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8.

Customs and traditions of the USA


Customs and traditions are important part of our culture, of our lives. Customs and traditions unite, build community. They
provide identity. They tie us to our ancestors and heritage. They remind us of where we came from. Every country and every
nation has it's own traditions and customs. It's very important to know traditions and customs of different people. It will help
you to know more about the history and life of different nations and countries.

Tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of being passed on in this way;
long-established custom or belief that has been passed on from one generation to another

All countries have their social customs and peculiarities, and the US is no exception.

Speaking about the traditions of the USA, it is important to consider the characteristic peculiarities of the American nature.
Who is a typical American? What associates more than three hundred million people living in this country and what makes
them such a strong nation?

Let us recall the historical events that have contributed to the early formation of the country. It is a well-known fact, that it
was European invaders who had settled in North America. Those who came to conquer the New World had to create
everything by themselves, endure hunger, battles with natives and hard times in general. Persistence, self-confidence and
endurance these traits of character are inherent to real Americans. Furthermore, these people are mostly individualists,
freedom-lovers and risk-takers.

American culture has absorbed the customs of European colonizers and migrants from Europe and Africa. Natives, like the
Indians and the Hawaiians, African slaves have made some contribution too. The USA is often called a melting pot. But the
major country that has influenced the culture of the USA is England. It was England that brought the official language to the
Americans.

Nowadays, America itself spreads its traditions all over the world. American music, movies and television are popular in
every corner of the world. It can be argued that the USA determines the life style for contemporary humanity. The major life
aspirations of the Americans are expressed in the American dream idea and a lot of people, even if they are not from the
USA try to follow its core principles. The material side of an American dream is embodied in possessing a private house
and an automobile, and the moral side implies that everything must be achieved by the personal efforts.

The Americans are very religious people. Church plays a great role in the life of every citizen. The government of the country
endorses the freedom of choice of the religion, and, as a result numerous religious sects have appeared here. The largest
one is known as Mormons sect. The representatives of this sect travel all over the world to spread Mormonism among other
people.

The USA has its own federal holidays. Together with international holidays, like New Year and Christmas, the Americans
celebrate a number of their own ones. They have got two military holidays. One of them Memorial Day is celebrated on
the last Monday of May. On this day the Americans honor the memory of those who were killed in military conflicts. Veterans
Day is dedicated to all living participants of the American wars. Inauguration Day and Presidents Day praise the ruler of the
country. At the same time, George Washington the first American president and other outstanding ones are remembered
on these holidays. Independence Day is one of the favorite holidays of the Americans. On the fourth of July in 1776 the
declaration of independence from the Great Britain was signed. The evening sky is lighted up with fireworks; the streets are
full of carnival parades. The concerts are held under the open sky and families go to barbeques and picnics. Summer in the
USA finishes with Labor Day which symbolizes the end of the vacations. Also in America people celebrate such holidays as
St. Valentines Day, Halloween and St. Patricks Day. These holidays are very colorful, cheerful and each of them brings
unique atmosphere. So, no wonder, that a tradition to celebrate them has spread over the Atlantic Ocean. It is important to
mention that the Americans are family people and they try to spend all the holidays together with their relatives exchanging
presents and having fun.

The Americans are proud of their educational system. Schools and universities in the USA give the education of a very high
quality. Thats why many talented people from the other countries come here to enter Harvard, Stanford, Princeton or other
institutions. The government of the USA is interested in attraction of clever individuals, and usually those who study in
America never turn back home and remain to work in various companies.

The American cuisine has a lot of tasty and unique dishes. Turkey, potatoes, corn and cheese are the most used ingredients.
Pastry is represented by pumpkin pies, cheesecakes and chocolate chips cookies. Fast food has come from America.
Popcorn, fried potatoes, hamburgers and sugar drinks are associated with the USA.

The Americans prefer to live in the suburb in private houses. Practically each family keeps weapons for security. Rights of
men and women are equal. The Americans have the cult of home and do their best to be good family men.