The American culture is diverse and unique, but some aspects of it can take time to accept by people from other countries. Recently on an online platform, people have shared their thoughts on some of the challenging aspects of American cultures, such as casual debt, limited vacation time, school mascots, zero-tolerance policies, and more.
1. The Alarming Culture of Debt in America
It's alarming how easy it has become to accumulate debt in American culture, as pointed out by a passionate user. They highlight the common practice of taking out loans and credit cards under someone else's name without their knowledge. The user emphasizes the need to consider the consequences of borrowing money and using credit cards, which often leads to the overwhelming debt over time.
2. Vacation Time: A World of Difference
A worldly user sheds light on the vast differences in vacation policies between the US and their current country. The user needs help adjusting to the minimal vacation time allotted in the US compared to the mandatory two-week leave policy and seven weeks of vacation time, including public holidays, in their country. This contrast in vacation policies can be daunting for those used to having ample time off.
3. Education Disparities Abroad: A Canadian's Experience
Can you relate to encountering significant disparities in education levels when traveling abroad? An astute Canadian shared their experience on spring break in Florida, noting a significant divide between the educated and the uneducated in American culture. While acknowledging the presence of intelligent individuals, they found it challenging to articulate the baseline education level in the country.
4. Mascots and Cheerleaders: American School Culture
An observant commenter notes the peculiar aspect of American culture concerning school mascots. The commenter finds it hard to accept the dramatic cheerleader dance-offs and individuals dressed up in animal suits spinning basketballs while chanting the team's name. This starkly contrasts the commenter's country, where schools have teams that play against each other.
5. Puzzling Over Poutine: Why Hasn't it Caught On in America?
A curious connoisseur expresses their bewilderment about the absence of vitality for poutine, a beloved Canadian cuisine comprising of crispy french fries, squeaky cheese curds, and savory gravy, within the American culinary sphere. The user finds it peculiar that despite the Americans' affinity for each of these ingredients independently, the poutine gastronomic wonder has yet to capture the hearts and palates of the American populace.
6. Unfair Zero Tolerance: Putting Victims at Risk
Someone questions the zero-tolerance rule in American culture, which they believe unfairly puts the victim in a difficult position. They criticize the idea that the victim gets bullied or penalized for defending themselves, making it unfair.
7. The Cult of Politicians: American Worship
A curious user points out the uniquely American culture of following and worshiping politicians, treating them like gods. They find it odd how people wave flags and pledge their allegiance to politicians. This contrasts with the UK, where people dislike politicians equally.
8. Tipping Everywhere: An Unwritten Rule?
Do you find tipping expected at the most random of places these days? A perplexed user expressed their difficulty in accepting the American culture of having to tip almost everywhere. While they understand that tipping makes sense in certain places, they feel it has become an unwritten rule in the most unexpected places.
9. Latin Culture: Appreciation vs. Appropriation
A proud Latin American user expresses their confusion over some Americans viewing the use of elements of Latin culture as cultural appropriation. They argue that it's perfectly acceptable to show interest in Latin culture and have discussed this topic with other people from their culture who share the same view.
10. Pricing Woes: Why is Pre-Tax Pricing the Norm in America?
Are you tired of doing mental math every time you purchase something in the US? A baffled user raised a common issue in American culture: the pricing system. They need help understanding why the total cost of an item isn't included in the listed price, including taxes. This pricing system, known as “pre-tax pricing,” has been widely debated in the United States.
11. Criticisms of Lobbying and Taxes
A critic believes that lobbying, also known as “legalized bribery,” is a challenging aspect of American culture to accept. They're skeptical that the system benefits the best interests of the people as a whole instead of those with more power and connections. Additionally, the requirement to file taxes is a frustrating and time-consuming procedure for many Americans. The government already knows what they owe and what they've paid, so why must they go through the hassle of collecting and reporting their financial information?
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12. Inconsistencies in Legal Age Limits
Strangely, 16-year-olds in America can drive, handle firearms, and serve in the military, yet they can't drink alcohol legally until they turn 21, according to an analyst. The user finds it odd that the country trusts young adults with deadly weapons and military service more than allowing them to drink responsibly. It seems like alcohol is considered a dangerous substance requiring strict regulation and a rite of passage to achieve the legal drinking age.
13. Frustrations With Health Insurance System
One user needs help accepting the American culture of private health insurance tied to employment. They're frustrated that half of the population continues to defend the system despite its flaws. It's perplexing that a basic necessity like health insurance is tied to employment, leaving many people without coverage if they lose their job or cannot work. This dissident believes healthcare should be a basic human right, not a privilege only for employed individuals.
14. Issue of Low Wage Growth
Low wage growth is a common occurrence in the United States, where employees may work for a company for years but receive little increase in pay. It's alarming that some workers may only receive a minimal pay increase, such as 10 cents, despite years of service to a company. This growing concern highlights the issue of income inequality in the country, despite efforts to raise the minimum wage and address this problem.
15. Neglected Healthcare Aspects
Another keen observer finds it perplexing that dental and eye care are not included in standard health insurance plans in the United States. Despite the importance of maintaining good dental and eye health, most insurance plans either do not cover these services or offer minimal coverage. Many Americans struggle to pay out-of-pocket for necessary dental procedures, eye exams, and glasses, which can be extremely expensive. The commentator expresses frustration that dental and eye care are treated as separate and lesser aspects of overall health rather than being recognized as integral components of a comprehensive healthcare system.
16. Contrast in Treatment of Rich and Poor
In American culture, a keen observer highlighted the glaring disparity between how the rich and the poor are treated. They remarked on the stark contrast: the wealthy receive great assistance and preferential treatment, while those who struggle or are impoverished are often met with the unhelpful advice to “just work harder” and are denied any support. This regressive mindset, in their view, represents a backward approach that fails to address the genuine needs of those in need.
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17. Insufficient Support for New Mothers
Another citizen voiced their concerns about some challenging aspects of American culture, particularly the expectation for women to return to work a mere six weeks after giving birth—a demand that they found almost criminal. Expressing gratitude for their residence in Canada, where the situation differs, they acknowledged the need for better support and understanding for new mothers in the United States.
18. Absence of Federal Workplace Guarantees
The absence of a federal guarantee for certain workplace benefits in the United States has astounded many observers, leaving them scratching their heads in confusion. Paid time off, sick leave, and maternity leave are just a few examples of benefits that are required by law in many other developed countries, yet left entirely up to the discretion of individual employers in the US. As a result, workers may find themselves in a tough spot, choosing between caring for their health or family and earning a paycheck.
19. Baffling Gap in American Bathroom Stalls
A Redditor with a curious mind expresses their bafflement over a common feature of American culture: the gap in bathroom stall doors. To them, it seemed utterly unnecessary and downright invasive to have such a large opening between the door and the frame, allowing others to peek in while the stall was occupied. The Redditor couldn't fathom who this gap was supposed to benefit since nobody wants to watch someone else use the bathroom, nor do they want to be watched doing so.
20. Critiquing Retail Charity Donations
In a thought-provoking critique, a commentator drew attention to the common practice of retail cashiers asking customers to donate to charities that support children with terminal illnesses. They suspected that the business was only doing it for a tax break and that customers could donate to the charity themselves. Furthermore, the commentator felt uncomfortable being put on the spot and judged if they declined to donate.
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