Undoubtedly the world we live in is an incredibly diverse place, and with 195 countries in existence today, it isn’t difficult to see why. For every culture has a history; some are longer and date back further than others, and many more are heavily influenced by the impact that older countries have had on their development; but, as a point of pride, each on is uniquely their own. However, whether you choose to attribute it to human nature and our incessant need to group and categorize things or not, we have put together many countries and nations that were born from European decent and labeled them the “Western World.”
Europe, the Americas, Australia and New Zealand all fall under this category as all were born as we know them today from European emigrants who spoke a European language as their mother-tongue. The culture of the Western World was heavily influenced by the traditions of the Renaissance, Protestant Reformation, Age of Enlightenment and came to fruition through the expansive colonialism that was rampant between the 15th and 20th centuries.
While it can be confusing considering countries that are so far apart geographical as part of the same subsection, the influences on politics, government, and religion cannot be denied. It also doesn’t help that as these countries grew and came into their own, with a more noticeable divide in the culture becoming apparent. And perhaps no divergence is more noticeable than that between the United States and Europe.
“How different could it be?” you might ask yourself, especially knowing that it was Europeans who came and settled here and are in a large part responsible for the country we know today. Although difficult to pinpoint when it happened, somewhere along the way, American culture diverged and began to adopt its own standards, beliefs, and practices, many of which today, are quite different from those found in Europe. In fact, you need only ask an American who was recently in Europe to learn how different it really is – so different, that many Americans are shocked by what they see on the other side of the pond.
So in case your passport has expired or you have no plans of visiting Europe in the near future, we have decided to bring Europe to you by reviewing 12 things that shock Americans when they visit Europe – and we will let you be the judge of who is doing “culture” right.
It is now 2017 and it is hard to imagine anyone alive on this planet who isn’t aware of the damages of smoking. Coughing, wheezing, asthma, pneumonia, emphysema and lung cancer are all very real, medically documented outcomes of smoking, and thus, in America, huge efforts have been undertaken to discourage smoking. However, in Europe, they might not have gotten the memo.
Smoking is rampant in Europe with seemingly just about everyone doing it. And while many European countries have banned smoking indoors, as a result, terraces and patios are meccas for the populous. Many countries even have special rooms in airports and train stations for smoking so as not to bother those who don’t (which in our experience isn’t many).