It was exactly two centuries and 42 years ago that the United States of America was officially born as one country and one nation. It was that historic day where John Hancock and 55 other men signed the document known as The Declaration of Independence. The founding fathers, including two future presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, were present and signed the Declaration as well. That fateful day will forever be known as Independence Day. Americans celebrate it every 4th of July and are one of the most popular and important holidays known to the American people.
The Declaration of Independence was a document stating that the United States of America is free from any kind of foreign rule, at that time from the British, and the rest of the world. It is a statement of the pursuit of happiness our forefathers wanted to have for future generations, a simple piece of paper that represents what we are today. Though the British and the rest of Europe find it endearing, they also see a lot of things in America that are weird. These are things they will never understand, some are small and quite funny, some are very important, and there are also those that simply just don’t make sense.
We are all for God and country, but Europeans, in general, think that Americans are too patriotic. Is there such a term? Well, as a matter of fact, there is. There are things such as unhealthy or blind patriotism, as opposed to intelligent patriotism. The next time we declare patriotism, let’s also think of what we are supporting, is it for the good of all Americans, or is it propaganda on a national scale? Americans are a proud people for a reason, let’s not forget what that reason is.
On a much lighter note, this next topic is right at the heart of every American. Thanksgiving is one of the most important, if not the most, holiday celebrations in the United States. Most Europeans have no clue about it, they know it comes before Christmas, some even joke around and call it a dress rehearsal for Christmas! There’s always potatoes and turkey, it’s a tradition. It’s that time of the year where people see their families and they go around the table sharing what they are thankful for.
22 23. Size of Food Portions
This is an obvious one, America is known as the supersize country. Things are large, or supersized, due to fast food companies that, yes, originated in the United States. Fast food restaurants like McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC and Wendy’s are among the top fast-food chains, not just in the USA but all over the world. They advocated the huge food portions that can be bought for a cheaper price and worth every customer’s cent. Now if only these products were super healthy, too.
21 Odd Names for Things i.e. Diapers, Trunk
There are names for things the American people use that Europeans, especially the British, find weird and funny. College is what we use even if we are studying in a university. We’d graduate and have dinner with the family and have three-course meals, the first meal we call appetizers, they call it starters. Then we’d get married but before the wedding we have a bachelor and bachelorette party, to them (the Brits) they’re stag and hen parties. We get home and say we're beat, they'd never use that. Instead they'll say they're knackered.
20 21. Food Products, i.e. Cheese in a Tube, Canned Chickens
We always find it odd that our neighbors to the north put their milk in plastic bags. That’s not the only thing Canadians do that Americans find weird. But we’re actually the same as them, from another nation’s point of view. For one, we put cheese in tubes like they’re yellow toothpaste. Americans also deep-fry everything, that’s greasy and not very healthy in the eyes of Europeans. We put everything in a can, too, from cheeseburgers to whole chickens! How about canned turkey for Thanksgiving?
19 17. Air Conditioning
The Washington Post reports how air conditioning has taken ahold of the American way of life and how it is really strange to our European visitors and tourists. Most Europeans would wonder how the people of the United States can manage working in an air-conditioned and cold building or even in their homes. They would rather take the temperature as it is than suffer a really cold room. We’d set our thermostat to the same temperature all year round while they adjust it, making it colder in summer and higher in winter.
18 16. Enormously Large Street Numbers
The street numbers of cities in America, like Orangeburg’s 704 in New York, is part of a system the country has been using since the mid-1700s. It can be quite a handful, to have an address having more than 2 digits and having to memorize it, together with our other important phone numbers and passwords. Not to mention having people get confused about where we really live mixed with the long street names as well. There’s a system to all of that, making it easy for the United States Postal Services and confusing to the foreigners.
17 15. Huge Lawns
Mowing a lawn is an American father’s way of life and has been a staple activity of dads all over the country long before the invention of the first lawnmower. Why get a humongous lawn, though? A lawn is a measure of a family or a person’s social status, the bigger their lawn is, the more successful they are. Huge lawns are great for the kids to play on and are needed for the big playhouses parents put on them.
16 14. College Sports
College sports is really big in the United States. That pride we have for our home team whenever they fight or compete with another college from one of the fifty states in the country is addictive and can be quite time consuming. European countries do not have these, they simply just have 2nd division leagues to cater to the less-talented or athletes that need more development. While our sports organizations do not have these great 2nd division leagues, not yet that great, we have college sports as a great alternative.
15 13. Sororities, Fraternities
In relation to college sports, fraternities and sororities is a part of the life of a college student. Every university has these brotherhood and sisterhood groups, a friendship and a bond that lasts forever. How many films have you watched that centered around a fraternity or sorority theme? There are literally countless of them made through the years. These do not exist, we are sad to say, in other countries. It is such a big thing in America and we hope it gets adopted by other nations.
14 12. Bizarre Fast Food Menu Items
We have already established that we are a pioneering country in terms of the fast food restaurant business. But when it comes to the menu in our fast food restaurants, we also hold the candle to it being weird. It’s not like the wasabi ice cream from Japan or the savory donuts from China and the curry fries of India. We have nothing like that, but there is still weird stuff on our menu. Take Starbucks unicorn frappuccino, it’s a dare to drink that one.
13 20. Football Is Huge
This is one sport that Americans absolutely love and the rest of the world are confused about or do not know what it is entirely. Football is known as American football to all of them, we know it only as football. What they call the sport of football, we call it soccer. It’s the less violent, less exciting, and less activity and contact sport that sometimes can end with a score of zero to zero. Soccer is still the most popular sport in the world, contrary to what American football lovers say.
12 19. Baseball Is Very American
Baseball is a sport that’s much older than American football. It was invented in 1839 by a young man named Abner Doubleday and is often referred to as America’s favorite pastime. American football was not invented until 80 years later. It’s the love of the game that’s become part of the American culture and a boy’s hobby and means of connecting with their fathers. Playing catch is a staple of American boyhood and a crucial father and son pastime more than any other activity out there.
11 11. Obsession with Halloween
It’s not just because kids love candy and treats and dressing up as their favorite movie, TV, or cartoon character, or going around the neighborhood screaming for candy, asking from house to house for chocolates and sweets. It’s also a long-standing tradition that their parents, and their parents’ parents, have done as well when they were kids. It is an obsession that’s passed along to the next generation and will be passed along and will be continued by future generations in America.
10 10. School Buses
The yellow school bus is as much an icon of the United States of America as the Statue of Liberty or the Vegas Strip or the Hollywood sign. The main source of transportation for students in the whole country is the yellow school bus, many ride it everyday and it plays a crucial part in their social skills and personality development. We always want to look at the school bus system of America as a way to help reduce smoke emissions and help conserve gas and energy.
9 9. Calling Christmas ‘Holiday’
There is a perfectly good reason why Americans call Christmas a holiday instead of any other term that’s used out there. We often do not use Happy Christmas or Merry Christmas, this is because we want to be politically correct. Christmas is a holiday season that, in religion, celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. There are religions that do not believe in the human form of God the Son Jesus Christ, so that’s why we use holiday season instead of Christmas season, so Happy Holidays it is.
8 8. The Legal Drinking Age
We can have guns in our houses but we cannot drink until we are 21-years old. There are some states, though, that allow the younger generation to drink at age 18, but it was calibrated, brewed, aged, and bottled to a nationwide age of 21. It is one of the laws of the land that does not make sense to Europeans and other foreign countries. There should be a limit to this, it’s an alcoholic beverage, and could compromise an adult’s judgment and perception, so let’s cover all bases and have the real adults take responsibility for their inebriated actions if it comes to that.
7 7. Health Insurance
Health insurance has long been a thorn at the side of every American President there is. It’s a situation that is more complicated in the country as is the case for any controversial situation in another country. It is political, it is social and historical. While some countries have figured it out and have great healthcare systems and insurances in place, our great country is still grasping at legislation and proposals at the current moment, but we hope to get there eventually.
6 6. Advertising Prescription Medication
Americans use advertising for just about anything, quite literally everything. From lawyers to prescription drugs, it doesn’t get any weirder than that. Well, go ahead and see for yourself, sit down in front of the TV in the US and find that there could be some advertisements that promote products or services that you would never see advertised in your own country. This is because Americans have learned the art of sitting in front of the television for hours on end, we’re not proud of it, but yeah we can do it.
5 5. Family Christmas Cards
There is nothing cheesier than having a family picture taken during the holidays, then sending it out to all your relatives and friends. The technology didn’t help eradicating it, it just made the sending much quicker now. We still wear those itchy and themed sweaters, posing in that awkward position with the whole fam, and sometimes even hiring a professional photographer to take that perfect shot. Then off we go sending that portrait to the rest of our kin and friends, what a holiday!