17 of the Perplexing Facts of American Culture

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The American way of life has been at the forefront of society for over a century. “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” has been a transcultural influence and an enviable position. However, many behaviors Americans consider “normal” in the United States are absurd, strange, shocking, and perplexing to foreigners. It could be anywhere from tipping to how casually debt is treated. Here are our top 17 choices.

Entrée Means Main Course

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At first glance, you’d think entrée (entry) means an appetizer. However, “it is carried on to mean the focus of the meal,” which bothers some people, including some Americans. 

Having to Tip Almost Everywhere

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Other people feel that American tipping culture is no longer voluntary but mandatory. One user narrates, “It’s weird. I was in a souvenir shop where no real service was given… and an automatic 25% tip was added. I had to deselect the tip to move forward and complete the transaction.”

Zero Tolerance Rule

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Then there is the zero-tolerance rule, where the bully and the victim are punished, making things worse. Victims are forced to defend themselves because they are in trouble either way. One father even advised his son, “You are both getting suspended anyway. So if someone starts a fight, finish it.”

Drink Coke or Juice All Day

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Also, most Americans prefer drinking Coke and juice to water because they are addicted to sugar. 


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“Lobbying is legal bribery,” points out a poster, but some Americans feel it ‘is an important part of the democracy.”

Follow and Worship Politicians

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Another culture is “a lot of people follow and worship politicians like they are gods.” And there is “also the assumption that everyone everywhere is a Republican or Democrat and knows about US politics.

2 Weeks’ Vacation or No PTO

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A user who finds this American culture hard says, “In my current country, you must take 2 weeks of mandatory leave in a row. I get 2 weeks of mandatory leave in a row, including public holidays.”

Super Rich Televangelists

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And then there are super-rich televangelists who “lie and prey on the unfortunate” to make money.

Don’t Include Tax in the Total Price

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I don’t want to do math every time I go there and buy something,” writes a commentator who dislikes tax exclusion in the total price.  

School Mascots

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School mascots are a thing in America, with a user saying they ‘are the source of our power.’ However, they only look dramatic and exaggerated to foreigners. 

Writing Dates

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It is also in America where the dates are MM/DD/YY because “you don’t organize anything by date but by month.”

Private Health Insurance Tied to Your Employment

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Yes, private health insurance is tied to the paycheck yet covers nothing, and it sucks. This is why some go bankrupt while covering their medical expenses. Besides, health insurance does not cover dental or eye problems. 

Caring About Other People is a Political Stance

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If you thought caring for other people was common decency, the act is translated as a political stance in American Culture. One American writes, “It’s maddening.”

Walking in Shoes at Home

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“I find wearing shoes in the house strange and gross,” reads a post.

Obsession About Freedom

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There is also the irony that Americans are free, yet their lifestyle shows no signs of freedom. “Freedom is more of an inside joke where Americans will laugh and cry at the same time because we don’t have it,” says a user. 

Wide Bathroom Stall Gaps

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“Why is there such a giant gap? Who is this for?” wonders a commentator.

How Casual Debt Is

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It is also difficult to comprehend ‘how easy it is to take loans and credit cards out of other people’s names without their knowledge,’ explains a poster. Another adds, “The entire American financial system is based on getting people into as much debt as possible and then making sure we can never get out of it.”

Source: Reddit
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