U.S. Culture and Customs
Welcome to our guide of American culture and costumes. We believe that it is important to be familiar with the American culture to facilitate learning the language. In the same way, this informtion will help you to acculturate and adapt yourself faster to the U.S lifestyle. We also need to consider that some of the presented concepts are formal protocols and others were just established to have fun.
Meeting and Greeting Someone
- If it is necessary stand while you being introduced.
- Handshake briefly and firmly.
- Eye contact is important.
- Keep a distance.
- Pay attention to the name of the person you are being introduced to.
- Don't forget his/her title if you heard it.
- Phrases for greeting someone: Good morning, Good afternoon, Good evening, don't use Good ningt (note: "good night" means "good bye").
- More phrases for greeting some one: How are you?, How is it going?, How are you doing?
- Informal English: What's up?, What's new?, or What's going on?
- Tip: between 15% to 20% of the consumption.
- Call the server by his/her name.
- When you ask for something, always say please and thank you.
- Wait until all are served at your table before beginning to eat.
- Keep a distance.
- Some restaurants require a reservation.
- Wait to be seated.
Thanking Someone For a Gift
- Choose a card
- Briefly mention the specific gift.
- Add a warm though (examples: "Thank you for______,the simplest things mean the most."; "The apple pay was delicious. You made my day."; "Thank you for _________. You know me so well!").
- Send the card as soon as possible.
- Don't write the specific money you receive as a gift, instead use phrases like: "Thank you very much for your generous gift." or "Thank you for your generosity.".
- Football represents America.
- It starts on Labor Day weekend.
- People come together with their family or friends to watch the games.
- Chicken wings, pizzas, hot dogs and hamburgers are the popular food during football season.
- Americans consume a lot of beer during this season.
- People have tailgates outside the football stadiums.
Moving in and Meeting Your New Neighbors
- Plan to introduce yourself since you are the one who move in.
- Find a good opportunity to meet them: have a party or say hello if you see them arriving or leaving their house.
- Take them a bouquet of flowers or plate of cookies, and introduce yourself.
- Ask for information about the neighborhood (ex. garbage and recycle pick up, neighborhood watch, etc.)
Once again welcome to the the United States of America. We hope you could embrace our culture and don't forget to practice our traditions and customs.