The American culture is the most influential culture in the world. Considered as the “Melting pot”, different cultures from different parts of the globe continue to add their distinct flavors to the US customs. Now, with its diversity, the United States of America has influenced nearly all the countries all over the world.
Let us take a look at 8 common American Customs
Shaking hands, smiling and greeting someone is a polite and common way for Americans when meeting a new person. Hugging is appropriate for close friends and family members. Patting the back or shoulder is common for colleagues and workmates. Kissing is of course is for the partner or for his kids.
Americans would usually be the first to greet and introduce themselves as they are chatty. They may start with “Hello, I’m Sam. Nice to meet you”, “Hi. How do you do?” or simply “What’s up?”
Americans love doing different activities on the weekends. On top of their list is playing a sport such as football, tennis and badminton. Some indoor activities like watching movies and reading books are their favorites too. For some Yankees, sitting in front of the computer or spending the whole day in pajamas and coffee is nice.
Western Food is one of the things the American culture has introduced to people in different continents and places. From eating Hamburgers, Pizza, Fries, and other Fast food to the practice of eating raw fruits and vegetables. Many restaurants in America serve variety of meals. During the weekends, many restaurants, cafeterias, and coffee shops are full. Sometimes, it takes an hour to wait for the order. Most eating places accept cash. Others accept credit cards and very few will take checks or ATM cards for payment. American restaurants also serve liquor or alcoholic drinks except for fast food chains. 21 is the legal drinking age in America so some young-looking people are requested to show their ID when buying liquor.
Americans are also known for giving tips at the restaurants. Since restaurants do not put the service charge in the bill, it is expected for people to give tips to the waiters or waitresses. Customarily, 20% of the total bill is given when the service is very good or excellent. 15% of the total bill is the average tip. If the service is poor or not that good, customers may give 10%. They also give tips to taxi drivers, hairdressers, bartenders, bellboys, and so on. 15% is still expected for the normal service. If in any case there isn’t any change they could give, $1-$5 is enough.
Americans are always on time or early when they have meetings, date, appointments or even just when regularly going to work. If in case they will be late, they make sure that they inform someone who can notify team members, leaders, or the boss. So when meeting an American date or an American friends, be sure to wake up early and arrive on time.
For many people, disagreeing or words that are negative are of sugarcoated. But for Americans, NO really means NO. They are open-minded and rational. They also make decisions pretty well. So in case you have heard them saying No, it really means they do not want or like it.
Hamburger, Pizza, Nachos, hot dogs, steak, raw vegetables, fruits, and more. For drinks Americans love Long Island Iced Tea, Venti Double Chocolate Chip Frappuccino, Beer, Bottled Tap Water, Pepsi Max, and their all time favorite, Coca cola.
The relationship of Americans in the family is quite different from Asian family cultures and other country’s family culture. In the early 1950’s the family values in America was actually quite different from the contemporary ones. According to an article by Michael Todd, The Traditional American Family Has Been Outsourced, the traditional American family values didn’t involve plans of divorce. In fact, they consider marriage as something sacred and important. Even gender roles followed the usual dad-works and mom-does-the-household-chores system. Came 1990’s, the family values in America started to change and continues at present time. In the US2010 study made by Zhenchao Qian, A sociologist at the Ohio State University, he explained that the contemporary family values is now linked to different aspects such as race and ethnicity, gender, education, economics, business, immigration, and so on.
Nowadays people perceive American families as liberal. Teenagers live on their own sometimes, having little connection to parents. Both mother and father have jobs leaving a latchkey kid at home with a nanny. Most of the time, family members are reunited by special events such as Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, New Year, and more.
Surely, you’re now even more interested to learn about the different American customs. Well, regardless of your needs for additional info, you just have to do one thing – simply explore our blog.