It has been quite a while that I wrote about cultural differences. Well, first thing I looked at in a looong time was the homepage of Geert Hofstede - the Guru of cultural differences. Funny thing was, that I wasn't really explain the little things that I picked up in the daily life with those dimensions. (although the bigger picture is so accurate that it is almost scary. Give it a shot and compare your country - or the countries you have traveled to - on his homepage. Beware though: You can easily get stuck and spend hours picking different comparisons :)
Anyways: Here my "new" insights!
Clubbing in the US
As you probably read earlier this week, I went out last Saturday and had a lot of fun. The music was amazing and it was hilarious to experience the "openness" of those "party people" that even make a face when two girls help another to put sunscreen on each others backs. Guys "dance up" to you. Dirty dancing deluxe! It seems like there is nothing that isn't allowed as long as the clothes stay on. Still not sure how American's can be so prude while being to open in a club.
Marriage and Co.
The desire to get married, have kids etc. is still a lot higher in the US. Everybody talks about it or gives you a look if you tell them that you don't see the purpose of getting married. This is such a major difference to Germans (or may I even say Europeans, still figuring that out :) ). People often only get married to save taxes (sad. very sad), but well, in today's system where girls/woman get more and more independent there is really no reason to get married anymore. Whereas in the US it seems to be similar to a nice car, house or big TV. Marriage and having kids is somehow a status symbol, even if it is the "happily ever after #5" :)
All of this is fun and to be honest I didn't expect to still recognize so many differences or situations where I can't rely on my knowledge. Having studied in the Netherlands (country of very modern and open/honest people) and lived in the country of the harsh and often rude sounding language (Germany) didn't help all that much to understand the "ohhh you look great" kind of attitude as well anymore.
However, I truly love it when people tell you that they like your haircut, dress, smile or anything else. Always makes me feel a little happier and optimistic. THAT is something American's know to create!
Alright, enough of that cultural bla bla. Here one of my favorite video's from youtube (probably only REALLY funny for people that know English AND German): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K31dYgjgVfY