Do you think you know what Americans are like? You’ve probably seen many movies about the United States, and you might have some American friends . . . maybe you’ve also traveled to or lived in the USA for some time. But do you really know Americans? Here are 8 things that might surprise you about Americans and American culture.
8 Things That Might Surprise You About Americans
#1: They’re very friendly
Americans are friendly. They will speak to anyone, ask lots of questions, and help anyone in need. It’s strange for some people who come from cultures where it’s more customary to be quiet and reserved, but it’s actually just a normal part of daily life in the USA. People are always “making friends” with people while they are at the grocery store, waiting in line for a service, or walking their dogs.
#2: They don’t eat fast food every day
Fast food is still too common (not just in the USA, but in many parts of the world!) but fast food consumption and American eating habits are changing. A study says that 1 in 3 Americans eat fast food every day; that means that 2 out of 3 Americans are choosing other restaurants or are cooking at home. A lot of these trends come from the younger generations, like millenials, who eat much more healthy foods and skip fast food restaurants. The truth is that in the USA, you have access to healthy restaurants and many delicious and healthy meal options. Fast food is typically for those who just don’t have time to cook (and are in the mood for some unhealthy food). We are all guilty of this from time to time!
#3: They are diverse
In the United States, you are likely to meet people from all over the world: the USA is known as a “melting pot” of cultures, languages, and traditions. That is why it is so difficult to say statements such as “All Americans like . . .” or “All Americans do . . .” With such a diverse country, it’s impossible to stereotype.
#5: They love the outdoors
The United States is a large country with many outdoor spaces. Americans love to explore their national parks and green spaces! It is not difficult to find Americans who enjoy hiking, camping, watersports, and other outdoor activities, such as biking. It is also easy to find a local park or nature reserve where you can “escape” into the peacefulness of nature.
#6: They either love or hate country music
It’s true. Ask your American friends.
#7: Air conditioning is everywhere
Americans often complain about this, so it’s strange that it is still such a large part of the U.S. office culture. Buildings are cold! Workers complain and wear winter clothing to their offices in August, and yet the buildings are still freezing (or half is freezing, while the other half seems not to have AC at all). If you ask your American friends, you will probably find someone who will complain about the temperature of their workplace.
#8: They love peanut butter and pumpkin spice
Peanut butter is very American: it’s on sandwiches, in snacks, and in desserts. It goes well with sweet and savory things (for example, peanut butter and chocolate are a classic combination, but peanut butter is also a snack when served with carrots or celery). If you go to almost any American house, you will probably find peanut butter in the kitchen.
Pumpkin spice is actually a spice mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, and sometimes allspice. The spice mixture has been used for hundreds of years, most commonly in pumpkin pie. Not long ago, Starbucks created a pumpkin spice latte: this drink is only available in the fall and has become a favorite for Americans. From there, a “craze” began of pumpkin or pumpkin spice flavored . . . everything! In the fall, you will see pumpkin beer, pumpkin spice pretzels, pumpkin spice cereal . . . it’s madness.
Have you noticed these things about Americans? What more would you add to this list? Tell us on Facebook or discuss it with your teacher and your class!