American culture: traditions and customs of the United States

American culture encompasses the customs and traditions of the United States. “Culture encompasses religion, food, what we wear, how we wear it, our language, marriage, music, what we think is right or wrong, how we sit at the table, how we greet visitors , how we behave with our loved ones, and a million other things, “said Cristina De Rossi, anthropologist at Barnet and Southgate College in London.

The United States is the third largest country in the world with a population of over 332 million, according to the United States Census Bureau. A child is born every 9 seconds and a person dies every 11 seconds.

In addition to the Native Americans who already lived on the continent, the population of the United States was built on immigration from other countries. A new immigrant moves to the United States every 666 seconds, according to the Census Bureau.

For this reason, the United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world, according to London school. Almost every region of the world has influenced American culture, most notably the English who colonized the country from the early 1600s, according to the Library of Congress. American culture has also been shaped by the cultures of Native Americans, Latin Americans, Africans and Asians.

The United States is sometimes described as a “melting pot,” according to Golden Beacon United States, in which different cultures brought their own distinct “flavors” to American culture. Just as cultures around the world have influenced American culture, American culture today influences the world. The term Western culture often refers to the cultures of the United States and Europe, according to ScienceDaily.

The way people “ground” in the United States is different. “Different groups of immigrants integrate in different ways,” De Rossi told Live Science. “For example, in the United States, Hispanic Catholic communities may retain their language and other cultural family traditions, but are integrated into the urban community and have adopted the American way of life in many other ways.”

The Northeast, South, Midwest, Southeast, and Western regions of the United States all have distinct traditions and customs. Here is a brief overview of the culture of the United States.

Language

According to the US government, there is no official language of the United States

According to the US government, there is no official language of the United States (Image credit: Getty / SDI Productions)

There is no official language in the United States, according to the Government of the United States. While almost all of the world’s languages ​​are spoken in the United States, the most commonly spoken non-English languages ​​are Spanish, Chinese, French, and German. Ninety percent of the American population speaks and understands at least some English, and most official business is conducted in English. Some states have official or preferred languages. For example, English and Hawaiian are the official languages ​​in Hawaii, according to the Washington post.

The census office estimates that more than 350 languages ​​are spoken in the United States. The office divides these languages ​​into four categories: Spanish; other Indo-European languages, including German, Yiddish, Swedish, French, Italian, Russian, Polish, Hindi, Punjabi, Greek and many others. Asian and Pacific Island languages ​​including Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Tamil, and many more are also included. There is also a category for “all other languages”, which concerns languages ​​that do not fit into the first three categories, such as Hungarian, Arabic, Hebrew, African languages ​​and peoples’ languages. natives of North, Central and South America. .

Religion

An example of post-Covid American marriage

An example of post-Covid American marriage (Image credit: Getty / Phynart Studio)

Almost all known religions are practiced in the United States, which were founded on the basis of religious freedom. About 70% of Americans identify as Christians, according to information gathered by the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan research group, in 2017. The research also found that about 23% had no religious affiliation and that about 6% of the population is made up of non-Christian religions.

The number of people who identify with the absence of religion appears to be decreasing. According to Pew Research Center, this category should drop from 16% in 2015 to 13% in 2060.

american style

An example of contemporary American fashion

An example of contemporary American fashion (Image credit: Getty / Westend61)

Dress styles vary according to social status, region, occupation and climate. Jeans, sneakers, baseball caps, cowboy hats and boots are garments closely associated with Americans, though there have been a variety of other styles over the decades, according to InterExchange. Ralph lauren, Calvin klein, Michael kors and Victoria secret are well-known American brands.

American fashion is largely influenced by celebrities and the media, in 2019, sales of clothing and accessories in the United States amounted to US $ 24 billion, according to Statistical. More and more Americans are shopping for fashion, electronics and more online. According to Census office, e-commerce retail sales in the United States for the third quarter of 2021 totaled $ 214.6 billion.

American food

Macaroni Cheese, a traditional American classic

Macaroni Cheese, a traditional American classic (Image credit: Getty / Burcu Atalay Tankut)

American cuisine was influenced by Europeans and Native Americans early in its history. Today, there are a number of foods commonly identified as American, such as burgers, hot dogs, chips, macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf. “As American as apple pie,” despite the dishes of non-American origin, has come to mean something authentically American, according to the Smithsonian.

There are also region-specific cooking styles and types of food. Southern-style cuisine is often referred to as “American comfort food,” and includes dishes such as fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas and cornbread, according to Live in the south. Tex-Mex, popular in Texas and the Southwest, is a mix of Spanish and Mexican cooking styles and includes items such as chili and burritos, and relies heavily on cheese and grated beans, according to Cultural trip.

Jerky, cured meats that are served as snacks, is also a food that was created in the United States, according to NPR.

Arts

A view of the famous Broadway theater scene in the United States

A view of the famous Broadway Theater stage (Image credit: Getty / Martin Holtkamp)

The United States is widely known around the world as a leader in the production of mass media, including television and films. According to Select USA, the United States accounts for one-third of the global media and entertainment industry and accounts for $ 717 billion.

The television broadcasting industry took hold in the United States in the early 1950s, and American television programs are now broadcast around the world, according to PBS. The United States also has a vibrant film industry, centered in Hollywood, California, and American films are popular around the world. The US film industry earned a record $ 100 billion in 2019, according to Forbes, before dropping in 2020 due to the COVID pandemic.

America’s artistic culture extends beyond movies and TV shows, however. New York City is home to Broadway and Americans have a rich theatrical history, according to Arcadie editions. American folk art is an artistic style and is identified with quilts and other handicrafts, according to the Folk art museum. American music is very diverse with many styles including rhythm and blues, jazz, gospel, country and western, bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll and hip hop.

Sports

An American baseball player

An American baseball player (Image credit: Getty / Donald Miralle)

The United States is a sporty country, with millions of fans who follow football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, among other sports. Baseball, which developed in colonial America and became an organized sport in the mid-1800s, according to Sports blog, is known as America’s favorite pastime, although its popularity has been eclipsed by football for the past three decades, according to the Harris Poll.

american holidays

Many holidays are celebrated only in the United States. The Americans celebrate their independence from Great Britain on July 4. Memorial Day, celebrated on the last Monday in May, honors those who died in military service. Labor Day, celebrated on the first Monday in September, celebrates the country’s workforce. Thanksgiving, another distinctive American holiday, falls on the fourth Thursday in November and dates back to colonial times to celebrate the harvest.

Presidents’ Day, marking the birthdays of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, is a federal holiday that occurs on the third Monday in February. Veterans’ contributions are honored on Veterans Day, celebrated on November 11. The contributions of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. are commemorated on the third Monday in January.

Additional reports by Alina Bradford, Live Science contributor.

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