“And We’re the Weirdos…”
As we look into other cultures around the world that are vastly different from our own we have to sit and wonder what is considered truly weird and can we really point the finger to say who is really the better culture? When we look at other cultures we can see many differences within them that may raise alarm to other Americans.
For instance certain practices would be considered extremely weird and unheard of. In China foot binding was very common in society, and they also don’t have any type of verbal “Hello” or “Goodbye” when meeting people at random. In certain African cultures (tribes mainly) we find it a bit unheard of to have arranged marriages of children at such young ages. In Arab cultures the first thing we as Americans to (stereotypical) is to automatically think that they are all Islamic extremists and that their women are oppressed because they have to be fully clothed from head to toe.
Now as stated before we may find all of these cultures different and some would consider them weird but when the show is on the other foot and we analyze ourselves there are far more aspects about our culture that others would consider abnormal.
To start off we have baby beauty pageants to advertise how beautiful our youth is. We are considered a society (by other cultures) to be work obsessed, fast food loving, obese SUV drivers (as far as stereotypes would go). We are a nation that proposes freedom of religion however we have Christianity heavily interwoven within our school systems in America. Even when it comes to greetings and such, “Hey what’s going on?” or “Hey, how are you?” we really don’t desire an explanation about how a person is actually doing. Other cultures have deemed us as “overly nice” without actually being nice (if that makes any sense; an affected or artificial kindness). We are also people who smile too much as looked upon by other cultures. We smile when we are happy, but we are a people who also smile just for the sake of smiling sometimes.
Besides those small factors we have other different aspects about American culture like spending money, “The Jersey Shore,” frat parties and body shots that other cultures (including some Americans) look at and shake their head in aversion. For us to judge other cultures on a whim is an insult, we should take a good hard look at ourselves collectively as a whole and see where we lie on the weird-o-meter as far as difference goes.