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  1. #181
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank View Post
    If I could pick one thing that defined the majority of Americans it is an almost obsessive interest in sports. I'm not sure if it is as prevalent in other cultures but if you stay up on your current sports knowledge you will always find a group of comrades in any setting.
    Ey...lots of other cultures outside of the US are obsessed with soccer/football "footie" so I'm not really sure what you're talking about.

  2. #182
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    Quote Originally Posted by compulsiverambler View Post
    More: You don't care much for soccer, that's pretty unusual. Speedos are mainly worn at Gay Pride parades and swimming shorts aren't just worn by the insecure boys at the pool with rolls of flab to hide. You're the only majority Christian/secular country in which male genital mutilation is still at all common and certainly the only one in which parents consider it a health measure.

    The 'bigger is better' philosophy is fairly unique as far as I can tell. Huge buildings, huge bridges, huge dams, huge cars, huge meals, huge people, huge everything. Even the Smart car is made bigger for the American market, and its unique selling point was supposed to be that it's small.

    I've heard that condoms are bigger in the US too, but I've never compared. Anyone know?
    You're right the circumcision thing in the US is almost freakish.

    There are some bigger condoms here. They can be purchased in different sizes.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Ey...lots of other cultures outside of the US are obsessed with soccer/football "footie" so I'm not really sure what you're talking about.
    Ey, if you read my post you would see that I said I am not sure how prevalent it is in other cultures. Also I think Americans are equally obsessed with all sports not just one national past time. I have friends who are completely obsessed with baseball, football, hockey, golf and basketball depending on what season it is. On both the college and professional level as well. If I had to venture a guess I would say this is the norm for upwards of 70% of males ages 16-50. Perhaps that is true in other areas of the world as well. If so we are all fucked.

  4. #184
    Senior Member Scott N Denver's Avatar
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    I've missed a few pages now, so forgive me if this has already been said,

    To me, some of the defining factors of american culture are: 1) our relative lack of history, 2) our physical distance from most other countries [ie we can generally ignore them and not notice the difference], and 3) the tremendous amount of space/landmass that we have.

  5. #185
    Badoom~ Skyward's Avatar
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    Ive been 'repping' people all throughout the thread and finally at the end I get to post.

    right now I am typing on a finnish keyboard using windows XP in Finnish and windows explorer in Finnish in a Finnish school. A majority of americans don't even know what Finnish is. I have been asked by educated people if 'what they were looking at was a real language.' Many americans dont know where Finland IS. A Finnish friend of mine even said that BBC said Finland was part of Estonia at some point.

    I grew up in a christian town of 13 thousand people in Minnesota. There are 7 lutheran churches here and at least one of each other common denomination of christianity. My parents currently have an indonesian foreign exchange student living in their home. She was decided by my parents because of the 4 years of work it took here to be eligible for AFS in her country. They said the Europeans seemed nice but werent as desperate for the opportunity to go to the US as this indonesian was.

    My parents gave me the nickname 'Eurosnob' because of my will to go to Europe at some point and enjoying European culture more than US culture. Coming here I find that I only really liked Europe more because it was different and that my dad helped inspire wanderlust within me. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting a travelling German on the overnight train from Beijing to Xi'an, China. I am enjoying my stay in Finland, but America is still my home country. I still dont think of my self as a patriot. Maybe an expatriate in the future, but I just cant sit in one 'homestead' all the time, I want to see the other types of 'steads before I decide which one to settle down in.

    I dont have the knowhow or the will to have the knowhow to make a major difference in the US, but I am willing to support someone who does. This is part of democracy, the freedom to make something even if it doesn't get very big or far. Also the 'I was born into this life and I cant get out' mindset isnt as pervasive in the US as in, say, Finland. Maybe its just my idealism talking, but whatever, idealism and optimism is my fuel. Not to mention I'm a working-at-it Christian so I always can pray if things hit rock bottom (Or pray for an umbrella during the fall)

    Really, American culture, to me, is a quilt and mixmatch like any culture. It's the sum of its parts.
    'Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and its better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.' - Marilyn Monroe

    This is who I am, escapist, paradise-seeker.
    -Nightwish

    Anthropology Major out of Hamline University. St. Paul, Minnesota.

  6. #186
    The Architect Alwar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    Finland

  7. #187
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skyward View Post
    Ive been 'repping' people all throughout the thread and finally at the end I get to post.

    right now I am typing on a finnish keyboard using windows XP in Finnish and windows explorer in Finnish in a Finnish school. A majority of americans don't even know what Finnish is. I have been asked by educated people if 'what they were looking at was a real language.' Many americans dont know where Finland IS. A Finnish friend of mine even said that BBC said Finland was part of Estonia at some point.
    BBC isn't American.

    Hey, at least you don't live in Asia Minor. Then people would be really confused.

    "What's a Turkmenistan?"

    "Georgia? Oh! You by Chattanooga?"
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  8. #188
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    Quote Originally Posted by slant View Post
    I converted into Judiasm because I wanted culture, and now I find out I already had one?

    Fuck. :/
    lol Same here. Judaism has a rich history and culture, but America is still young. Take your pick.



    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    Ey...lots of other cultures outside of the US are obsessed with soccer/football "footie" so I'm not really sure what you're talking about.
    Yeah. Dudes are so boisterous about sports in the UK, that people get beat up all the time. Then again, that happens everywhere.

  9. #189
    Nerd King Usurper Edgar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 01011010 View Post
    Yeah. Dudes are so boisterous about sports in the UK, that people get beat up all the time. Then again, that happens everywhere.
    The British take it to a whole different level. If I remeber correctly, EU has a "hooligan list" featuring names a various blokes who are forbidden from traveling to matches. They are kind of like soccer terrorists.

    You know an internet meme of who is tougher, ninja or a pirate? Well I always wondered, who is tougher, British hooligan or a German cop. I think 1 on 1 hooligan will win, but 10 on 10 german cops will win.
    Listen to me, baby, you got to understand, you're old enough to learn the makings of a man.

  10. #190
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Okay, wow. I spent my whole morning researching this, and I came up with five different answers, and I have no idea which one is the right one.

    1. It's meant to slow down the eaters, like a QWERTY keyboard, by the constant switching of utensils, so people would remember to chew their food and talk to each other during mealtimes (it's debatable how successful this is, if this is the case)

    2. Colonizing was dirty business, so the colonists adopted the Middle Eastern/Indian practice of reserving the right hand for eating and the left hand for the toilet (no idea how they would have known this, but eh), so mostly the right hand was used for eating in this method.

    3. American colonists were so poor that families often only had one knife between them. By setting the knife down for most of the meal, it allowed everyone to have a turn with the knife. (This would explain the 'cutting with the side of the fork' thing Americans do that apparently no one else does, because you wouldn't take the family knife if you didn't have to, if it were true)

    4. This way of eating is actually older, and the "European" style, always holding both utensils, came into fashion because of the French revolution/occupation/whatever. In the new style, you could see where the other person's hands were at all times, so you knew they weren't doing any treachery. Because this never happened in America, they never adopted the new style.

    5. Probably the most convoluted one: England was the last of Europe to catch onto the whole fork idea, so when England began to colonize America, they knew about forks but they weren't in style yet, so Americans didn't use them until later. However, as forks became more popular in England, shipments of knives into America became duller, so Americans began to use spoons to steady their food while cutting it and then switching it back to the right hand because before these dull knives they would always wield the utensil with their right hands. (This would explain why this method is uniquely American if it were true, because pretty much nowhere else had this circumstance)
    That's really interesting. I'd heard of only the second and fifth theory. You'd think contemporaries would have written about it, especially visitors noticing the difference and asking where it came from.

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