malaya are largely stuck in a post-Imperial timewarp as a place where we used to grow rubber and fought a prolonged nasty war at the fag-end of Empire. We're not at home with calling it "Malaysia" and many people are genuinely surprised to discover that Singapore is no longer a part of "Malaya" but a different country entirely.

    The Philippines 
The Philippines
  • Best known in popular culture for its capital Manila.
  • Filipinos tend to be constantly confused with Hispanics, because not all of the population is of Asian race. Filipino women tend to be seen as sluts or mail-order brides. Then there are all the jokes about Filipino foreign workers caricatured as being practically everywhere.
  • Negative perceptions of Filipinos characterize them as lazy, gluttonous, and heavy drinkers, who have the most number of holidays in the world. They tend to leave their jobs undone (while uttering "bahala na sa diyos" — meaning "leave it all to God") and instead prefer to drink alcohol and eat roasted pig. The positive side of this stereotype portrays them as pleasure lovers with an optimistic outlook on life.
  • Whenever American media shows a white gay male with a "foreign" lover, it's almost always a Filipino man. Also, like Thailand, many of the prostitutes are thought to be trans women.
  • Either a lot of nurses are Filipino women, or a lot of Filipino women are nurses. Stand up comedian Jo Koy:
    Jo Koy: How many Filipinos are here?
    (crowd cheering)
    Jo Koy: That's a lot of Filipinos. Somewhere in L.A. there's an empty hospital.
  • The Philippines are also known for being more fluent in English than other Asian countries, probably because of the history of the country being colonized by both Spain and the U.S.A. This led to many foreign students from many parts of the world (specifically from Europe and other Asian countries) to study in the Philippines (all just to learn proper English without the Engrish accent). They’re pretty much known as the Mexicans of Asia, many adopting Hispanic customs and names.
  • Filipinos are violent knife/stick fighters, an example of Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting. In modern views, they tend to be seen as deadly boxers (seen with Manny Pacquiao and Thrilla in Manila) and powerful fist fighters. In the army they are Filipinos with Firearms.
    • In (beat 'em up) videogames, Filipino characters are described as above. Example is Talim in SoulCalibur or Josie Rizal from Tekken.
  • Also most Filipinos are very, very, very Catholic. But a lot of them are also Muslims.
  • For Malaysian and Singaporean eyes, Filipinos are nothing more than maids. In many films from Singapore there's a Filipino maid stereotype depicted as young and often uneducated. This hasn't gone without criticism. Just ask Devina Devida.

  • Stereotypes of Chinese people apply to Singapore, being a majority-Chinese nation.
  • Singaporeans are stereotyped by other Asians as arrogant know-it-alls and would punish anyone who chews chewing gum or smokes in public.
  • Singapore is also known for being a pirate's nest.
  • Singapore's reputation for being "Disneyland with the Death Penalty" is slowly gaining traction, as wind is caught of the illegality of chewing gun and the use of public canings in the country.
  • British people tend to still think of it as an island which is part of "Malaya", and can be genuinely surprised to discover Singapore is now a different state with Malaysia as a neighbour. They also have a collective memory of Singapore being the playground of the Empire, a sort of Victorian/Edwardian colonial city, characterized by the old- time colonial style and splendour of the Raffles Hotel.

  • In the past it was known as Siam and some of those historical time era clichés are still associated with the country, like the King of Siam and his multiple children, the city Angkor, Siamese twins and Siamese cats.
  • Since being renamed as Thailand it is predominantly known for the capital city Bangkok, which is universally portrayed as a Wretched Hive full of seedy bars, strip clubs and brothels. There will be some mention of kathoey ("ladyboys"—referring to a mix of what the Anglosphere would categorize as hyperfeminine gay men, trans women, and nonbinary people), possibly leading to Viewer Gender Confusion. If some other part of Thailand is shown, it will probably be a rubber plantation with elephants and palm trees everywhere, or a beach where Westerners go to live in wooden houses on stilts and surf. There will still be drugs and prostitutes, though.
  • Expect Thai massage, Thai dancing and/or Thai boxing (Muay Thai) to be depicted as if they are general activities every Thai does.
  • If Thai characters do turn up in Fighting Games, then they are almost universally portrayed as boastful, morally dubious (if not downright evil) Muay Thai boxers. Examples include Sagat and Adon, both Street Fighter veterans, Hwa Jai from Fatal Fury (complete with snake oil booze power-up moves), Shura from World Heroes and Fahkumram from Tekken (who even has being forced to fight for a corrupt military government in his backstory). This may stem from the fact that Muay Thai is brutal.

  • Vietnam is "the country where that war happened". Period. They are Dirty Commies who wield AK-47s and live in underground tunnels from which they shoot at American soldiers. If captured, expect the white heroes to be subjected to all sorts of cruel tortures. Alternatively, there will be a Den of Iniquity where a short, stocky Vietnamese man shouts and forces captives to play Russian roulette. Vietnamese people are either farmers or draftsmen when they are not mercenaries, and the women are all prostitutes without exception.
  • In popular culture, only American or Vietnamese soldiers will appear in Vietnam. That the country used to be a French colony is almost never mentioned.
  • Vietnamese cuisine is one of the few positive images the world knows about the country. Many people think that all Vietnamese eat Pho.
  • Vietnam's Latin-based alphabet (chữ Quốc ngữ) is extremely recognizable and distinct from its neighbors. If there's a scene with an Asian crowd and signs with Latin letters plus a LOT of diacritics, 100% chance they're Vietnamese.
  • The Vietnam War is so engrained in popular culture that many locations still bring up associations with battles and violence: Saigon, the Gulf of Tonkin, Dien Bien Phu, Hue and My Lai. The most famous Vietnamese of all time, Ho Chi Minh, also thanks his celebrity in the West to this event. Not to mention countless Vietnam War movies. Even the Vietnamese new year Tet brings up associations with military battles.
  • There's only one surname in Vietnam: Nguyễn. It's not helped by the fact that around 40% of the population have this surname.

East Asia

Racial stereotypes associated with East Asians are:
  • People from this part of Asia as well as Southeast Asia are often targets of Interchangeable Asian Cultures and Racial Face Blindness. Non-Asians often refer to all people of Southeast and East Asian descent as being "Chinese" or "Japanese", even if they weren't born there. The same applies to other Oriental phenomena.
  • Historically, and especially during the 19th and 20th century, Westerners saw East Asia as the Yellow Peril. A group of people who had strange and frightening traditions and could not be trusted in any way. The Japanese involvement in World War II and China becoming a Communist country in 1949 hardly diminished this fear. The oldest threat however, remains the Japanese and Chinese economic growth. Western colonials surpressed it for most of the centuries, but since the second half of the 20th century it became very current again.
  • Jokes about their stereotypical eye shape. People from different races will often mock it by stretching their own eyes with both index fingers and take on a goofy, cross-eyed expression, complete with imbecilic grin. Derogatory terms like "slant eyes" and "slitty eyes" are also derived from this.
  • Asian Buck Teeth: Another racist image is the East Asian with buck teeth, long fingernails and coke bottle glasses. The "very bad teeth" thing is still very much in play. Not only has orthodontics only recently started to catch on and are still very expensive, but females with crooked teeth are actually considered kawaii for supposedly having the crooked teeth of a grade school kid. Braces, as a result, are not nearly as prevalent as they are in North America. This, along with Asian eyes, are always included for yellowface.
  • Asian Speekee Engrish: They often speak Engrish, replacing the letters "l" and "r" with each other. Or gibberish with many words that have sounds like "ch" and rhyme with "-ng"-sounds, like Ching Chong.
  • Asian Rudeness: To westerners Asians may come across as being impolite, impatient and always talking loudly and sharply to everyone. This is usually stereotyped by having an Asian shout untranslated gibberish while Westerns stand by bewildered. This stereotype is mostly derived from the fact Chinese culture in particular values bluntness and that many Asian languages apply different tone and meter to articulate certain words and sentences.
  • All Asians Wear Conical Straw Hats: Expect every Asian to wear a conical straw hat on his head.
  • When they travel it will be by boat, either a sampan, junk, catamaran or a maru. They will be fishing and use the ship as a house too.
  • Inscrutable Oriental: Asians are often portrayed as mysterious people who don't express their emotions or opinions and just seem to stand by and observe. This causes distress or nervousness with people from other races who are unable to tell what these mysterious people are up to? When they speak, they will always mumble seemingly deep and confusing aphorisms and ice-cream koans.
    • A subtrope of this stereotype is the Magical Asian, a doctor or physician who conducts strange rituals and brews weird medicines and poisons.
    • The most negative subtrope of this stereotype is the Asian executioner, who sadistically torments his victims for hours and days, while remaining unnerved by the pain he causes unto others.
    • In high contrast with their "emotionless" image Asians are also often seen as a bunch of imbecilic grinning and giggling people. See also Asian Airhead.
    • All Asians showcase tremendous respect and even worship their ancestors. The latter is justified since worshipping ancestors like they're gods is, or at least was, a common practice.
    • All Asians are submissive and bow a lot, especially women and especially Japanese. Unless you insult them, because then they will showcase Asian Rudeness or martial skills.
    • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Whenever an Asian appears in popular culture, they are always an expert in martial arts. They will jump, kick and hit others at break neck speed while making Funny Bruce Lee Noises. Not only that, but when they encounter other Asians in the streets they too join in the fight, leading to Everybody Was Kung-Fu Fighting. May overlap with Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy.
      • Also, different martial arts traditions from different Asian countries will often be confused with each other. For the record: Judo, Aikido, Sumo, Jiujitsu, Ninjutsu, Kenpo and Karate are Japanese. Kung fu, Jeet kune do, and Tai chi are Chinese. Taekwondo, Hapkido and Taekkyeon are Korean.
  • Asian men have their own set of stereotypes:
    • Asian and Nerdy: Asian men are often stereotyped as small, weak and pathetic nerds. They will usually be math or computer experts. If they are first-generation immigrants, they are also bound to be extremely demanding to their children and having absurdly high expectations, especially regarding education. Found, for example, in Wayne's World and made popular by this meme. They will also be ridiculed for having small genitals.
    • Whenever a strong and actually sexy Asian man is portrayed, he will usually be a martial arts expert.
    • Old Asian people are usually wise, bearded men who, again speak in aphorisms, teach martial arts and are forever trying to calm down their young, enthusiastic students. They will be a Magical Asian or medical expert with many mystical potions. When they are not teaching they'll be meditating or singing an Asian Rune Chant.
    • Asian Store-Owner: Asians will be owners of grocery stores.
  • Asian women also have their set of stereotypes:
    • Young East Asian women are usually portrayed as mysterious attractive and exotic dancers, masseuses, manicurists, geishas or prostitutes. They are often depicted as being very submissive, yet delicate flowers. Of course, they will be experts in unusual or exotic sexual techniques.
      • Dragon Lady: Somewhat a subtrope of the exotic and erotic young Asian female, only this stereotype is not to be trusted at all. She will use her beauty and sexual techniques to exploit or manipulate men.
      • Asian Hooker: Another subtrope, where stock expressions like "me love you long time" will be uttered.
      • Mighty Whitey and Mellow Yellow: What makes these submissive Asian female stereotypes especially simplistic is the ignorance of the Westerners who use them. For instance: geishas will be pigeonholed as prostitutes, while their actual activities are far more complex than simply giving men sexual pleasure. Also, they forget that you can't be a proper East Asian woman without a spine of your own. It's apparent that people who still use this stereotype today are unaware of Raise the Red Lantern or any novel written by any female Chinese novelist in the past thirty years.
    • Asian Baby Mama: An outdated stereotype, mostly associated with Westerners having an affair with Asian women, resulting in pregnancy afterwards and the man fleeing back to the West.
    • Asian Airhead: Young Asian girls will be stereotyped as giggling idiots.
  • Asian cuisine is also subject to stereotypical ideas. Most of the time they will eat nothing but rice, noodles and soya sauce and preferably use (chop)sticks instead of knife and fork. Apart from that they will enjoy sea food, such as sushi, fish eggs and whales. Chinese delicacies like thousand-year-old egg and bird nest soup are well-known among Westerners, and Koreans are said to favour kimchi and dog meat (and sometimes cat) although this has become a stereotype for most East Asian countries, with China having a dog meat festival.
  • Dragons Up the Yin Yang is often used to portray an Oriental atmosphere. Some Asian string instruments will do the trick too.
  • Every cheap and dangerous product will always be made in Eastern Asia, usually by slave laborers, before being sent to the Western World: "Made in Korea", "Made in Hong Kong", "Made in Taiwan",...

  • The Chinese have been stereotyped as if they still live in the days of Imperial China. They wear douli on their head, long pigtails and keep their hands hidden in long robes. They enjoy walking in queues behind each other, sometimes dressed up as a Chinese dragon. The men have long beards and moustaches, while the women suffer terrible pain because of the foot binding tradition. A reference to mandarins and their Emperor will be made, despite the fact that The Last Emperor was forced into abdication in 1911. Many of these images are influenced by Dream of the Red Chamber, The Nightingale, Turandot and countless Wuxia movies.
    • Other stereotypes from this time period are throwing babies in the river, extreme animal abuse, lighting fireworks during Chinese New Year (which is now only really practised in rural areas), Chinese dragons, Chinese opera, Chinese acrobatics and the games ping pong, Go, Mahjong, Chinese chess, and Chinese checkers (the latter of which isn't even of Chinese origin).
    • The Chinese are also pioneers of invention: paper, ink, gun powder, fireworks, the compass, the wheel barrow, the printing press, windmills, paper money... and were pioneers in clock making, hydraulica, astronomy, shipping, farming, music theory, military science... Throughout history they were famous for making silk, vases and porcelain.
    • Chinese philosophy is famous too: Confucianism, Taoism, Feng Shui, Yin and Yang, the I-Ching,... This again leads to the idea that Chinese mainly speak in aphorisms.
  • Chinese water painting is famous for depicting many idyllic scenes of nature, usually mountains, lakes and rivers with cranes in the vicinity.
  • The Great Wall of China, The Forbidden City, the Tiananmen Square and the Shaolin Temple will be shown or visited at one point. And don't try to show Beijing without bringing bicyclists in view. Visiting Shanghai without being shanghaied is less difficult.
  • A popular stereotype is the insanely intelligent and evil Chinese villain with a beard or long Fu Manchu style moustache. He often practices Ancient Chinese torture methods like slow slicing and the Chinese water torture. (Examples: Fu Manchu, Li Shoon, Dr. No.) The female counterpart is the Dragon Lady, who will always wear a Qipao dress.
    • Chinese also form secret societies (The Triads and the Tongs).
      • All Chinese organisations, temples, societies,... have the word "lotus", "jade" or "snow flower" in them.
  • A more gentle stereotype is the Chinese doctor or pharmacist who uses strange rituals, drinks and techniques to cure his patient. He is often a practitioner of acupuncture. See Magical Asian.
  • In westerns and comic strips, Chinese people were often depicted as proprietors of laundries, opium dens or simply cheap workers.
  • More modern stereotypes about China are basically referencing Red China. During the 1960s and 1970s, the Chinese were portrayed as sexless, androgynous, personality-free Mao freaks who dress in the same blue uniforms and whose lives are centered on The Little Red Book and overly complicated bureaucracy. They will ban a lot of Western stuff. (There's a reason why the TV tropes article about censorship in universal countries is called Banned in China.) Tibet will remain occupied as far as they are concerned.
    • Chinese with Chopper Support: The Chinese military is basically people in helicopters.
    • Another stereotype derived from Red China is the overpopulation. Ever since Mao told all Chinese parents to produce as many children as they could the population quickly rose out of hand. Today 1.38 billion(!) people live in China. That's right, over one-and-one-third billion of the seven billion people on Earth reside in China. For reference, the third-most-populous country, the United States, has about 300 million — in other words, as far as China's population is concerned, the population of the United States is a decimal point. To get things back under control the Chinese government then issued a "one family, one child" policy, which unfortunately lead to parents killing their infant if it was a girl. As a result of this, the government has tried to show daughters in a more positive light since then.
  • In the rest of the world the Chinese are mainly seen as restaurant owners, cooking various rice and noodle dishes and handing out fortune cookies.
    • The Chinese also eat a lot more different animals than in other cultures. This has lead to the stereotype that the Chinese will eat anything.
  • When attempting to demonstrate Chinese might/threat, there is always this giant dragon with big, fat "CHINA" written on its body which design shows absolutely no attempt to note that Chinese dragons and Western ones are not the same at all. Then again, it's all propaganda...
  • All Chinese People Know Kung-Fu: When you're Chinese: you know kung fu and tai chi.
  • In (beat 'em up) videogames, Chinese characters are unsurprisingly numerous. Both sexes are nearly always clad in period costume — Mao collars, Qipao (for the women) and Odango — double for females, single for males. Chinese female characters are nearly always portrayed as heroic, alluring, either very sexy or very cute and highly proficient at the more acrobatic, elegant forms of Kung Fu, a depiction no doubt inspired by the original, pioneering video games Action Girl, Chun Li of Street Fighter fame. Other female examples who follow this theme include Xianghua and her daughter Leixia from the Soul Series, qipao-clad Leifang from Dead or Alive, Li Xiangfei from The King of Fighters (who's a little "wackier" than previous examples but still fits), Litchi Faye-Ling from BlazBlue and kung fu movie actress Pai Chan and English-named Eileen from Virtua Fighter. Also prevalent is the Chinese-born but Japanese-raised Ling Xiaoyu from Tekken, who's a hybrid of this and the Japanese schoolgirl character.
  • More recent portrayals seem to indicate that the Chinese might be taking over the ruthless businessman role from the Japanese in Hollywood films. In fact, a growing number of modern works have the Corrupt Corporate Executive or the villain pulling the strings to be a gaunt, middle-aged Chinese man with high cheekbones who cares more about money than human life. This may be due to American fear and resentment over China's growing importance in the world and economic power, and all the debt the US owes them. "China still cool! You pay later!" Actually Chinese seen the first part of the sentence as Truth in Television; in The New '10s they started to wonder if have been too much of a Combat Pragmatist...
  • Between the Special Administrative Regions and the Mainland China there is also stereotyping between both sides, Mainland China views the average SAR citizens (Hong Kong for example) as impatient, unpatriotic, classist, brash and complete workaholics, while Mainlanders are seen as moody and spoiled due to several policies in China (namely the one child policy), as well as extremely rude and selfish (thanks to a dog-eat-dog culture in certain areas of China stemming from government overhauls) and lack of hygiene (e.g. letting their child take a dump on the streets).
  • All cheap products are "made in China".
  • Animals able to provide a specific Chinese atmosphere are panda bears and cranes. And a Chinese dragon as well, of course.
  • Chinese music consists mostly of people playing an erhu.
  • And who could forget the ancient urban legend that if you would dig a hole in the Northern hemisphere and continue digging you would eventually end up in China?
  • Also home of some of the more influential epic literatures, but mostly, the oft-referenced are usually from Romance of the Three Kingdoms. See a mighty guy with cockroach hat? Probably based on Lu Bu. Also they even worship Guan Yu as a God (especially with that magnificent beard) and his spear, the Green Dragon Sabre, goes on to be one of the more recognizable unique spears/halberds.
    • Following that is also Journey to the West, for the most part, any Expy of the Monkey King Sun Wukong would probably be Chinese if they're not Japanese. Also if the aforementioned 'mighty guy with cockroach hat' also adds up being 'monkey-ish', then they'd be referring to Wukong, not Lu Bu. Find more of these expies in Monkey King Lite.

    Hong Kong 
Hong Kong
  • A big, modernized city full of tourists.
  • In the years when Hong Kong was a British colony, the Kowloon Walled City had an infamous reputation for being an overpopulated den of lawlessness with brothels, opium dens and bad or unlicensed doctors and dentists. The Triads and the Tongs ruled the place up until 1993, when everything was demolished.
  • Martial Arts Movie: Since the 1960s and 1970s, Hong Kong is best known for their large film industry based on martial arts pictures. All these films will have a Bruce Lee Clone fighting off other people in long, intense and sometimes gravity defying choreographed scenes that take up several minutes of screen time. When shown in the USA these pictures will have bad English dubbing (Hong Kong Dub).
  • Hong Kong is likely to be filled with masseusses who will step on your back and give "happy endings" if you pay them enough.
  • Lots of dead chickens hanging in the windows and lots of old ladies willing to behead any live chickens they get.
  • A hot-spot for wealthy business men to visit and "relax".
  • Extremely brash and impatient by Asian standards, filled with shopkeepers and passerby who will kick your ass for trying to ask for help. This is somewhat true, as shopkeepers in China are less picky about their customers than in America.
  • Cheap products will all be "Made in Hong Kong".
  • Hong Kong is also commonly depicted as an archetypical cyberpunk city.

  • Japanese people are often represented as extremely polite (Japanese Politeness), intelligent, and obedient but dislike foreigners. They bow extensively and are ruthless, stoic business people wearing glasses and black suits. Their stock expressions are: "hai!", "sayanora!", "banzai!", "honorable", "regrettable", "ooooh so sorry, me so sorry" and "please" (usually spoken in an Engrish or Japanese Ranguage accent).
  • The Japanese are often seen as extreme workaholics who never take time off and always try to be as good as they possibly can. Either at school, at work or at home. This comes into sharp contrast with their Real Life custom of spending for luxury and Conspicuous Consumption, mostly because unlike New Russians or Arabs, Japanese don't brag.
  • The cheerful Japanese Tourist who films and photographs everything in sight. This has waned since the Japanese economic bubble burst, but still visible in works from the 80s and early 90s.
  • The overweight sumo wrestler.
  • The cute and sexy girl in school uniform. (See Joshikousei and Asian Airhead)
  • The Yakuza is the Japanese equivalent of The Mafia and will thus be seen in many gangster stories.
  • Japanese also have a reputation for honorable suicides, ranging from hara-kiri, seppuku to kamikaze pilots. Some even apply it to the modern day, though the stereotype is "upgraded" to hanging themselves or jumping off a building.
  • Feudal Japan: Certain Japanese stereotypes are still derived from this time period with the Samurai, Rōnin, Geisha and the Ninja as the most iconic examples. Activities like calligraphy, Japanese water painting, origami, flower arranging, haiku writing, tea ceremonies, kabuki plays, playing the gong, gardening... are also associated with this time period, though still in vogue today. The Emperor of Japan is also a stock character here. The image is mostly fed from countless stories and films in these settings, including the films of Akira Kurosawa.
    • The Geisha in particular will be a Yamato Nadeshiko character, who is an Extreme Doormat in terms of loyalty, but shows a subtle, but definitely present, touch of iron, in that she is unwilling to let circumstances hurt the ones she cares about or distract her from her goals or missions. This is often accomplished so subtly that the target isn't certain how things got redirected — a kind of influence judo, if you will. Older yamato nadeshiko are better at this, while a younger one will make up for it in determination — especially when it comes to the man she loves, because that trumps everything else.
      • There's been several Real Life stories illustrating and reinforcing this stereotype, including the miraculous avoidance of the whole Ikeda-ya debacle by one of the key figures of Meiji restoration, Kido Koin, AKA Katsura Kogoro. Koin was present at the Ishin Shishi meeting in the Ikeda-ya inn in the morning, where they discussed several policy matters. Then, according to the most popular version of the incident, he, annoyed by the lack of progress, left the inn and went to have lunch with his fiance, geisha Ikumatsu, who indulged him with alcohol and left him to sleep in her quarters for the rest of the day — while the inn was famously attacked by the Shogunate Shinsengumi group after the sunset. Another version was that Ikumatsu knew about the planned attack, and spilled the beans to her man, who then chose not to return to the inn himself.
    • Speaking of Geisha, they are usually (wrongly) thought of as prostitutes by Westerners.
  • All Japanese houses are either pagodes or shojis with paper thin walls, tatami floor mats and fusuma doors that you can slide open.
    • Some essential locations to bring in viewpoint when visiting Japan: the Tokyo Tower, the Imperial Gardens, the Itsukushima shrine and the Meiji shrine.
  • Imperial Japan's involvement in World War II also led to a number of negative stereotypes: the stern and merciless Japanese officer, the sadistic soldiers, gruesome medical experiments in death camps, kamikaze pilots flying to their death, ... For many older British and American people this is the cultural referent. Ask a member of the Burma Star Association (war veteran) for his opinion of the Japanese as a people, and the reference points will be savagery, fanaticism, vicious cruelty to prisoners, racial superiority, and so on — much like how All Germans Are Nazis. But as with the Germans, this wholly negative perception is fading with the generation that fought WW2 or were prisoners in Japanese death camps.
  • Japanese popular culture often baffles other countries:
    • Japanese comic strips (manga), animated cartoons (anime), computer games, horror and action films are often criticized for being disturbingly dark, complex, bizarre and violent. Often there is a strange contrast between cutesy sing-a-long themes, fluffy happy characters (think Hello Kitty) and incredibly painful violence. Frequently a scene will be interrupted for a long musical number, sang by twin fairies. Characters will also morph into new omni-powerful lifeforms for reasons that are difficult to grasp, but nevertheless awesome to look at.
    • Their gameshows are notoriously surreal and sadistic.
    • Their anime is often ridiculed. Non-anime fans seem to think Japanese cartoons are still at the quality of Speed Racer and full of giant robots flying around. Characters simply freeze in one position while a vague background goes by. You seldom see a realistic Asian in their cartoons: always white people with very wide eyes. Also, many will simply be thinly veiled toy commercials and have so many flashy scenes that they cause epileptic seizures.
    • The kaiju films are ridiculed for their bad special effects (men wearing rubber monster suits, cardboard buildings, and toy vehicles). The plots are surreal and consist of nothing more than Godzilla or Gamera fighting other monsters for no particular reason.
    • Their superhero series (eg:Ultraman, Kamen Rider, and Super Sentai) are mocked for extremely bad special effects featuring all the same stuff as the kaiju movies but worse. The plots are completely nonsensical and solely an excuse to pit stupid-looking monsters against Power Rangers wannabes and giant robots in awkward action scenes.
    • Their instruction videos and commercials are equally weird. Many famous Hollywood actors make TV commercials in Japan (Japandering) and these videos have become notorious because they often put celebrities in a weird context that doesn't have anything to do with their public image. For decades these commercials remained mostly unknown to Western audiences, but since the arrival of Internet their notability has increased, often to the shame of the actors themselves.
    • Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe: Much like New York and Los Angeles in Hollywood films, or London in anything set in Britain, Tokyo will be the most prominent location in Japanese popular culture.
  • In (beat 'em up) video games, Japanese characters run the full gamut of character types (unsurprisingly, seeing as how most series have multiple Japanese characters), but the most popular depictions include the stoic, brooding hero type (often wrestling with some sort of inner turmoil) — as seen with Street Fighter's Ryu, The King of Fighters' Kyo, Virtua Fighter's Akira, and Tekken's Kazuya and Jin; various boisterous bruisers (often Sumo wrestlers), as seen with Street Fighter's E. Honda, Tekken's Ganryu and Virtua Fighter's Taka-arashi; and finally the archetypal spirited, plucky school girl type, as seen with Sakura of Street Fighter fame, Hinata from Rival Schools, Asuka Kazama of Tekken fame and school-girl turned Magic Idol Singer Athena Asamiya from The King of Fighters.
  • Japanese people are engineering geniuses, but they use this to create giant robots and very odd inventions, like square melons and toilets that produce fountains and play music.
    • Japan also managed to provide some universally famous products like Nintendo, Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Hello Kitty. Expect a Japanese character in popular culture to make a shout-out to any of these products at one point.
  • Specific Japanese dishes that will be referenced are octopus (usually alive), whale meat, sushi, fugu, sukiyaki, wasabi, and ramen (always instant). Saké may well be the only Japanese alcoholic drink known to many foreigners, unless you're a fan of Neon Genesis Evangelion; then you can add Yebisu-brand beer.
  • A more negative stereotype is the perverted Japanese man who is a Nightmare Fetishist, Basement-Dweller and possible pedophile. And also completely unwilling to reproduce or sexually regressive.
  • Japanese people add "-u" to the end of every word. (This, of course, comes from katakana.)
  • Oddly, the Ainu get more press in America than in Japan.
  • In Japan itself
  • Among other East Asian nations (especially China and Korea), Japan has a similar reputation to the Confederate South in the US. They have a similar "The South Will Rise Again" mentality as the American Southern States, with an unhealthy longing for the good old days of an absolute ruler.
  • In the Middle East, Japanese are sometimes stereotyped as professional butt-kissers, Westerner-wannabes or in the worst case, as The Quisling toward Western countries. In the case of Japanese women, as prostitutes (albeit they share the same stereotype with other East Asians like Koreans, Chinese or Thais) and in the case of Japanese men, being effeminate (again, shared with the already-mentioned countries).
  • Since Japan has a very recognizable flag, expect references to the "Rising Sun" to be made whenever the country is mentioned in fiction.
  • Musically, Japan is known for Ainu, a musical tradition by the Ainu people. The most well-known instrument is the biwa, a sort of short-necked lute. Since the 1990s, many people in the West have the impression all Japanese music is either J-pop, extreme Noise Rock or video game soundtracks. And, of course, this is the birth place of karaoke.
  • Japan are known for their video games, with them pulling North America out of The Great Video Game Crash of 1983 and ruling the gaming industry from the '80s to early 2000s with two of the three major console makers, Nintendo and Sony, being based there (though Sony moved their console division to the US in 2016) as well as another former major console maker, Sega, and many other big gaming companies like Square-Enix and Capcom. While their influence on the industry has majorly declined since the late 2000s relative to North America and Europe, they still remain one of the biggest developers of video games.

  • Described as Las Vegas in Asia. This isn't far off the mark.
  • Hong Kongers deride Macanese for being poorer than them.

  • Mongolians in Western media are little more than Genghis Khan and his Hordes from the East who suddenly appear, steamroll every country in Asia with their horses, storms of arrows and Sinister Scimitars, then fade away into the past. As a consequence of this limited perception, they tend to be shown as simplistic barbarian stereotypes, violent and cruel on a massive scale, with fighting prowess and courage their only positive qualities.
  • Some Chinese see Mongols as poor wretches deserving Chinese annexation.
  • Russians — and to a lesser extent, other nationalities in the CIS — often see Mongolians as Asian Russians, since some minorities (like the Buryat people) are a Mongol subgroup and share some language and culture.
  • In some languages, like Dutch, the word "Mongolian" was a politically incorrect term to refer to people with Down syndrome. The phrase was derived in part from the fact that Westerners felt their physical appearance looked similar, in part as an odd way to combat prejudice. The old name was dropped after an official protest of the Mongolian ambassador to the UN.
  • Compared to the rest of East Asia, Mongolia the country gets barely any international attention, due to having an absolutely tiny population compared to the other East Asian countries and lacking big animation, manufacturing, tech and video game sectors like China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan have, or the insanity that North Korea displays (they already had that phase 800 years ago).

    North Korea 
North Korea
  • North Koreans are Dirty Communists who have been brainwashed to talk about how great their Dear Leader is and view him as a Physical God. Everything foreign is banned there and the people live in complete oblivion of the rest of the world. See People's Republic of Tyranny.
  • North Koreans with Nodongs: For Hollywood's purposes, North Korea seems to have replaced the Soviet Union as the default enemy country of the U.S. This often involves North Korea being portrayed as vastly more powerful and technologically advanced than it really is, in a manner similar to the Soviet Superscience trope.
  • South Koreans stereotype North Korean defectors the way many countries stereotype poor unwanted immigrants, i.e. as an uneducated criminal class. Yes, discrimination is a problem. Many North Koreans living in South Korea try to lose their northern accents.
  • North Korean women are considered to be more submissive and traditional than their South Korean counterparts. Feminism, of course, never made it across the DMZ. Some South Korean men seek out Northern women for this reason, viewing Southern women as too spoiled and judgmental.

    South Korea 
South Korea
  • South Koreans are fanatical video game nerds who will kick your ass at any Blizzard game, Counter-Strike, or League of Legends.
  • Also, dry cleaning. More than a few Korean immigrants have had dry cleaning as their first job in the United States. Several catalogs even have a specialized Korean-language line to dial.
  • More than any other Asian culture, Koreans are obsessed with cleanliness and hygiene in general, and their surroundings are sterilized of all other life accordingly.
  • Koreans are not generally seen as distinct from Chinese or Japanese (see Interchangeable Asian Cultures); when they are, they get a similar treatment to the Japanese as stereotypical businessmen who are reserved and extremely polite. Korean women will probably be war brides or prostitutes. Most North Americans know of The Korean War from M*A*S*H and may forget that Western involvement ended over half a century ago by an armistice or ceasefire, and no official peace treaty was signed.note  Some especially ignorant Americans may confuse it with The Vietnam War and assume it happened in the 1970s or later. Despite its strong economic growth, there is no equivalent to Japan Takes Over the World although certain elements of Korean pop culture (music, soap operas etc.) have become popular overseas. There may be some reference to North Korean belligerence making everyone tense.
  • If you've met someone from Korea, chances are that person is from Seoul. No other city or region exits in the country, apart from some of the metropolitan cities, most notably Busan.
  • Koreans are the only East Asian ethnicity to generally be portrayed as Christian, although other Asian countries (the Philippines, East Timor, Georgia and Armenia) also have people of this religion. Not exactly helped by the fame of Reverend Sun Myung Moon, nor by how South Korea is among the few countries in their geopolitical sphere to have a significant Christian minority (with Presbiterian and Roman Catholic former Presidents, too.)
  • Korean food consists of rice, kimchi, and dog. No exceptions.
    • Though nicer works tend to play up the gogigui, or Korean barbecue. Some even say it's equal to, if not better than the (stereotypical) capital of barbeque itself, the United States of America.
  • It's a bit of a stereotype in the Asian-American community that Koreans, especially the women, are really into plastic surgery. This is a stereotype inside the country itself — thanks to the uptick of more and more prosperity, there is a trend of materialism and an obsession with beauty, to the point of K-pop stars wearing makeup and teenagers getting surgery.
  • The Internet front has Netizen, which are often treated as a South Korean-exclusive thing that puts most Internet activists to shame in terms of a counterattack. Think of them as the exact opposite of a Tumblr social justice warrior, with extremely conservative beliefs, as they spend most of their time in Internet cafes espousing their beliefs and viciously using the upvote/downvote system.
  • Since the 1960s Korea is also known for cheap TV animation. The preliminary ideas and sketches are usually done in the USA or Europe, before sending everything off to Korea. The Koreans usually do the hardest and most time-consuming parts, after which the almost-finished product is shipped back to the USA or Europe.
  • Every Korean, whether living in North or South Korea, is surnamed Kim or Park.
  • The canned luncheon meat Spam is considered such an exotic delicacy by the South Koreans and other South Pacific regions like Hawaii and the Philippines that young South Korean men who bring a case of Spam on a date would be treated as though they had brought champagne, a box of chocolates, or a dozen roses. Spam even comes in deluxe packages, with South Korea being the second-largest producer of Spam behind the United States, unless you count the "Spam sketch" from Monty Python's Flying Circus or the theatrical musical comedy of Spamalot...
  • South Korean fighting game characters are always Taekwondo practitioners who only kick, like Kim Kaphwan, Baek Doo San and his student Hwoarang, Hwang and Yun-Seong, and Juri, to name a few.

  • The Taiwanese really only have two stereotypes; they are either rage-filled bad drivers who are obsessed with betel nuts or otakus who write way too many doujins.
  • Also, every Taiwanese person on the Internet seems to know every other Taiwanese person. This is somewhat true, as the Internet community on Taiwan is somewhat tight-knit, a consequence of being tiny.
  • Although most Taiwanese are of Han Chinese ethnicity, they are treated as essentially Japanese in culture (probably stemming from being ruled by Japan for about 50 years until the end of World War Two and having the least bad overall attitude about the country in Asia, as well as having taken on some Japanese culture from the occupation).
  • Taiwan may be confused with Hong Kong; there will be taxis, 24-hour laundries and teahouses where old men sit playing mahjong all day long. Traditional Chinese music will be heard.
  • And every cheap product is of course "made in Taiwan".
  • Many Americans don't differentiate Taiwanese people from the Chinese in terms of perception.
  • In Asia, Taiwan has gained a reputation for being a socially progressive and LGBTQ-friendly country, being the first Asian nation to legalize gay marriage and having strong labor laws.

  • The Shangri-La to the extremes. Most people are Buddhist monks. Oppressed and spiritual, and peaceful, never mind that the Tibetans had a martial tradition as well. The Himalayas will be seen as well, so mountain climbers will also appear at one point. Also expect the Dalai Lama and/or The Abominable Snowman to make a cameo.
  • In more politically-motivated works, Tibet may be portrayed as a Commie Land. Tibetan Buddhism will be the Good Old Ways, and its suppression under modern communism may be portrayed with a touch of The Magic Goes Away.
  • The country is nothing but snowy mountains filled with yaks. The only food is yak meat and yak milk.
  • In the 1950s the West learned about Tibet when in 1953 New Zealander Edmund Hillary and Tibetan Tenzing Norgay became the first men to set foot on top of Mount Everest, the highest mountain in the world. In the same decade the Chinese government occupied Tibet, causing the Dalai Lama to flee. His former residence, the Polata Palace, is the most famous building in the country.

  • In the rest of China, the Uyghur majority are regarded as unruly and prone to terrorism, as well as being devout Muslims. Central Asians see the Uyghurs as either potential troublemakers or Central Asians that have gone too Chinese for using chopsticks rather than the hand for eating.
  • Uyghurs are also perceived as naturally attractive because of their Eurasian features. This results in many Uyghurs finding success as models and actors; the latter also supported by theirnote  fluency in Mandarin.