American Culture

The American culture is predominantly a western culture and has got a lot of influence from the European cultures. The American culture was getting shaped even before the United States became a country and was known for the unique cultural traits that would differentiate it from the rest of the world. Many intricate cultural aspects like dialect, music, arts, social habits, cuisine, and folklore form a part and parcel of the American culture.

The United States of America is known for its ethnic and racial diversity due to the immigration from many different countries throughout the course of its history.

The earliest influences on the American culture were from the English people and the Irish settlers. The British culture had a formative influence on the cultural inheritances of America including the language and the legal system. Germany, France, and Italy, the countries from the Western Europe played an equally important part.

The United States is famously thought of as a melting pot, though the pluralism and the uniqueness of the cultural diversities that still maintain their identities from across the globe evoke the image of a salad bowl rather than a melting pot.

Food

America is known to have an equally diverse taste when it comes to their cuisine, which is as vast as the continent itself. The native and the immigrant influences have given the dishes a unique touch. However, the food habits are similar to the Western countries. The primary cereal consumed is wheat. Other common food items are turkey, white-tailed deer venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup. Some other favorite dishes of the Americans are pork, beef, crab cakes, potato chips and chocolate chip cookies which are distinctively for the American taste buds.

German cuisines do also have a considerable influence on the American cuisine, especially mid-western cuisine. Food items like noodles, roasts, stews and cakes/pastries are liked by most Americans. Other food items incorporated into the American cuisine from Germany are hamburger, pot roast, baked ham and hot dogs. America has derived a lot of inspiration from Italian, German, Hungarian and Chinese influences, traditional Native American, Caribbean, Mexican and Greek dishes as well when it comes to the food.

The Cajun and Creole cooking (example, Crawfish Etouffee, Red Beans and Rice, Seafood or Chicken Gumbo etc.) are famous in Louisiana.

Clothing

The fashion trend in the USA is mostly eclectic and in a way, informal too. The American culture is reflected in their clothing style.  Cowboy hats and boots and leather motorcycle jackets have their origins in America. The merchant Levi Strauss, a German immigrant in San Francisco popularized the blue jeans way back in the 1850s. Though at those times, they were mostly worn as work clothes, after more than a century, it is a brand teenagers swear by, not only in America, but in all countries! America is all about informal wear in general and the blue jeans remains one of the prominent contributions of America towards the global fashion. The country also houses the headquarters of many leading designer labels – from Ralph Lauren to Calvin Klein.

Traditions

When it comes to religious traditions, the USA can boast of being one of the most religious (primarily Christian) according to the demographics of the country. Most of the citizens believe that religion does play a very important role in their lives.

Religious Statistics for the United States

  • Christian: (80.2%)
    • Protestant (51.3%)
    • Roman Catholic (23.9%)
    • Mormon (1.7%)
    • Other Christian (1.6%)
  • Jewish (1.7%)
  • Buddhist (0.7%)
  • Muslim (0.6%)
  • Other/Unspecified (2.5%)
  • Unaffiliated (12.1%)
  • None (4%)

However, some of the people practice neo-pagan religions, most prominently Wicca. Recent surveys are reflecting that approximately 16% of American citizens are atheist, agnostic, or have no religion.

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