Reddit user micahdotjohnson recently prompted Redditors who aren't American to share what they find strange or abnormal about the USA.
As the world's most dominant economic and military power, the United States of America has long been the subject of fascination and intrigue across the planet. Furthermore, being home to one of the most diverse populations, the country's cultural imprint seeps into almost every corner of the world. While many things about America are undeniably impressive, there are many unique features of this nation that non-Americans find very peculiar. Reddit user micahdotjohnson recently prompted Redditors who aren't American to share what they find strange or abnormal about the USA. The answers that followed are an eye-opening glimpse into how the rest of the world perceives this great nation.
Here are 25 of the top responses to micahdotjohnson's query:
"Perhaps the extreme polarization in politics. I'm used to having many parties, which gives more nuances. In the U.S. it seems politics became a team sport, and you end up with the 'you're either with us or against us' mentality a lot easier. I think that is very detrimental for the country, but I guess there's no realistic way out of that, nor any will from either of your leading parties to do so." — u/normalguy_AMA
"I'm a Russian who has been living in America for many years. I could go on and on about the things I had found odd here — the level of respect for laws and rules, tolerance for people who are different, believing and trusting the authorities by default, acting friendly to complete strangers, leaving things unlocked and unwatched, food which looked appetizing but tasted utterly flavorless, drinking water available from any random faucet, eating out at restaurants every day, ice in everything...
But the one weirdest thing for me was the number of dysfunctional families. It seemed almost expected for children to rebel against [their] parents. For parents to not know what the children were doing. For families to spend a whole day without talking together. For grandparents to be removed out of sight to a retirement home. For mocking relatives behind their back. For divorces over trivial things. For Thanksgiving dinners, the one(!!!) time per year when the whole extended family gathers around a table, to be awkward and unwelcome events.
I think it has to do with how easy life is in America: without a viciously hostile environment that would crush those who are alone, there is no pressure forcing family members to learn how to live and work together. But it's still very disconcerting." — u/GynaecLvs
"The obsession with high-school. I have friends who say their best years were spent in high school and I think that's really, really sad." — u/the_littlehobbit
"How tipping is expected no matter what. Over in the UK you tip for exceptional or good service, it's something extra, in American culture it's expected." — u/CrowZer0
"Repo men for vehicles and bounty hunters. Mainly the bounty hunters, that’s some cowboy sh*t right there." — u/Eknoom
"All the things you can do at younger ages than you can have a drink. You can get into life-long debt with a mortgage or university fees, you can drive a car, you can buy a fucking gun, you can have kids, you can join the army and kill people, you can get married.
But at the wedding, even having done all of the above, when the father-of-the-bride makes his speech and ends with a toast, you're sat at the kids' table raising a glass of orange juice because you're not allowed champagne!
Also, you can't just drink a few warm-up beers as you walk to a night out or enjoy a few cold ones on the beach or in a park on a hot day. For a country that prides itself on its freedom, you guys sure are touchy about casual drinking." — u/be_my_plaything
"Parents demanding rent or any money from their kids who keep living at home after age 18. In my country, adult kids who live at home will spontaneously contribute to the extent that they can, but most parents will do A LOT to avoid accepting those contributions: allowing your kid to focus on studies/their early career and saving is a point of pride. 'You need to earn it!!!' Does not apply to (reasonable) parental support." — u/Aiscriim90
"The amount of sugar that Americans consume. My cousins live in the USA, and it makes me nauseous when I see how they drink coffee (4,5 teaspoons of sugar. We drink 3,4,5 cups of coffee a day, so do the math ), lemonade (pour that shit until you can't even say its a lemonade), and so on." — u/palpitacija