The United States is one of the most diverse country in the world. People from all over the world have immigrated to the United States. Therefore, it is very difficult to define a typical American, as there is no such thing. However, a majority of the current Americans are of European descent.
American culture encompasses the customs and traditions of the United States, including language, religion, food and art. Nearly every region of the world has influenced the American culture, as it is a country of immigrants, most notably the English who colonized the country beginning of 1600s. U.S. culture has also been shaped by the cultures of Native Americans, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians.
American culture is largely unknown, despite what we watch in movies. This list of 29 tips will give you some ideas in order to get used to the American culture, thus being the best way to have a nice touch with the American dream.
1) Forget prejudices
The United States is a country in which blacks, Hispanics, Jews, Muslims, Asians and many other races coexists peacefully. Americans are already accustomed to this reality, so racial discrimination is not recommended.
2) “Thank you”
Saying “Thank you” is a widespread custom. This has created one of the most important celebrations of the American calendar: “Thanksgiving Day.”
Almost mandatory in bars and restaurants, to the point where many restaurants add it in the bill. It is a percentage of 15% of the total amount. If it is not included, you must pay it yourself, the amount varying according to the quality of service.
4) Respect all patriotic symbols
It is one of the countries with the highest sense of patriotism. It is very important to respect the national flag and any insignia of the American culture. The national anthem is a highly respected symbol: it is customary to stand when it sounds and not doing this gesture can be considered disrespectful.
5) Right on time
Try to be punctual for all events where you participate. Note that all celebrations have a start and end time preset.
Americans are well aware that the country’s economic strength is largely due to the rigidity and the seriousness with which they approach this issue.
Never present in a person’s home without warning, regardless of who she is and what she means to you: They can take it as an invasion of their privacy. Always notify in advance before making a visit.
8) Save money
Almost all stores apply the “happy hour” in which they make significant reductions. Keep an eye on them and don’t get late.
9) Work with the community
In the United States, the community in which you live is as important as the family and you must participate in its prosperity. The activities in which you can help are varied: give lessons to the children of neighbours, caring for green spaces, sort and translate manuscripts in libraries or collaborate with senior centers or nurseries, all based on your skills.
10) Respect the law
It is not at all recommended to have an undesirable “meeting” with the American police, which is particularly sensitive to the implementation and enforcement of laws.
11) Country of non-smokers
For meetings and events, you will be banned to terraces if you want to smoke, and we will keep you far from small creatures, whether they’re children or animals.
Even when you give bad news, when you take someone to court, or if you’re simply disagree with how someone see things, a smile is very important.
13) Frequent parties
Americans socialize a lot, especially between members of the same village, neighbourhood or community. Try to go to as many events as you can, it will open many doors and help you to better understand their lifestyle.
14) Gimme a hug!
Hugs often replace the traditional cheek kiss that we give while saluting or welcoming someone. And although many Americans love this practice, it is preferable to embrace without taking risks. In some regions it is preferable that the boy kisses the girl on the cheek in greeting.
15) Keep your valuables
In the United States, unlike many other countries, there are Internet platforms and virtual auction sales where you can get rid of all those items you no longer use, just do not throw them.
16) Call or visit hours
Try not to call or visit people before 9 am or after 7:30 p.m. past. Remember that weeks start on Sunday.
17) Remove your shoes before entering houses
Upon entering a house, you must remove your shoes or at least ask if you can keep your shoes. It is the owner of the house that should allow you or not to enter with shoes.
18) Follow the protocol at any time
Seek advice on how you should be dressed for the different events you will be invited in, as it is something that Americans give a great importance to. As a foreigner, you will be excused for not wearing the right clothes at the right time, but do not be afraid to ask them for advice, they will answer politely.
19) Go straight to the point
Whether it’s business or personal, you must be specific and precise. Try to be concise, without too many detours or explanations and do not beat around the bush.
20) American Sports
Almost everyone knows the rules of American football and baseball. No need to be a loyal supporter of American sport, having some knowledge of the rules will help you participate in conversations in bars and cafes.
21) TV Nation
Television is a great hobby in the United States and public programs reaches incredible levels. Therefore, I recommend you to watch some of the television series in order to participate in discussions that will take place the day after the show.
22) Keep your distance
Americans are very embarrassed when someone “breath” in their face and like to fill the gap during a conversation.
23) Units of measurement
Distance measurements are in inches, feet, yards and miles, capacity in gallons, and weight in pounds. You should also get used to Fahrenheit degrees.
24) Typical celebrations
Some events in the lives of Americans are always in tandem with a party. The ball that college students attend once the course completed, the “Baby Shower” which takes place the day before the birth and in which guests give parents gifts for the baby, “housewarming” is organized when you move or make reforms, inviting friends to know your new home.
25) No more table layers or bread
Families do not eat bread at home (except for pizza) and table layers are used only rarely and for special occasions.
26) Religious celebrations
Even if you’re not religious, you must work with the church in your neighbourhood or in your county. Religious cooperation is very active in churches. With such a diversity of cultures in the country, knowing about the symbolic dates of multiple calendars can be beneficial, while respecting religious beliefs and practices of each and every one.
They may be personal or professional. The first ones will help you stay in touch with your friends, and they must contain your name and phone. In the case of business cards, You will be given them only if you ask If you receive one, have the courtesy to read it in front of the person.
28) DIY and gardening
In the United States, people use to live mainly in family houses (most with private garden) in the suburbs and in the bungalows and apartments in the center of the city (there is no floors). So if your home suffers a failure, you need to fix it yourself.
29) The “Brunch”
The “brunch” is a common practice throughout the country, practiced mainly on weekends. It is
a typical dish that is usually served with scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes or omelette usually accompanied by fish, meat and sausages. It is taken at noon and it is common to eat it with friends before going to the movies.