Saturday, September 27, 2014

What is "American"?

America is commonly called the "Great Melting Pot". It's a mix of all different races, religions, and cultures. But, because of this do we really know what America's culture is?

When most people think of Americans they think of Southerners. They think of Americans as being very patriotic, a bit racist, probably overweight/obese, and probably carrying a gun. But as we know, in reality, most Americans don't look or act like that. So what defines Americans or American culture.

Americans are very different people, they come from almost every country in the world, this is what makes America special. Even within America there are still differences between how people behave. Americans generally think of midwesterns as being kind and open, southerners as being described above, and West Coasters as being cool and "surfer chill". And while these stereotypes are probably accurate for most people who live in those regions it doesn't describe everyone, so then, how do we fit a culture to all Americans?

I think one of the easiest way to define someone's culture is with their food. There's a distinct type of cuisine when you think of French food, or Italian Food, or Chinese food. What's American food? Most people would say that the hamburger is the staple American food. So who created the hamburger? That's a harder question to answer. Some people say that it was created in the 1900s by Danish immigrant Louis Lassen, however, White Castle traces its creation back to Germany with its creation by Otto Kuase. Either way, both creators aren't exactly "American" a Danish immigrant living in America isn't necessarily "American".

So what defines something as American? Especially if we can't even consider our staple food as "American", how do you define "American"?

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