No species embodies diversity better than humans; we do even the simplest of tasks differently. For instance, the toilets in Japan are different from those in the United States. African cuisine varies from Asian, while Caribbean music differs from the UK’s. This explains why people from the United States are likely to suffer the biggest culture shock when they travel to other parts of the world and vice versa. As such, we have prepared a list of some random things unique to the United States. Please note that some of the things mentioned might be practiced in other parts of the world, probably due to American influence.

1. Same Colored Bills

The American dollar has the same color and design except for the value and images displayed. Currencies from other countries are pretty different. For instance, their bills have varying colors and sizes depending on their worth. Take England, for example, the £5 note is green and much smaller than the £10 note, which is orange and bigger. This makes it easier to distinguish the different notes.

2. Date Format

From a young age, students in the United States are taught to write the date in the month-day-year format. In Europe, the format is a little bit different; they start with the date-month-year, which can be pretty confusing when traveling. Both formats are acceptable, so it’s all about preferences.

3. Units of Measurement

In the United States, people use miles and pounds. However,  almost the rest of the world uses kilometers and kilograms. The same applies to Fahrenheit and Degree Celsius. Again, all these are about preferences and whichever works for an individual.

4. Hanging Flags Everywhere

Americans are not afraid to show how proud they are of their country. This is why American flags are everywhere: in cars, houses, and even in fast-food joints. In 2005, a policy was established granting US citizens the freedom to display their flags wherever, including on the moon. This freedom isn’t permitted in other countries; flags are only displayed on government premises and official events.

5. Driving Everywhere

Americans will drive to a grocery store just five minutes away from their homes. Though convenient, people from other countries enjoy walking, especially when running errands within a short distance.

6. Student Loans

Most American graduates struggle with expensive student loans. This is different from what other developed countries like Germany, Austria, and Finland do – education is free there. Therefore, most graduates transition into the working economy without having insurmountable debts to pay.

7. Wearing Swimsuits at the Beach

People wear bikinis and swimsuits at the beaches all over the US coastline. It has been a standard practice for years, spreading to other regions thanks to Hollywood’s influence. However, most Muslim countries like the UAE have remained steadfast and banned swimsuits for both men and women. While the UAE and other Muslim countries have done so for religious reasons, some beaches in non-muslim regions such as Croatia and Mallorca have enacted similar policies just because they can.

8. Tipping

In the United States, tipping has become a customary practice. In restaurants or cabs, people are expected to leave a tip, failure to which someone might be perceived as rude and unappreciative. For Americans who hate tipping, a trip to China, Denmark, Africa, or Australia will introduce you to a different culture. Service providers in these regions do not ask or care whether they are tipped. If anything, in countries like Japan, it’s considered offensive to tip the people.

9. Large Food Portions

After numerous observations on fast foods, it has been established that the US portions are significantly more than those in the UK and other parts of the world. For instance, the largest Chicken McNuggets in the US has 40 pieces, whereas the one in the UK only has 20 pieces.

10. Taking Leftover Food from Restaurants

In the US, people do not hesitate to ask for a server box to take home leftover food. While this is a standard practice there, the same can’t be said for other countries. To begin with, the portions in different places are much smaller, so there usually aren’t any leftovers to carry home. Also, in some cultures, leaving food on your plate is considered impolite.

11. Yellow School Busses

Growing up in America, one gets accustomed to yellow school buses. Kids in countries like Germany don’t share a similar experience. In such countries, scheduled public buses ferry kids to and from school and don’t have to be painted yellow. It’s also the same case with the United Kingdom.

12. Walking Around with Huge Coffee Cups

On the streets or campuses, it’s normal to find Americans walking around with Starbucks coffee cups. This is quite strange for many visitors because most cultures finish their coffees at the restaurant. In the US, most people are workaholics. Therefore, there is no time to sit at a coffee shop and finish an entire cup while enjoying the ambience.

13. Free Refills at Restaurants or Stores

In the United States, getting free refills of beverages at restaurants or stores is normal. However, visitors usually find the habit quite strange. Beverages, including water or ice, must be paid for in other countries.

14. Excessive Use of Ice

Americans love using a lot of ice; they do not care whether it’s a beverage or cocktail they are taking. In other parts of the world, drinks are rarely served with ice – one has to specifically ask for them before ordering their drinks. Otherwise, it will be served plain.

15. Talking Loudly

Whether at a restaurant or strolling down the street, Americans tend to speak very loudly. In Eastern countries like Korea and Japan, people are often silent. Even when arguing, they rarely shout or talk loudly. Fortunately, Americans aren’t the only loud-speaking country. Mediterranean countries also have such habits.

16. Baby Showers

While it’s true that baby shower ceremonies are now practiced in other regions, including Africa, it remains an American thing. If anything, countries like China believe such events can bring bad luck to the mother of the unborn child.

Most people prefer to wait until the baby is born so they can have any kind of celebration. In countries like Armenia, they wait up to 40 days after the delivery of the child to celebrate.

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Last Update: May 26, 2024