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Customs of your country?
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21 / M / Finland
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Posted 7/30/13 , edited 7/30/13
This sure is a fun thread to read, I could easily come up with American or Irish traditions. I guess it's only normal to be oblivious of one's own ways.


In Finland:

- We go to sauna about three times a week. No towels, no steam, just relaxing in 90°C (~190F) temperature.

- You know that "religious holiday" means "let's get hammered."

- Silence is appreciated.

- Your coffee consumption exceeds 6 cups a day and coffee is too weak if there is less than 10 scoops per pot.

- You associate pea soup and pancakes with Thursday.

- When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that:
a. he is drunk
b. he is insane
c. he is American
d. he is all of the above

- You are immediately suspicious when somebody starts talking to you in the street.

- Santa Claus lives here in Lapland.
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Posted 7/30/13
In Japan, one should not sleep to the north; you face the north when you are in a coffin. Four is unlucky. Something about fire and wetting the bed.
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[not] China
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Posted 7/30/13

tinyd0t wrote:
3) When someone says "No need to bring anything to my house when you're visiting" is NOT A TRUE STATEMENT. If you don't show up with a gift it is considered rude in Britain. Same goes for "Help yourself to anything in our house", it does not mean you can literally help yourself with anything. Lol, British people are a little bit coy sometimes.
4) If a British person offers another person the last biscuit in the packet, he/she was just being nice, do not take anyone's last biscuit!!!
If she says no, it means YES!
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27 / M / Florida
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Posted 7/30/13
Hehe this is why people should research cultures long and hard before going to any part of the world. Learning foreign languages alone IS NOT enough with all the contexts, dialects, and non-verbal cues. That's one thing I learned in my International Management class this past spring.
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18 / M / Finland
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Posted 7/31/13

Mauno wrote:

This sure is a fun thread to read, I could easily come up with American or Irish traditions. I guess it's only normal to be oblivious of one's own ways.


In Finland:

- We go to sauna about three times a week. No towels, no steam, just relaxing in 90°C (~190F) temperature.

- You know that "religious holiday" means "let's get hammered."

- Silence is appreciated.

- Your coffee consumption exceeds 6 cups a day and coffee is too weak if there is less than 10 scoops per pot.

- You associate pea soup and pancakes with Thursday.

- When a stranger on the street smiles at you, you assume that:
a. he is drunk
b. he is insane
c. he is American
d. he is all of the above

- You are immediately suspicious when somebody starts talking to you in the street.

- Santa Claus lives here in Lapland.


My opinion as a Finn
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31 / M / Colorado Springs,...
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Posted 7/31/13
America has a lot of sub-cultures, meaning people behave differently if you're from some of the southern states compared to if you're from the west coast.

I was originally from the south. So we're very accustomed to saying, "Yes, sir.", "Yes, Ma'am". There is also a level of southern chivalry that I was taught personally, opening doors for women, and other general things like that. Although again, this is all dependent on the household you're raised but there is a general term called a "Southern gentleman".

That's not to say the west coast is bad or anything, I'm just speaking from personal experience.

Americans generally have much larger personal bubbles than a lot of other neighboring countries. When I worked at a Mexican restaurant, I first noticed how much Mexican people like to touch, hug and be very close to you. And I eventually got used to it, and even started to enjoy the affectionate displays of behavior (even between men). That was the first time I got very interested in different cultures. But in a general sense, most Americans have a rather large personal space boundary.

Americans are accustomed to tipping. The percentage depends on the service being given. Pizza delivery guy is less than a waiter/waitress.

You gotta be careful though when mentioning culture, because you're walking a fine line between culture and stereotypes. (Like the individual who just spouted off about 8 different stereotypes, nothing dependent on culture.) We don't have a specific cultural dish in America, it generally depends on where you go. We have a lot of "Americanized" ethnic restaurants but nothing is really our own creation. I'm not saying this as an insult to America, we're just a very new country.

That's all I can really think of for now.

Military culture is extremely different from civilian life. I know that much to be true, simply as a veteran.
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Posted 7/31/13

tinyd0t wrote:


anti-lambsacrifice wrote:


When someone says "No need to bring anything to my house when you're visiting" is NOT A TRUE STATEMENT. If you don't show up with a gift it is considered rude in Britain. Same goes for "Help yourself to anything in our house", it does not mean you can literally help yourself with anything. Lol, British people are a little bit coy sometimes.

If a British person offers another person the last biscuit in the packet, he/she was just being nice, do not take anyone's last biscuit!!!

Queuing is taken very very seriously in Britain, even the most trashy mother would yell at her kids for jumping in front of the queue.

British people love holding door for people, and it's considered a little rude if someone holds the door for you and you don't hold the door for the person after you.



-Another thing we British people say when you come to their house is 'Make yourself at home'. Just don't make the mistake I made and start redecorating - doesn't go down well with the owners of the house! Particularly when you start knocking down interior walls!!

-You're right about the biscuits. Often if a host leaves out a plate of biscuits (or cake etc) for guests to eat - there will almost always be one biscuit remaining because everyone feels it would be impolite to eat the last one. haha

-As a Brit I'm always slightly baffled that other cultures think the queuing thing is strange. It seems kinda fair that the person who has waited longest should take priority. Isn't that just simple respect?

-Holding the door open is a funny one. If I walk through a door I don't want it to slam in someones face so, if there is a person behind me, I hold it. The reason you would assume that the next person in line would do the same is so that you're not left just standing there while about ten people come bounding through the door as if you were a doorman (which has happened to me).
But it's not always straightforward. In the past it was considered chivalrous for a man to hold open a door for a woman. But more recently there are an increasing number of English women (possibly more in Southern England) who don't like men to hold a door open for them - because they are quite capable of looking after themselves and don't need a man to do such things for them My advice: do what seems fair to you ;)
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24 / M / NI, UK
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Posted 7/31/13
Few Irish ones would be:

Always reciprocate someone doing you a substantial favour with a bottle of alcohol.

If you know their name, use it. If you don't, ask for it.

Tips are earned not expected. If a waitress or waiter asks for or waits for a tip this is considered arrogant.

Your always at the very least alright when asked. Grand is the preferred response

Always offer trades men working in your house a cupa.
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Posted 7/31/13
In my country, foreigners give presents during Thanksgiving. And, they have to iron my clothes.
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21 / M
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Posted 7/31/13
Well, I was born in Russia... I guess you could say, drink vodka like it's water?
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20 / M / Chicago
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Posted 7/31/13
In soviet Russia....(Enter joke here)
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22 / M / 風の山
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Posted 7/31/13
i have a love hate relationship. love the part that its my identity and the food is good. hate the customs everybit of it. my family came from the getto trash of the country. so i grew up with only the strick asian aspects of the country. i myself know much of it but i rather stick to what i dealt wtih on here. um family honor before life sums it up, don't wanna go emo on here.


anyways pisses me off with people being pissed with the phrase: "where are you from?" i understand that you don't want to be stereotyped but a simple my ancesters from .... but i know nothing of it woulda worked.
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F / Boston-ish
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Posted 9/22/13 , edited 9/22/13
OP nuked. locked and closed.
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