Culture in the United States of America: Customs and Rituals

In the United States, American culture covers all the traditions and practices of the country. An anthropologist from Barnet and Southgate College in London says, “Culture involves everything from our religion to how we dress to how we greet visitors to how we treat our loved ones and a million other things,” she says (opens in new tab).

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the United States is the third-largest country in the world, with a population of over 332 million (opens in new tab). A kid is born every nine seconds, and a person dies every eleven seconds.

The population of the United States was bolstered by immigrants from other countries and by indigenous Americans already living on the continent. According to the Census Bureau, a new immigrant arrives in the United States every 666 seconds.

According to The London School of Economics, the United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world (opens in new tab). According to the Library of Congress, the English colonists who arrived in the early 1600s profoundly impacted American culture (opens in new tab). American culture has been heavily influenced by cultures from Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as indigenous cultures.

Golden Beacon USA(opens in new tab) describes the U.S. as a “melting pot” in which diverse ethnicities have given their own individual “flavors” to American society. Cultures throughout the world shaped American culture just as much today as they did back when they came to America. According to ScienceDaily, the phrase Western culture is typically used to refer to the cultures of the United States and Europe (opens in new tab).

People “melt” in different ways in the United States. Live Science says, “Different immigrant groups integrate into different ways.” Many examples of urban Latino Catholics who have embraced the American way of life while retaining their linguistic and cultural heritage, such as those found in New York City.

The traditions and practices of the Northeast, South, Midwest, Southeast, and Western areas of the United States are diverse. Here is a basic introduction to American culture.

According to the United States government, there is no official language of the United States (opens in new tab). The four most commonly spoken non-English languages in the United States are Spanish, Chinese, French, and German. Almost everyone in the United States can say and understand some English, and most official business is handled in English. In certain states, a preferred or official language exists. According to the Washington Post, English and Hawaiian are the two official languages of Hawaii (opens in new tab).

More than 350 languages are said to be spoken in the United States, according to the Census Bureau(opens in new tab). The bureau categorizes four languages: Indo-European, including German, Yiddish, Swedish, and French; Hindi; Punjabi; Greek; and a host of other languages from the region. Languages spoken by people from Asia and other parts of the Pacific Ocean are also included. There is also a category for “all other languages,” which provides for languages such as Hungarian, Arabic, Hebrew, African, and native languages of North, Central, and South America that did not fit into the previous three groups.

Social class, geographic location, job type, and climate influence how people dress. According to InterExchange, the United States has long been known for its love of jeans, sneakers, baseball caps, and cowboy hats and boots, but there have been numerous more fashion trends over the years (opens in new tab). A few well-known American labels are Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, and Victoria’s Secret (all open in a new tab).

Celebrities and the media have a huge impact on American fashion, with 2019 seeing sales of clothing and accessories in the U.S. totaling $24 billion, according to Statista (opens in new tab). Americans are increasingly making their apparel, gadgets, and other purchases online. According to the Census Bureau, the third quarter of 2021 saw a total of $214.6 billion in retail e-commerce sales in the United States.

In its early years, American cuisine was heavily influenced by European and Native American cooking. Many meals, such as hamburgers, hot dogs, potato chips, macaroni and cheese, and meatloaf have come to be associated with the United States of America. According to the Smithsonian, despite the dish’s non-American roots, the phrase “as American as apple pie” implies anything truly American (opens in new tab).

A region’s cuisine and culinary styles are distinctive, as are the things they serve. According to Southern Living, “American comfort cuisine” includes meals such as fried chicken, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and cornbread (opens in new tab). According to Culture Trip, Tex-Mex cuisine, particularly popular in Texas and the Southwest, is a fusion of Spanish and Mexican cooking techniques that features chili and burritos and depends heavily on shredded cheese and beans (opens in new tab).