Customs and traditions in the USA

Topics: Wedding, Wedding ring, Bridal shower Pages: 6 (2192 words) Published: November 29, 2013
"Customs and traditions in the USA"
Customs and traditions are important part of our culture, of our lives. Customs and traditions unite, build community. They provide identity. They tie us to our ancestors and heritage. They remind us of where we came from. Every country and every nation has it's own traditions and customs. It's very important to know traditions and customs of different people. It will help you to know more about the history and life of different nations and countries. Custom is a traditional and widely accepted way of behaving or doing something that is specific to a particular society, place, or time; a thing that one does habitually. Tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way; long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another

All countries have their social customs and peculiarities, and the US is no exception. The first group of custom which is worth speaking about is connected with meeting someone. When meeting someone for the first time, it is customary to shake hands, both for men and for women. Hugs are only exchanged between close friends. Kissing is not common. Among friends, it’s common for men to kiss ladies on one or both cheeks. Men don’t usually kiss or embrace each other. Americans usually introduce themselves by their first name and last name (such as “Hello, I’m John Smith”), or, if the setting is very casual, by their first name only (“Hi, I’m John”). The common response when someone is introduced to you is “Pleased to meet you.” Americans generally dislike formality or any sort of social deference due to age or position, and most quickly say ‘Please call me Rick (or Rita)’. To Americans, informality shows no lack of respect. Because of the rise of women’s liberation in America, women may be introduced with the title ‘Ms’ (pronounced ‘mizz’) and some women object to being addressed as ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’. In some social circles, women are introduced after their husbands, e.g. Mrs Chuck Whizzkid, in which case you shouldn’t address her as Chuck! Americans often reply ‘You’re Welcome’ or something similar when somebody thanks them, and they may think you’re impolite if you don’t do likewise. If someone asks ‘How are you?’, it’s usual to reply ‘Fine thanks’ and don’t complain even if you feel dreadful. Americans don’t have status or inherited titles (e.g. Sir or Lord) but it is necessary to defer to people with a professional title which has been earned. These include foreign diplomats (e.g. Sir), members of the Senate (Senator) or Congress (Congressman/Congresswoman), judges, medical doctors and others with a doctorate, military officers (e.g. General, Colonel), professors, priests and other religious ministers (e.g. Father, Rabbi, Reverend). If you’re invited to dinner, it’s customary to take along a small present, e.g. flowers, a plant, chocolates or a bottle of wine (but nothing extravagant or ostentatious). But choosing flowers you should remember that American people pay attention to the meaning of flowers. For example carnations are associated with bad luck, chrysanthemums are for cemeteries and roses signify love. Guests are normally expected to be punctual with the exception of certain society parties, when late arrival is de rigueur (provided you don’t arrive after the celebrity guest). It’s usual to arrive half an hour to an hour after the official start of a dance. Invitations to cocktail parties or receptions may state 5pm to 7pm, in which case you may arrive at any time between these hours. Dinner invitations are often phrased as 8pm for 8.30pm. This means you should arrive at 8pm for drinks and dinner will be served at 8.30pm. Anyone who arrives late for dinner or doesn’t turn up at all, should expect to be excluded from future guest lists. On the other hand, you must never arrive early. The custom of not taking off the shoes is peculiar to Americans....
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