The beauty of diversity

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Usually I love saying that we are all the same, because we are. Most of the times we all act in similar ways. But at the same time we are different, because we come from all sorts of cultures with their own perspectives and traditions. Even if you think that you know everything about these popular countries like UK or Russia, believe me, you don’t… But that’s the cool thing, every day teaches us something new! So, I did my research, talked with some of the international people and made a little list of weird and interesting things happening in countries that are in different parts of the world.

Germany

One thing that creeps me out a little bit is that Germans have a Barbie doll modeled on Germany’s current Chancellor Angela Merkel. Yes, it’s nice to show girls that women are not supposed to be just beautiful, but still, having a doll looking like you is not something I would like to have… Another thing is the language. They had a word Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz (law delegating beef label monitoring), but unfortunately it was removed from the German language… Yet, don’t get sad, there are still some awesome words left! For example, kraftfahrzeughaftpflichtversicherung (automobile liability insurance) and donaudampfschifffahrtsgesellschaftskapitaenswitwe (the widow of a Danube steamboat company captain)! I just can’t agree more with the author Mark Twain, who has once said: “I never knew before what eternity was made for. It is to give some of us a chance to learn German.”

Lithuania

Maybe Lithuania is a country most of the people aren’t interested in and if you are one of them, I have to tell you that you are probably wrong… This place is definitely underrated: it’s unique and cool in its own way even knowing the fact that it was occupied by other large countries for a very long time. One fact about Lithuania that is very disturbing is this wedding tradition. The guy that ‘got the couple together’ (he doesn’t even have to be the guy that did that, but the couple just labels someone of their close people to be the one) is supposed to be hanged (as it is known, no one has been actually hanged yet…) because he lied to the groom about the awesomeness of his bride! They never actually ‘hang’ the matchmaker because the soon-to-be wife, being all sweet, nice and foxy, finds her way to save the poor guy. The power of women’s charm!

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Why do you do this, people? This is just creepy…

Russia

Well, I think that Russia deserves its own separate article because there are so many things regarding this country that are just mind-blowing… But I will just mention a couple of them that are really interesting. One thing that is just purely amazing is the fact that most of the elderly have a carpet on their wall. Why?… There are a couple of assumptions: maybe they are hiding the imperfections of the walls, maybe they are trying to make their walls soundproof… Some say, that it came from the East, as carpets in there are works of art and show the wealth of a man. I don’t know why people are actually doing this, but they do it in such a weird and funny way…

And one other weird thing about Russia is this song that you just have to listen to, it is just plain amazing! I have no idea what is this guy on, but he’s totally doing it right!

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Well, what can I say… Only in Russia!

The Netherlands

I just can’t leave this place out… There are many things that I find weird about this country, for example, narrow staircases (as I like to call them, staircases to death), or referring to the ground floor as being 0, not 1, or putting sprinkles on your bread for breakfast… What is really interesting is that the saying ‘Go Dutch’ came from here and spread throughout other countries. As far as I got it, it just means splitting your bill with your date. It came from the propagation of gender equality, but some people just say that Dutch are greedy! From my experience, they are definitely not, so let’s stick to the gender equality… Splitting bills is not that common in other countries, as paying for a woman is showing your manhood and proving that you can not only take care of yourself, but for others as well (this signals a women that this guy may be able to provide a potential family!). Again, all I’m saying is that some countries still have this idea that women need men to take care of them..

UK

This country also has some interesting stuff going on. For example, all of the swans are owned by the queen! Or, if you hit a dog in this country, you have to report it to the police, but this doesn’t apply if it’s a cat! One thing that I can’t understand and probably won’t ever do is why they are using two different taps?! Why on earth would you have separate taps for hot as hell and freezing cold water? There’s just one word that leads this fact: WHY?… And to end this endless tirade about weirdness in the UK, I don’t get the ‘you alright?’ thing. They just see you, ask you this question, and walk away leaving you standing there with an open mouth…. That’s just cruel, mate!

USA

This country has some things that foreigners just can’t understand. Why do they have cheese in the form of aerosol? Or, how cool is the fact, that you can refill your super-sized drink (this thing is spreading to the other countries, but is still very rare)? Their use of flags and other American symbols everywhere and always is also disturbing… But my favorite thing about the USA is the stereotype that the foreigners have about this ‘typical American girl’. I probably don’t know any person, that doesn’t have his own way of impersonating it!

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Jordan

There’s this really interesting tradition. When a man wants to marry a woman, his dad takes all of the males in the family and goes to the female’s home, where her dad is waiting with all of the men in their family. Then all of them are served with coffee and the proposal is being made. If the girl’s dad agrees, he drinks the coffee. So, guys, if you ever fall in love with a girl from Jordan, be sure the coffee that’s being served for her father smells awesome!

So, as we can see, all of the countries have their unique things and that’s why we all should travel as much as we can! To embrace the beauty of diversity! Especially, when these differences between the cultures are so cool and just mind-blowing!

By Laisvyda Andrejevaite

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