Cultural Tidbits

This is a thread to share cultural tidbits- things from your culture that you find interesting or worthy of wider attention. This is also a thread for readers to widen their perspective and learn new things about the word.

Culture is very individual - these tidbits can be things from your country (recipes, historical events, interesting architecture, someone from your country doing something cool, etc), your region, an ethnic group or nationality, things from a religious culture or other social cultures (holidays, music, etc), or even your family’s heritage and mini-culture (cool family traditions, interesting ancestors, etc).

For the sake of clarity, I’m specifically talking about demographic cultures- topics like “corporate culture” and “tech culture” don’t fit here, there’s other threads for those discussions :slight_smile:

Share something new or learn something new!


Where I was born, cooking food in the ground with steam is still a thing :+1:



Ooh… now this is a tidbit I can get behind :grin: I’m going to try this for sure

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I think I got one from Tokyo, or rather, Japan as a whole. Rules; especially looser ones and even traffic laws are, vague. They say whatever you can’t do in a former manner, and they always say “report to authorities,” but unless it’s actually damaging or dangerous or possibly “too much,” nobody does. It’s a matter of efficiency versus “safety,” and people (more than you think) take the efficiency side, and nobody saw nothin.
People like to say don’t bother people and let them go their way. It’s really just that, and rules can be ghosts if everyone follows common sense. It’s not British highways this. And I quite fancy it. :sweat_smile:
I for one thought common sense was something much tighter, and sort of restrained myself too much. In the end, I was the only one not following it.


This is so interesting because I got a different perception of japan, solely from watching vlogs/travel videos on YT. I always assumed that in order to have such clean spaces and great service everyone would be following strict rules.

But this only shows how much of my perception is controlled by my own identity. I feel like a lot of people here in Germany are the opposite (of course there are exceptions) - there are a lot of people who take rules too seriously, meaning that they would do anything to find out if you’re doing something wrong etc.

There is an old term “Treppenterrier” from our dark past which essentially means “watchdog on the stairs”; these were “Blockwarte”, the chosen “arian” germans who controlled everything in particular sections and watched if everyone behaved correctly.

It’s something we as germans don’t like to talk about (think of our striking sense of humour) - but a sense of this “Treppenterrier” lives inside a lot of people here, still.


This is definitely making me hungry too. I love cooking outside, but this looks like a whole 'nother level.


I see. Yes people always think you have to be fricken strict here, but that’s becoming a thing of the past, or rather, only in business settings. People take their lives the way they do, and sure they might be strict about judging you with their eyes if you behave in a certain non-sensical way, but again that depends on the place.
It’s all a getting used to, and once you “know how to walk on the streets,” there’s no reason to be strict, you’re either being too strict compared to your standards or you actually understand people’s stances better, therefore becoming the crowd without much effort. It’s pretty hard at first though, as some invisible manners become more obvious when you start to be considerate of others in public (Again different parts of JP have different ways of doing things). There’s a word for it: 空気を読む (Read between the lines, or, straight-forwardly, read the atmosphere). The better you are at it, the more people will consider you polite, but really, unless it’s a business setting, not a lot of people care about it, especially friends, since a lot of people also think that most of the time it’s just BS. Besides, all sorts of people live here, and I think aggressive people catch more attention than people who don’t know about “manners” or whatever.
In the case of business, well, that makes my collar tight, but again, depends on what kind of job you do, and also the company’s personality.

I’ve heard of Germans being strict on rules but never knew it was true. I looked it up, but not many sources (at least English ones). Apparently state security of the east, close to the USSR, not sure though.
I heard surveillance society really was harsh in many places after WWII, calling people spies. And some people still think the pros outweigh everything, but I’m glad that that’s just only one perspective now, and not enough to change a whole society into one.


Just some further info, amongst which best types of soil for your hangi (in Maori literally means Earth Oven) including stones or substitute material if you’ve no access too any:

Even though a remnant of my cultural background, putting one down can still be a bit tricky but nevertheless the pay off if successful is simply delicious. I’d probably describe as a distinctive over all ‘earthy’ flavor and aroma that’ll greet ones senses, justifiable I think compensation for the effort involved.

Bon Appétit :smiley:


From Brazil, a “quick” summary :grin:

First, it’s kind of a meme at this point, but we speak portuguese. Not spanish, like everywhere else in Latin America. Portuguese and spanish are close in nature, but not interchangeable. And our accent is quite different from Portugal.

Speaking of accents, we have a lot of them, in different states and regions, to the point of even brazillians having a hard time while travelling around the country. Think like US states. Our population tends to be mixed, and that influences everything around here.

This brings me to the next point: Brazil is really huge, and culture varies a lot between regions. So, many of the generalizations you see in media and in the internet don’t hold true for the whole country. Many times, they’re specific for a state, or even a subset of a population from a state. The size of the country and these differences are often ignored, even by ourselves.

Food, like everything, varies a lot between regions. One important thing is that we tend to mix and adapt things a lot, to the point it can be argued that the result is a different thing altogether. Pizza is a good example, we put almost anything on it (any kind of meat, fish, fruits, chocolate, etc). Hot dogs are another example: we often put potato (either mashed or shoestring), corn, cheese, various condiments (peppers, mustard, mayonaisse), tomato, lettuce, etc. And it’s delicious. As long as the final result is edible, we will probably try it.

From personal experience (in São Paulo), I recommend the classic “coxinha” (chicken meat, covered in dough and fried), “pastel” (pasta “rectangles”, like lasagna dough, with many options for filling, and fried), “pão de queijo” (cassava flour dough, with cheese, baked on an oven). If you want something heavier, try “feijoada” (beans, pork parts and various spices).

For drinking, “caldo de cana”, a sugarcane extract, is a good option, though not found everywhere. Being sugarcane, it’s as sweet as something can be, but surprinsingly good to drink. Just avoid drinking too much, it raises sugar levels on the blood pretty quickly, which is bad even for healthy individuals.

“Cachaça / Pinga” is a good option if you like alcoholic beverages. Also made from sugarcane, it’s kind of close to vodka, but a bit drier in my opinion, with better flavour. It has many variations, often with fruits, and goes on many cocktails, like the famous “caipirinha” (cachaça, lemon, ice and sugar).

We do love our holidays, and non essentional work tends to be closed (smaller factories, business and banks). Many argue that we have too many of them (often tied to christian religious dates), disrupting work and the economy, but they do generate a lot of money in tourism. For example, Carnaval tends to be as huge as portraied, generating around 2 billion dollars in revenue. In Carnaval, people often go to street parties, bars and other events. The big parades (desfiles) you see in media (in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro) are the most visible part, but a fraction of the whole thing. Yes, there’s people who hate it (like any other event), but they do at least appreciate the days off.

Could go on, but don’t want to write a full article. So that’s all, for now. :wink:

Edit: and the meme of brazillians being everywhere is kinda true. Any community online (and many even offline), be it big or small, probably have a brazillian in it.


Oskar Kwiatkowski is Poland’s first ever snowboarder with the world champion title! He won it in Bakuriani, Georgia. Another good news is Aleksandra Król’s bronze medal won at the same championships. Hitherto our country had to be happy with the fourth place.




Out in Verboort, Oregon, USA, every year (the first Saturday in November) a local church hosts a fundraiser for its school. It’s the Sausage and Kraut dinner, you pay for your meal, wait for your turn to have a seat, and eat as much sausage and kraut as you want. thousands and thousands of people make it out to the event every year.

Since it is a church, they frown upon drinking at the event. But since it is a sausage eating party, people need to drink some beer also. So they set up a beer garden at the nearby gun club. They have a school bus to shuttle people back and forth.

There’s something really special about getting tipsy while standing on a bunch of shotgun shells at a firing range, then riding a schoolbus back to sausage church.

Verboort has a large population of Dutch immigrants that settled there after leaving Holland in the famine of 1846.


I love that part of Oregon, I haven’t heard of this but it’s on my bucket list now. I am absolutely down for all-you-can-eat authentic sausage and kraut

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Marcin Oleksy, a Polish ampfootballer, scored world’s most beautiful goal, that won him the Puskas’ award. Marcin was applauded by i.a. M’bape and Messi! By the way, Polish na jednej nodze idiom means … “in no time”.


Do you know if there’s a video clip of that goal anywhere?

The goal


Łukasz Czepiela is the world’s first man to have landed a propeller plane on the 56th floor Burjal Arab’s helipad as the video below shows! It took a while before he made it though.
Full video, that includes preparations for the stunt, is on YouTube.


Speaking of food, food sharing is now popular in my country. Across Poland we have these Jadłodzielnia or cabinets for the food we didn’t eat and want to give it to the needy. Share food and no deforestation to gain extra land and water for the cows is necessary. And this, in turn, means the planet is saved as climate change is no more a danger! It’s enough to share food to make ridiculous and draconian C40 proposed measures on meat and dairy a deviant fantasy that never comes true. Not to mention this locusts/cricket salad. Insects are there for birds, not humans. Another problem food sharing reduces or, preferably, stops is mass migration. When the famished are fed, they don’t have to leave their homes. After all, not whole world is a war zone.