01 June 2008

White American Cultural Understanding

There are some things that I have a hard time understanding about Americans and American culture. I wasn't born in the US and for a large part of my life I've lived abroad so there are certain things that still catch me off guard every now and then. For example why is it considered proper to eat with one hand on your lap? or why do people feel uncomfortable if I drink a glass of wine in the middle of the day? or why is every drink (except wine and beer) served with lots of ice?

Well, I found a very interesting and hilarious blog about white culture. For my foreign readers it is a must read. Here is a little sampling of the hilarity:

"It is strongly encouraged to bring a gift to these dinner parties...If you are able to bring a particularly rare dish from your culture, you will be the star of the party. To seal the deal, be sure to explain as much as you possibly can about the dish: history, availability, and the proper way to eat it. Every white person at the party will be taking notes and will be in your debt for introducing them to something new and authentic. If a white person says that have eaten the dish before, it is best to respond by saying "what you ate was a watered down version. They don't even sell this to white people, it's that intense. Even I had to show ID."

I'm still laughing at this! You must visit the site Stuff White People Like.

Psst... and if you've always wondered about t-shirts and its cultural importance click here.


laradunston said...

I totally relate to you, but to me this isn't 'white culture', it's American culture. I'm a white Australia, but from a Russian and Scottish heritage, and I've lived overseas for about 12 years of my life. It's not at all unusual in Australia - or as you'd know, 'white' European countries to drink wine at lunch for instance. But what is considered criminal by my friends and family - for instance - would be to drink Coca Cola with a meal. I have some great American friends but I have to admit that I find American culture the most unusual of all global cultures. When people say Australia is influenced by American culture, they have no idea what their talking about - we have so few Americans here, and yet most of our population are descended from the British, Greeks, Italians, Eastern Europeans, and Asians, and it's the habits, customs and values of those cultures in our own culture that I recognize whenever I travel.

A fascinating and thought-provoking post! Thanks!!

Alex said...

I totally agree with you that it is American culture and not necessarily 'white culture.' When I see Americans travel I always see different races and socio-economic Americans come together over things like macaroni and cheese or Coca Cola -if they were back home they wouldn't necessarily ever come together like that.