American says: What are you doing with yourknife and fork? Ohhhhh you must be European! Hallo Servus and welcome back to my Youtubechannel! My name is Felicia, I’m originally fromMunich, Germany but I have been living here in Cincinnati Ohio on and off since 2016 andmoving to a different country obviously comes with many culture shocks and surprises – andfor me, some of those surprises were just everyday things that for some reason Americansdo differently than we do in Germany – and that’s why in this video I’ll be sharing5 Things that Americans do differently than Germans – things that I found really odd inthe beginning or maybe still find weird to this day.
I’ve made 2 similar videos to this one before– so make sure to check those out as well, they’re linked In the info box below andthis is going to be the third part! The first one has to do with eating.
Now I’ve already talked about the differentrestaurant experiences but this one is about the actual act of getting food into your mouth.
Overall, it’s more common in the US to eatwith your fingers than it is in Germany and some other European countries.
Americans find it super weird for examplethat many Europeans eat pizza with a fork and knife.
I think that one also just has a lot to dowith how thin real Italian style pizza is – at a good Italian restaurant you’reusually not even able to eat the pizza with your hand because it’ll just hang down.
I mean we do eat some pizza with our handsin Germany too just not always.
And the fact that Americans eat more withtheir hands has a lot a lot to do with American fast food of course, because there’s justa lot of food here that can be eaten and is supposed to be with your hands.
But even when you’re at a restaurant andeveryone’s eating a dish with silverware, with a fork and knife, people can always tellthat I’m from Europe because I apparently do it differently than Americans do it.
I had no idea about this before I came here.
I mean, who would have thought you could useyour fork and knife differently in such a significant way that people actually noticethat? So here’s the difference.
Most Americans I know – I’m sure there’sexceptions – but they usually cut up their – let’s say steak – with the knife in theright hand and the fork in the left hand and then once they’ve cut it into pieces theyswitch the fork back to the right hand and then eat the pieces they’ve previously cut.
Which to a lot of Europeans looks a littlelike what kids would do.
I’m not trying to sound snobby or anything, you just won’t see a lot of adults do that in Europe.
Because we are taught to eat in a way thatwe keep the knife in the right hand the whole time.
So we’ll cut a piece off the steak and thenright away stick it on our fork and put it in our mouth.
Sometime we also turn the fork around in ourleft hand and use the knife to scoop things on it.
And yes, this might sound like kind of a boringtopic but believe me, I’ve been asked about this so many times and Americans just lookat the way I hold my silverware, and they’re like– Oh you must be European! Now this one took me a looooong time to realize, and I still haven’t adapted to this yet and to be honest I don’t know if I everwill.
In Germany, the start of the week is Mondaywhile in the US the new week always starts on Sunday.
So the calendars are different here whichI find really confusing because I’m just used to the first column of the calendar beingMonday and then Saturday and Sunday being next to each other at the end but here, calendarsstart with Sunday as the first day of the week and Saturday as the last one.
Which is kind of odd to me since the businessweek obviously still starts on Monday in the US.
It also doesn’t seem to make a lot of sensebecause Saturday and Sunday are called weekend – Wochenende in German, so it’s literallycalled the end of the week, and not end and beginning of the week.
Now I looked it up and the internet said thatthe way we do it Germany is the international ISO 8601 standard – whatever that means– but some countries, like the United States, Canada, Brazil, Japan and some other countriesconsider Sunday the first day of the week.
I read that it has a religious background, mainly a Jewish and Christian one, because the Sabbath is supposed to be the last dayof the week and that day is equivalent to today’s Saturday.
I find this interesting because Europe hasso much Christian history and culture but apparently we didn’t stick to the calendarthing.
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Point number 3 on today’s list is celebratingNew Years Eve.
Americans and Germans do it very differentlyand I personally absolutely prefer the German way.
Now this has to do with two things and thatis alcohol and fireworks.
In Germany, New Year’s Eve celebrationsusually have a pretty big part that takes place outside.
Because to us, fireworks are a pretty importantpart of New Year’s Eve and we’re also allowed to drink in public.
Not all Germans go outside of course but Iwould say it’s more common than staying in.
To me a typical New Year’s Eve in Germanyis a night with friends or family, we usually have dinner – which traditionally is Raclette, which I’ve talked about before – we do other traditions like lead pouring and watchingthis comedy piece called Dinner For One, drink play games and then around midnight we gosomewhere outside – ideally a hill or bridge where you have a great view at all the fireworksbecause around New Years Eve, buying and shooting fireworks is allowed in most parts of Germanyand many, many people do that There have been more and more cities in the past few yearswho banned fireworks in certain areas because of the pollution and of course it’s dangerousas well – but traditionally this is a big part of German New Years celebration – Silvesteris what we all it.
So we go outside before midnight, bring ourchampagne and maybe some glasses and sparklers and maybe fireworks and then experience thecountdown outside somewhere possibly with a pretty big crowd of other people and thencheers and enjoy the view.
This year things are probably gonna be differentof course but I’ll definitely make a more detailed video about all the German New YearsEve traditions when I’m in Germany later in December.
Now I’ve spent two New Years Eves in theUS so far and I have to say I was pretty surprised and disappointed that it was so different– and in my opinion a little boring here.
Fireworks aren’t really a traditional thingfor New Years here – it differs from state to state because of the laws but in many statesthere are some public fireworks, but you’re not allowed to buy and shoot fireworks yourselfaround that time.
Instead, the main fireworks day in the USreally is 4th of July and not New Years like in Germany – like for 4th of July peopledo shoot fireworks, not so much on December 31st.
Instead, I’d say that most parties are justindoor parties that except for people dressing a little nicer aren’t very different fromany other party and at midnight people usually turn on the TV and watch the countdown andthe ball drop on Times Square in NYC or they watch some other TV show, then it’s a traditionto kiss at midnight – which we do too but I feel like the midnight kiss has more relevancehere since there aren’t a lot of other traditions.
And then the party just continues.
I’m sure many people will comment that that’snot how they celebrate NYE in the US, of course there’s also many events you can attendin both countries, at bars and clubs, but from my personal experience and also whatI’ve seen in movies, this indoor party thing is pretty common in the US.
This one is a pretty small difference butit really threw me off in the beginning though and it’s that when you say thank you tosomeone, Americans sometimes just reply with “mhm”, or “uh huh” or just “yup”, which to them is another way of saying you’re welcome.
From what I’ve heard this might be a regionaland generational thing but here in Cincinnati, people say that all the time – like whenthey hold the door for you for example.
But we don’t do that in Germany – if wewanna say you’re welcome we always use words so to me, the mhm sounded always sounded moreannoyed than friendly in the beginning.
You know, like “thank you, ” “mhmm”, kind of like “yeah you better say thank you”.
Nowadays I know that this isn’t supposedto be rude at all and I’ve actually caught myself saying that a few times too.
I’ll just have to make sure that I don’tdo it in Germany because over there people are totally gonna think that I’m annoyedwith them and being disrespectful.
So this one wasn’t new to me when I camehere and I’m sure most of you know about this too but I honestly didn’t think itwould be this extreme here.
Americans love love love ice in their beveragesso whenever you order something at a restaurant – whether that’s just a cup of water, a soda, or even a cocktail, it’ll be full of ice and by that I don’t mean one or twoice cubes – no it’s usually half the cup that’s full with it.
And when Americans get their own drink ata soda fountain for example, most of them fill up their cup with ice before they getthe drink.
To most Europeans, this is just a little oddbecause first of all, we feel like you don’t need your drink that cold, two ice cubes wouldhave been enough or even no ice at all since many beverages are refrigerated anyways, thenwe ask ourselves why you would wanna pay for a 16oz cup of soda when really most of itis filled up with ice cubes instead of the actual drink and lastly, why would you wannawater down your drink with all that ice and ruin the flavor? Americans just seem to exaggerate with thisonce again.
I noticed that even the fridges are oftentimesset to a lower temperature and as I’ve mentioned before – beer is usually served ice coldinstead of just cold – which is probably the reason why many Americans believe thatwe drink our beer warm in Germany because compared to a half frozen beer, we only drinkours refrigerated which means the flavor of the beer is still there.
So Americans: Be prepared that when you goto Europe and order a drink you might not get any ice in it so if you want some you’llhave to explicitly ask for it and even then you’ll probably only get a couple of icecubes.
Same goes for Europeans going to the US – ifyou don’t want your drinks to be half ice, you’ll have to make sure to order your drinkwithout ice.
Those were my five things Americans do differentlyin Germany part 3, so make sure to check out the first two parts if you missed those aswell.
I talked about how we sleep differently, howwe write our numbers differently, I talked about saying hello and answering the phone, about race and many other things the videos are linked in the info box below.
Now before I say goodbye I have two announcements.
The first is that my friends from Americansin Germany Drinking Whiskey podcast have invited me to be on their podcast again.
I was on one of their episodes a few monthsago when we talked about two different perspectives, me living in America and them living in Berlinas Americans.
And this time we talked about growing up inGermany vs.
the US it was a really interesting topic, the episode is out on October 21st, so check it out – Americans in Germany Drinking Whiskey and the link is also in the info boxbelow.
And I also have a pretty big surprise myselfthat I’ll reveal on Thursday October 22nd so make sure to activate the bell for notificationsor just check back in on my channel on October 22nd to find out what my surprise is, it mayor may not include Josh as well I’m super excited I hope you are too so stay tuned andin the meantime you can follow me on social media, join the Patreon family, and of coursedon’t forget to like and subscribe.
And I’ll see you on Thursday! Tschüss!.