After 5 weeks being located in Washington DC and Omaha, Nebraska, USA I have found something truly interesting, I would conclude in 7 things below:
Yes! it is first time is the US. I have heard the name of the country when I was very young. What I know more about the US before joining YSEALI is things around politics via media but not know much about their people, culture, food and lifestyle.
1-Simply Straight Forward (Direct). Most people I have met are not trying to beat around the bush. They would say YES or NO immediately in front of you to what they feel. People feel and comfortable with the sentence of “Do whatever you want”. You can decide whatever you feel good when come to personal thing. I would reluctant to reject of invitation to join friends for parties back home but completely different story here in the US.
2- Hospitality. I had ever generalized that people in the so-called Developed country would be like discourteous, but the fact is killing my perception. Those people I have met in Omaha, Nebraska are full of big hearts and warm welcome to their places. They are so curious to know more about one another, culture, way of life and so forth. This astonishing memory will stick on my head endlessly.
3-Dog and Cat. I would accept that people back home are fond of pets like dog and cat, too but how to treat them is totally different. I have learned that people in the US are truly respect to their pets. Dog and Cat just stay in- side the house. Those dog and cat have their own place to sleep, the owner of the pets would spend some significant amount of money for food (processed food, mostly). Eating dog is something completely unacceptable that contrast to some of those countries in South East Asia.
4- Food. Apparently, people in the US mainly rely on processed food for their daily energy. This include various of bread, fried-food (oily, sweet, fatty) and lots of meat. People here also drink a lot of sweet soft-drink (signature-coca cola). This is no surprise to the fact that 1 in 3 of population (about 328 million) has gone in over-weight. However, Mexican and Asian food are phenomenal in the US. Every corner of the towns, small or big in the US, we can spot Mexican restaurants. Mexican food would contain vegetable, fruit and meat. This is might be fresher than typical American food. I was lucky enough to meet and worked with a group people who are passionate about food. They are the team of Omaha Permaculture (OP). They work hard to build the culture of healthier food. I believe this small organization will grow and change the culture food in the US gradually.
5- Friendliness- “Hello, how are you?” is common question that strangers would be asked. This is kind of ice-breaking question but would be surprise and abnormal if people back home greet people who they did not know previously by the question. But people here in Omaha (or entire US?) do even people pass by the streets. This is fantastic practice to make better days for everyone. With this culture, I am wondering why lots of crime often happen?
6- Mowing the lawn and trees. The gorgeous lawns of the cities, houses are blowing the mind. Those clean and green grass is well-managed by citizen and authorities. I am wondering how much money they have invested on mowing and keep it sustainable. I was impressed by the big sized of trees around the cities where I have seen like Omaha, Lincoln, Nebraska and even Washington DC. Along the roads are shed by trees, which accounting of 5-10 species, including high-valued wood (e.g. Oath). Those trees are planted for at least 4-5 decades, I was told. Graham Herbs, a member of OP who are passionate about tree shared that “Planting become like culture”. “People appreciate trees surround their houses. I would be able to write longer about the trees and people but what I would like to stress that having trees around cities and houses are really beautiful thing indeed.
7- Diversity: Richest and homeless. American is mixed with people from every corner of the world, from Asian, European, African, Latina. This just like flowers, the more color, the more beautiful. In fact, the beauty will exist if equality culture is built in-dept to the root of the tree to produce flowers. This linked to the fact that significant number of homeless people appear along the road, streets. It is the sad fact in the country where numerous of richest and powerful reside. We can overcome all the difficulties and challenge, even touch the moon by feet but some part of people are being kicked off to the roads side. I wish I would not see this kind of issue that often happens in the least developed world but also appear to the places where we call developed country. Therefore, we need to build not only good but also morally leaders. This is why young generation should be seriously thinking about this in leading the better changes.