With a population of 325 million, the U.S. is the third-largest country in the world. The country has developed from its native American roots and has drawn a series of immigrants from around the globe. It could easily be termed as one of the most culturally diverse places in the world often described as a ‘melting pot’. In such a vast country it is virtually impossible to describe a ‘typical’ American.
Different regions of the US have been influenced to different degrees by the different ethnicities and cultures giving each a unique balance. Some of the common traits of a US citizen are:
- They are hardworking and strive to push themselves so that they can live an affluent life
- The people in the US are incredibly social. They engage in frequent conversations
- People in the US will usually introduce themselves by stating their full names
- Americans are known as outgoing, therefore people from comparatively conservative countries may find it a little difficult to adjust in the beginning
What kind of language is primarily spoken in the US?
While the US has no officially recognized language, some of the states have preferred or official languages. English is the dominant language and more than 90% of people speak at least some English. But reports show that around 20% of people speak a language other than English at home. Languages like Spanish, Chinese, French, and German are most commonly spoken at home, other than English.
What religion is widely followed in the US?
The original settlers in the US were very to find religious freedom and even now, religion continues to have a very prominent presence in the US. Since the US is one of the countries in the world that has a massive influx of people from every culture and religion, almost every known religion is practiced in the US and only 23% of Americans identify themselves as having no religion. 71% of Americans identify themselves as Christians, and there is also a growing population of Muslims and Buddhists. Most of the cities offer houses of worship, thereby enabling people to practice their religion.
Is sports a big thing in the US?
Like many other countries, sports is an intrinsic part of the US culture, both for participants and spectators. Baseball, basketball, football (American football rather than soccer), and ice hockey are very popular and they dominate a large chunk of television time. Other outdoor sports like soccer, athletics, tennis, and golf are also popular.
How do I tip in the US?
There are a few situations where tipping is expected, and primarily it is in restaurants. Restaurants in the US don’t add a service charge; hence it is expected customers that will leave tips for the servers. Commonly, people leave a tip that is equal to 15% of the total bill for acceptable service, and about 20% for superior service. If the service was unusually poor, then you could leave a smaller tip, about 10%. Some other cultures where tipping is expected are hairdressers, taxi drivers, hotel porters, parking valets, and bartenders. The general rule is to tip approximately 15% of the bill.
How long will it take for my taste buds to adjust?
Adding various spices to food is a common practice in many countries. There might be a number of restaurants advertising spicy food, but not all will cook the food as it was back home. It might feel a little difficult to adjust initially, but, after a few months, you will eventually start getting the hang of it. Otherwise, you can also pick up cooking and prepare food as you like.
How long will it take to fix my sleep schedule?
The US and other countries have a considerable time zone difference. Therefore, it might take a while to get a hang of your sleep schedule. To sleep well while changing time zone, you can:
- Adjust your watch to the local time before landing
- Avoid caffeine and alcohol
- Stay hydrated
- Exercise early
- Get outside
- Try avoiding travel-related stress
- Make your bed as comfortable as possible
What are some of the most important things for non-Americans to keep in mind while visiting the US?
As a whole, the US as a country is wildly different. While visiting for the first time, you might face something known as a cultural shock and that might be quite surprising. No matter how the news portrays the country as or how you perceive it, it is important to keep thought at bay and be as respectful as possible.
The American cuisine is an extensive and delectable one. While there is a massive availability of fast food, Americans also enjoy gourmet meals.
Despite the country’s reputation regarding firearms, you won’t find or see a gun on every street corner