pyrrhiccomedy: (Chibi!America)
[personal profile] pyrrhiccomedy
So, I haven't been feeling especially inspired, lately...but I HAVE been feeling more-than-usually curious! Would anybody want to help me out with the first bit of that by indulging the second bit?

Tell me something about where you're from that is very common and ordinary, but that people from other places might not know about! I'm looking for the facts that make you think "Oh, I shouldn't share that, that's so obvious and normal," and then "...wait, does anybody do that but us?"

RESTRICTIONS: No holidays! Every country has its own holidays, but that's too obvious. I want to know daily life kind of things!

ALSO: No relics of past or present extra-national organizations! Citizens of the Commonwealth and the former Soviet Union, I am looking at you. Tell me something about your country specifically.

Example of something pretty surprising to foreigners that is extremely normal in America:
-- Daily, state-mandated declarations of loyalty. American students, K through 12, both in private and public schools, say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. (It goes like this, if you're curious: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. I guarantee you that any American you ever meet will be able to spit this out in under five seconds. In my headcanon, America says it to himself every morning, but only when he knows he won't get caught. >_> )

ONE LAST NOTE TO OTHER AMERICANS: If you can think of more stuff, that is awesome, please share it, but no regional things. I mean, grits are very normal in parts of America, but in other parts it's all, what's a grit. America is kind of a bad country for this, because we never shut up about our culture, so people tend to already know about America-only things like Halloween, or how we sing the national anthem at baseball games, or whatever.
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Date: 2009-09-16 12:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] twistedsheets10.livejournal.com
We do the pledge of allegiance to our country as well from elementary to HS. Sometimes even in college and Friday in some offices. ♥ (at least in gov't ones).

By law, you have the right to kill your wife/husband's lover if you catch him/her in your bed. >)

When we say traffic, and this pertains to vehicles, we mean traffic jams/heavy traffic/ Also, here, salvage means an extra-judicial killing (usually involving kidnapping a person then summarily executing him and dumping his body).

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 02:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
We do the pledge of allegiance to our country as well from elementary to HS. Sometimes even in college and Friday in some offices. ♥ (at least in gov't ones).

Yay, patriotism! XD Can you tell me what your pledge says? =D

By law, you have the right to kill your wife/husband's lover if you catch him/her in your bed. >)

Ohmigosh! Is that actually carried out in courts? I mean, if you walk into court all "Yeah, well, so I found out the milkman was hitting it daily and nightly and ever so rightly, so I shot him," do they just let you go? o.o

When we say traffic, and this pertains to vehicles, we mean traffic jams/heavy traffic

That is also what 'traffic' means in America! Although we don't have a word for just "the ongoing stream of cars" so we use 'traffic' for that as well. But traffic on its own means heavy traffic.

Also, here, salvage means an extra-judicial killing (usually involving kidnapping a person then summarily executing him and dumping his body).

...Woah.

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From: [identity profile] twistedsheets10.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-09-16 04:34 pm (UTC) - Expand

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 12:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jinsai.livejournal.com
My school, you were allowed to remain sitting for the pledge if you so chose. I remember once in high school my teacher actually lecturing right over it while we yawned and took notes.

Here's something on America, actually BECAUSE of the regional note thing: America, I have noticed, is EXTREMELY regional, more so than most other nations (at least, this is what I've observed interacting with other expatriates and exchange students from around the world). Each state is practically its own little nation, and most of us treat them like that. If someone asks an American abroad where he or she is from, the gut reaction is not to say "The United States" or "America" or anything like that, but to say their state. When asked, my first reply is always "New York." Same for my friends from other states.

In fact, most Americans (again, in my experience) don't call the country 'America' at all. We say "the States" or the "US" or "the United States", again emphasizing the fact each state is its own distinct entity. This probably has its roots in the way the country was originally established, as a collection of 13 independent states, only loosely united under a federal government. Even in our constitution the federal government's powers have to be specified, while everything else is left up to the states and individuals by default.

Canada's constitution, if you're wondering, is written the other way around.

Another American institution people I met here seem to be surprised about: Summer camp! As in, the sort you sent your kids away to for a week or two during summer vacation.

And, uh, I'm not Japanese by any means, but I've been living here for a good four years. Would you like me to share anything on Japan, despite not being native?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 02:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
I have to disagree with most of this, I think. While there is a lot of regional pride in America, overall I think national pride by far supercedes state pride, with the exception of a very small handful of states (Texas at the top of the list, New York a little ways beneath it). And I think describing the states as "like their own little nations" is very misleading when you consider other comparatively-sized countries (Russia, China, Canada); the American states have far less autonomy and ideological variation than the distinct regions of those countries, and there are no serious secessionist movements in any part of the United States (unlike all of the above).

No doubt Americans feel a lot of state and regional pride (in New England outside of New York, the loyalty is to "New England," not the individual states), but it's more like a hobby or a flavor for most Americans. We are all convinced of the superiority of our bit of the country to every other bit, and take pride in our states' achievements, but I very much doubt nearly as many Americans would fight or die for their state as would for their country.

Also in my experience, most Americans use "the States" and "America" pretty interchangeably. I do agree that the prevalence of "the States" (and how a lot of Americans will still use the term 'the Union' in a lot of situations--mostly in the North, obviously) probably comes from how the country was first established.

And, uh, I'm not Japanese by any means, but I've been living here for a good four years. Would you like me to share anything on Japan, despite not being native?

Certainly! =D I think living abroad makes it a lot easier to appreciate the distinctions between countries.

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Date: 2009-09-16 01:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] alice-wndrlnd.livejournal.com
Jumping in randomly...

Most of the Americans I've met are genuinely interested in other cultures... I heard about the pledge of alligence - and I don't view it as a negative thing, rather I'm pleased that people are so happy to be patriotic to their nation!

We don't have such a thing in my country - Australia. Most people can't even remember the second verse to our national anthem! We're really terrible when it comes to these things.

I'm half german, and have lived in Germany for some of my childhood and I also went on summer camp, (to Hungary) so I don't think its very unusual.

An interesting thing about Australia then? (Since I cannot think of any German one... In Germany we have school only until one o'clock most days?)

Australia is known for being a convict colony yes? But what some people don't know is that its actually a replacement colony for when the British Empire lost the North American colonies (following the American Revolution) For some reason I think this would be hilarious in Hetalia terms.

Or maybe you knew this already? Oh well! Nice to meet you anyway - I really enjoy your TCE work

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 02:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
We don't have such a thing in my country - Australia. Most people can't even remember the second verse to our national anthem! We're really terrible when it comes to these things.

Hahahaha, most Americans don't even know there IS a second verse of our national anthem! XD That used to be one of the ways they caught spies during WW2--they'd pull suspicious individuals aside and ask them a bunch of "patriotic" questions, the kinds of things real Americans ought to know, right? And then they'd ask them to sing the second verse of the national anthem. If they could do it, they were almost definitely a spy. Real Americans don't know the anthem past the first verse. XD

Australia is known for being a convict colony yes? But what some people don't know is that its actually a replacement colony for when the British Empire lost the North American colonies (following the American Revolution) For some reason I think this would be hilarious in Hetalia terms.

Gosh, was Georgia still being used as a penal colony right up until the Revolution? For some reason I was sure that had ended beforehand. But, yes! Poor Australia. XD (I live in Australia now, actually! It'll be two years in November. =D)

Nice to meet you anyway - I really enjoy your TCE work

Thank you--nice to meet you, too!

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Date: 2009-09-16 01:28 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] leifang666.livejournal.com
Here in England it's the duty of the town's vicor to train all boys over the age of ____ in archery.

Yeah that doesn't happen any more but the laws still there.

I think the age is 11 but i'm not sure.
What else?

School system: We have primary school and high school. that's it

Primary school is RECEPTION to year 6 (4/5-11)
High School is years 7-11 (11 to 16)

Then you can either leave or join sixth form (years 12 and 13). My high school had it's own sixth form. Others have to go to sixth form colleges.

NB: Scotland has a seperate system.



(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
School system: We have primary school and high school. that's it

It's the same in the US! But the ages are different. High school starts at 13 and goes to 18. We call grades 7-8 "middle school" occasionally, but it's still technically part of primary school--at least, I'm pretty sure.

Why is it called "sixth form?" What are the first five forms? o.o

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Totally butting in

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Re: Totally butting in

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(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nittle-grasper.livejournal.com
I would like to dissent and say that you are slightly mistaken. I do believe the Pledge of Allegiance goes like this: Ipledgeallegiancetotheflagofthenitedstatesomericaantothepublicforichitstandsonenationunergodinvisibleandwithlibertynjusticeforall. If you can't say it in one breath, you are clearly unpatriotic =P

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nittle-grasper.livejournal.com
Okay, but I actually have a serious question for other Americans. Umm...do other states have a pledge to their state flag?

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Back in old country...

Date: 2009-09-16 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] youkofujima.livejournal.com
-It's not uncommon to see four people (or rather, one family) on one moped in my nation. It's illegal and very dangerous, but people do it anyway because we're so small we don't have enough spaces for cars (unless it's taxis).

-Back before the early 90s, our movie theatres played the KMT national anthem before the movie starts playing, and everyone is expected to stand up for it.

-Our mandatory education is not K-12, but rather 1-9. For people who wanted to advance to high school, something very much like a college entrance exam was taken, prompting very very pressured students who will all act like they're ready to snap at any given moment.

-We don't have school lunches or a canteen but instead all kids are expected to pack lunches. This is almost always packed in a metal lunchbox and then we have a steamer to keep them warm so that we have a warm packed lunch by the time it rolls around.

-Also, in mandatory education we're required to have a flag-raising ceremony in the courtyard every morning and sing the anthem (we have about two songs--one is the KMT anthem and the other is the national flower song about the plum blossom.)

-Until about a few years ago, students were required to cut their hair and have a uniform hairstyle once they reach middle school. It was the bob cut for girls and a crew cut for boys. No dye jobs, no perms. You needed a special form to say if your hair colour is naturally lighter, or if your hair is naturally curly/wavy. During March/April time there was usually a lot of girls who cried about having to cut their long hair. (This is my generation, though. My younger cousin who is 17 now just missed it.)

That's all for now. I guess my job makes me compare schools a lot.

Re: Back in old country...

Date: 2009-09-17 07:28 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
-It's not uncommon to see four people (or rather, one family) on one moped in my nation.

Oh my gosh. XD I totally want to see a picture of this.

-Our mandatory education is not K-12, but rather 1-9. For people who wanted to advance to high school, something very much like a college entrance exam was taken

Huh! Man...like 13 year olds aren't under enough pressure from their hormones.

-Until about a few years ago, students were required to cut their hair and have a uniform hairstyle once they reach middle school. It was the bob cut for girls and a crew cut for boys. No dye jobs, no perms. You needed a special form to say if your hair colour is naturally lighter, or if your hair is naturally curly/wavy. During March/April time there was usually a lot of girls who cried about having to cut their long hair.

Oh, poor things! How long did you have to keep it that way? Until you graduate? What was the point of it--just an extension of the uniform policy?

Re: Back in old country...

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Re: Back in old country...

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(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] puella-nerdii.livejournal.com
I recently read a book by a (I think) British author that got this one wrong, so: tipping in America!

You do not tip in America for good service, really; you tip for service, period. The tip usually isn't included in the total (unless you're, say, at a restaurant and dining with a large group of people, in which case many places will add the tip to the bill), but not tipping is Very Bad Form -- service professionals (or the kinds of service professionals you'd tip) earn a pretty good chunk of their income from tips, and not tipping is like withholding part of their paycheck. Different professions require different tips, though a good rule of thumb is 15% -- waitstaff, cab drivers, and hairdressers all get 15%, for example. Some other common ones: airport skycaps get $1-$2 per ba; bellhops get $10 for carrying luggage and $15 for showing you to your room; pizza delivery is $1-$2 for short distances, $3 for longer ones, and $5 for large deliveries; and furniture delivery's usually $5 or $10 minimum, maybe $20 for a really heavy item. (And apparently you don't do the latter kind of tipping in Japan -- I got corrected on that one in a fic I wrote once.) Stiffing a tip is only really appropriate if the person in question completely fails to do their jobs, and I think I've only done it once in a restaurant because the waitress ignored us for the better part of an hour when we were one of the only parties seated.

...and now I feel like Miss Manners!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 07:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wizzard890.livejournal.com
*copy-pastes oh-so-subtlety and laminates for wallet use*

I'm a godawful tipper. Not for the person who's serving me, but for me. I can never remember how much to leave for anyone (no head for numbers) and so I just leave what I'm sure are really extortionate sums of money.

Puel, you might have singlehandedly just saved my finances. XD

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Date: 2009-09-16 03:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daegaer.livejournal.com
In Ireland the age of consent and the age one is first allowed a driving licence is 17 (unless one wishes to drive a tractor, for which the licence age is either 14 or 15).

State school starts at 4 (the child must be four years old by the end of the September of that year - this meant I got to start school at the tail end of 3, go me). School years are Junior and Senior Infants (4/5), 1st-6th Class (6-11/12). Secondary school years are 1st-3rd Year, at the end of which is the state exam, the Junior Certificate (formerly the Intermediate Certificate), after which one may legally leave school (at 15). Then there is Transition Year (formerly 4th Year) in which school pupils might seek job experience, learn a language not usually offered in their school and so on. It's common now, but didn't exist when I was in school. The senior cycle of state education is 5th and 6th Year, followed by the Leaving Certificate, the state exam that Determines Your Life. Irish universities are either three or four year programmes, and one specialises from the start (so my brother's degree in Pure Mathemetics was four years of maths and nothing else - the state school system is where one is expected to get a general education). At the moment (and for the last 14 years) there have been no fees for attending university in Ireland (for citizens - reduced fees for citizens of other EU countries, full whack for non-EU citizens).

The first language of Ireland is Irish, but only about 50,000 people speak it as a first language. It is compulsory throughout the state school years. The grammar of the Irish language (and loan words from it) heavily underlie the dialect of English spoken here.

Ireland has no pledge of allegiance.

Irish people's real drink addiction is tea.

On the 8th of December every single person from the country comes to Dublin to do their Christmas shopping (or so it seems in the crush).

An originally derogatory term for Dubliners is "Jackeen" from a visit by Edward VII to Dublin, in which schoolchildren waved small Union flags. (The diminutive form in Irish is ín, appended to a word, thus "little union jacks"). This term was embraced (though not the politics) by Dubliners, and if Dublin's hurling or football teams are doing well it's a fair bet that Dublin papers will have headlines along the lines of "The Jacks are back!"

Practically everyone in the country who went through the school system has read the book shown in my icon, Peig (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peig), in Irish. It's a horrible, traumatic childhood event that draws the generations together. It was traditional in my time to alter the title so it read "Belch", "Beige" (the colour of the school-edition cover) or "Bitch".

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 09:31 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] daegaer.livejournal.com
. . . and as it was too obvious to me to explain, "hurling" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurling) is a field sport played with flat sticks (the camán) and a leather ball (the sliotar). It's like hockey would be if hockey players weren't the kind, laid-back, lackadaisical sports people they are. There are references to it as a sport in Irish literature going back well over a thousand years.

"Football" means either soccer or Gaelic football (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaelic_football). Rugby is also immensely popular.

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Date: 2009-09-16 04:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hirakareta-sama.livejournal.com
It's sad but when people ask me where I'm from I do say New York *Facepalm* Other than that I recently found out that jay-walking (Walking before the light changes red, crossing in the middle of the street) was illegal and was like what? Here we do that so much that it becomes a damn artform. So when I go to other states and jay-walk (I went to Otakon) I scare the ever-loving christ outta some people. That and I've become so used to the public transportation system in NY that I cry when I here that trains or buses stop at 8...Cause we have a 24 hour train/bus service. Cause in NY we really don't sleep..Who ever told you we did is lying ^3^!

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Date: 2009-09-17 07:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
It's sad but when people ask me where I'm from I do say New York *Facepalm*

I don't think it's sad! It's just...New York-y, you know? There are 10-15 places in the States (cities or states) where saying that you're from there actually conveys more information than just saying you're an American. I mean, when people ask me where I'm from, I say "Boston," because that aptly communicates that I'm an American anyway, as well as some cultural cues that are likely to be picked up by many non-Americans.

A lot of people also identify by region, if their state/city doesn't have an immediately recognizable cultural tag: so "I'm from the Midwest," "I'm from the South," etc, after clarifying that yes, indeed, United States of America, that one.

It would just be funny if an American in Argentina or Australia or something were asked "Oh, you talk funny, where are you from?" and they said "Montana" or "Phoenix" or something. Blank looks all around, and then an infinitely unimpressed: "So, America, right?"

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Date: 2009-09-16 04:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lele-pink.livejournal.com
This topic is really interesting!
Well... I'm italian and... what to say? At first, sorry for the bad english! *L'ele blushes and she feels very ignorant* ...cough.
It's quite difficult to talk about Italy because every region has its own traditions that could be weird even for another Italian but in general... ehmm... we shout a lot.°-° It's not difficult to recognize my compatriots (does this word exist? Bha... I haven't the dictionary... dho!>w<") when I'm abroad, the noisest group is Italian, be sure. XD
To answer the question: "do other states have a pledge to their state flag?"
Not in Italy... I know a lot of people that feel shame being Italians... or that forget that the 2nd of June it's the Republic anniversary, and I guess Italians politicians don't know our anthem.... quite sad, isn't it? °-°
Ohwww, I've said only negative things!X°°D The next time I'll talk about positive curiosities about my country!**
If you want to make some questions, I'll try to answer too!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 06:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] luxnigra.livejournal.com
"I know a lot of people that feel shame being Italians"...sad, but true -__-(I'm italian too and unfortunately I know some of this stupid compatriots who aren't proud of their own country.... probably because they are proud to be ignorants).

"we shout a lot" XD yes, we can't deny this! XDXD

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Date: 2009-09-16 04:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rawr-its-prii.livejournal.com
Well uh here in Scotland we have 2 types of school; Primary School is from Primary 1 to 7(4 - 11 usually) and High school which is 4 to 6 years (11/12 - 16/17/18), You can leave after 4th year only if you are 16 or you can stay on to 6th year. Uhm and here, Catholic school or not you have to wear a uniform and you are allowed to Dye your hair and have piercings in my school.

In 4th, 5th and 6th year we do exams. 4th year; Standard Grades (Graded 1 to 6 and 7 = Fail), 5&6th year; Intermediate 1 2 and Highers (Graded A to C and D = Fail)

I'm in a Catholic school so we are meant to pray every morning but we don't really and if we do I don't.

About roughly 1% of people in Scotland speak Gaelic

The Driving Age of Consent is 17, Drinking is 18 and Smoking is either 16 or 18 I think it was raised to 18 but i don't remember.

and Haggis really isn't made of Sheep Stomach, Just cooked inside it.

That's really all i can think of.

(Former Lurker so uh Hi. I'm a big fan~ )

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Date: 2009-09-17 07:47 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Hi, nice to meet you! =D

Catholic school or not you have to wear a uniform and you are allowed to Dye your hair and have piercings in my school.

I went to Catholic school, and we were allowed to dye our hair and have piercings...sort of. We were only allowed to dye our hair natural colors, and we weren't allowed to have facial piercings (tongue piercings were okay, though--and quite common!). Is it like that? Or are people free to have blue hair and eleven eyebrow piercings if that's what gets them going?

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Date: 2009-09-16 06:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] paperclipchains.livejournal.com
BAWWW IS THERE ANYTHING PEOPLE DON'T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT CANADA?

We have milk in bags.

We don't pledge allegience, we sing the anthem every morning, until we get old enough at which point we're too damn cool to sing and we stand instead. And they play the anthem half in French and half in English, like a verse for each, but nobody 'round here really knows the French parts actual words so they just sort of say what it sounds like, to the chagrin of all of my French teachers.

I don't even know what people don't know about Canada...

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Date: 2009-09-17 12:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sadlygrove.livejournal.com
I live in America and I had milk bags lolwut in school! :D :D :D :D

After we were done drinking them, we'd blow up the bags and poke the straw through the other side so they looked like ghetto dradles.

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Date: 2009-09-16 06:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] hakuku.livejournal.com
I live in America but my nationality is Vietnamese....XD Hm well some people might know this, but some don't. It's a pretty simple fact: The Vietnamese written language is the only nation in Asia that uses the latin alphabet...its linguistically influenced by the chinese, but during the 200 years of influence by the French alot of the French language was adapted into Vietnamese.

oh yea and like 80% of the country runs on mopeds, scooters, vespas, etc. THE TRAFFIC IS TERRIBLE :C

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Date: 2009-09-17 07:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
The Vietnamese written language is the only nation in Asia that uses the latin alphabet.

This is totally one of those facts that I can just feel that I'm gonna get the opportunity to drop it cavalierly into a conversation at some point, and sound really really intelligent.

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Date: 2009-09-16 07:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tauruschick12.livejournal.com
Ehh. New Jersey's the place I know best, so can I rattle?

Here in the suburbs of NJ, we are a sea of houses (and no inetersting stores of places to go. Except the mall, which is kind of like our oasis in the desert of...well, houses. Probably why NJ is the state with the most malls.)

There isn't any big hair, from what I've seen, and Trenton is pretty much the 'GO THERE AND YOU'LL GET SHOT' spot (then again, it IS the murder capital of the East Coast...) there are no gardens, and we are the only state without an anthem.

...and, for some reason, NJ is the sate with the least cases of depression, thereby making us the happiest state. Irony, isn't it? XD

Also, a lot of people here, including myself, will rag on NJ a lot, but don't like it if someone who is not New Jerseian does. (We raised JON STEWART, DAMMIT.)

That said, it's not a bad place to grow up. Just...not a great place to visit. ;)

Mind if I butt in quickly?

Date: 2009-09-16 11:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanya-tsuki.livejournal.com
...Trenton, really? I've grown up in Jersey and I was always told that Camden was the "GO THERE AND YOU'LL GET SHOT" spot.

Re: Mind if I butt in quickly?

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Re: Mind if I butt in quickly?

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Re: Mind if I butt in quickly?

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Date: 2009-09-16 07:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ta19910710.livejournal.com
It's sort of weird to think about something NOT KNOWN in particular. I've got some, maybe not the best, about CHINA.
1.General chicken, orange chicken and fortune cookies are exotic to Chinese. We used to have this Canadian teacher in my Chinese middle school who was stunned by us not knowing what fortune cookies are. That became the joke, sort of, "him knowing better about 'Chinese cuisine' than us." Basically, what got to be known by the west is actually "Chinatown Culture", which in my opinion is really American.
2. Should this be something about the U.S.? Statistics show that Tsinghua University, an university in Beijing, has the largest number of its undergraduates getting Phd in the U.S. annually, more that any American colleges of universities.
3. About the pledge thing, since everybody sort of mentioned. We don't have a specific pledge to the country or the flag, but there's for sure one to THE PARTY. Actually maybe more than one...but you only need it once at the ceremony of joining either the Party or the youth groups affiliated to the Party(which include nearly everybody, though).
4. High school uniforms are designed to prevent students from "early love". They are indistinguishable of sex, very much hated, and they never work.
5. "Long time no see." is in Chinese grammar. I think it starts from Charlie Chan.

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Date: 2009-09-17 07:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Basically, what got to be known by the west is actually "Chinatown Culture", which in my opinion is really American.

Huh, neat! I'd sort of gathered that people in China didn't really eat those things, but I didn't realize it was that clear cut.

3. About the pledge thing, since everybody sort of mentioned. We don't have a specific pledge to the country or the flag, but there's for sure one to THE PARTY. Actually maybe more than one...but you only need it once at the ceremony of joining either the Party or the youth groups affiliated to the Party(which include nearly everybody, though).

Does it sound awesome? I mean--what does it say? XD

4. High school uniforms are designed to prevent students from "early love". They are indistinguishable of sex, very much hated, and they never work.

Oh, God, but they keep trying, don't they? In America, we have the whole "abstinence education" thing, where the only form of birth control that kids learn about in school is NOT HAVING SEX. Naturally, this does nothing to dissuade teenagers from having sex, and instead it just leads to more teen pregnancies... /facepalm

5. "Long time no see." is in Chinese grammar. I think it starts from Charlie Chan.

!!! I have ALWAYS WONDERED about that phrase!

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From: [identity profile] ta19910710.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-09-17 04:52 pm (UTC) - Expand

Sorry for butting in, but, um...

From: [identity profile] zasummer.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-09-18 04:53 pm (UTC) - Expand

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Date: 2009-09-16 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wooblywooble.livejournal.com
I feel kinda stalker commenting this, but, hey!

In Brazil we sing our national anthem in the independence/republic week (they're two different weeks, btw) but most brazilians don't really know the lyrics (namely the second part). If they do, there's a big chance they don't know what it means, because it was written by a famous parnassianist poet, so it has an older and flashy portuguese.

Whenever you're in a concert (any kind of concert) there will be someone shouting "Toca Raul!" ("Play Raul!" as in Raul Seixas, a singer from Bahia) in the back, just for the lulz (it gets annoying at one point), so now most bands have at least one of his songs in the set list to appease the audience.

Our coin (the Real) has colorful notes. The 1 is green, the 2 is blue, the 5 is purple, the 10 is red, the 20 is yellow, the 50 is a deeper shade of yellow and the 100 is a greenish-blue. (Although the 1 is being taken out of circulation) Their bigger than dollars too.

I could spend the day doing this, it's so much fun!

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Date: 2009-09-17 08:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
If they do, there's a big chance they don't know what it means, because it was written by a famous parnassianist poet, so it has an older and flashy portuguese.

That is sort of excellent. Do people sing it with gusto anyway? I know I would. Actually, I think I did...in America we have a song, not the national anthem, but also a very popular patriotic song, called America The Beautiful, which is in a rather archaic and overly-poetic form of English. There's one line that goes "America, America! God shed his grace on thee! And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!" I still don't really...know what it means. "Crown thy good?" What? Do I even have that lyric right?

But nonetheless, it's a fun song to sing, so everybody's just like "A-MEEEEErica, A-MEEEEErica, I dooon't know what this meeeeeans!"

Whenever you're in a concert (any kind of concert) there will be someone shouting "Toca Raul!" ("Play Raul!" as in Raul Seixas, a singer from Bahia) in the back, just for the lulz (it gets annoying at one point)

THIS IS TOTALLY YOUR FREEBIRD. Any rock concert you go to in the States, some joker will inevitably shout "Play Free Bird!" It's a Lynyrd Skynyrd song. I have no idea how it got to be a meme, but it's been going on for ages.

I could spend the day doing this, it's so much fun!

Please do, this stuff is really interesting! =D

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Date: 2009-09-16 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] miss-chella.livejournal.com
Well, I was born in New Jersey(I totally agree with everything that has been said about Jersey, btw), but my mom's from Honduras. All I have to go on are her and my grandmother's stories, so if I get something wrong, I am so sorry.

Uhh...They don't have a pledge, but they sing the national anthem with lots of pride. Girls with hands over their hearts and boys saluting. And it's a very pretty song. They sing it when they raise the flag.

Like most other hispanic nations, we have some words that are Ours, and any one who isn't from Honduras won't understand.

It's not really in the culture to let kids go out and hang with friends. Kids stay home over there. And they are expected to cook and clean.

This is so sad, but it's all i have. I would talk about Russia, but my dad never really talked about it that much. So I don't know anything.

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Date: 2009-09-17 08:03 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
It's not really in the culture to let kids go out and hang with friends. Kids stay home over there. And they are expected to cook and clean.

D= Poor kids! They must be so bored...but probably much better behaved than American children. >_>

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Date: 2009-09-16 09:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] cleartempest.livejournal.com
Some 'wat' moments I had when visiting China and Taiwan:
-a lot of places didn't have toilet paper @_@ you're expected to bring your own.
-Taiwan is the only Asian country to still use traditional Chinese characters, even China uses simplified characters. And Mandarin is the official language in Taiwan but most locals speak Taiwanese when talking to each other.
-I also hear that schools in China are crazy about ranking, it's announced and everything so everyone always knows the best students and worse students and how everyone did on a test. There is some degree of privacy for that in the US...at least where I went to school there was.
-People take pills for everything in Taiwan. Especially Japanese pills, they like their Japanese goods there. You can find manga and anime merchandise in most 7'11's and Taiwanese people like to travel to Japan XD

Also, when I went to Canada to visit, I saw that my aunts don't habitually lock their fronts doors when they leave the house because apparently it's safe enough...I thought that was kinda weird.

These were kinda the opposite of what you were going for because I could not think of anything American that foreigners might find weird XD but hopefully they have the same effect?

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Date: 2009-09-17 08:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
They totally still count, thank you! =D I didn't know any of this stuff. The toilet paper thing--oh God. o_o Bad thing to not learn about until after you get to the country.

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Date: 2009-09-16 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] meganinhiding.livejournal.com
Back when I was in high school we had a transfer student from South Africa and we were talking about Stephen King and the novel Pet Cematary was mentioned and she was shocked that there cemetaries exclusively for pets. She said that in her country they love their pets of course but they don't go to quite the same lengths Americans do. Mind you my family has never seen or used a pet cemetary but I was never quite so surprised that they existed as she seemed to be.

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Date: 2009-09-17 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
I don't know that I've ever seen one, either, and I think the people who use them are, er, maybe a little overly precious about their pets, but yeah--no, it's never surprised me that they were THERE.

She must be even more stunned at the domestic animal cloning industry. Because we've got nothing better to spend our money on than making sure our new cat is EXACTLY LIKE our old cat, right?

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 10:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] madgirl-l.livejournal.com
A bit more about Brazil... *notices that another one commented about Brazil some comments above*

-We have the tendency to make a big deal out of everything. For example, if something bad happens, we make it seem way worse than it is; if something good happens, we talk as if we were doing a hell lot better than we are - sometimes, it is good, but sometimes it is reaally sad...

- Brazilians also love to make jokes about pretty much everything. Commies, capitalists, french, portuguese, argentines, americans, you name it. Some are funny, some aren't, and this habit of ours usually makes it look like we don't take anything seriously at all. ok, most of the times we don't, but we can get serious if we need to, or when we actually want to XD~

-Usually, when we don't have anything better to say, is a common joke to say 'ronaaldo' in a really cracky voice...It is not supposed to mean anything at all, it's just for the lulz. *rolls eyes*

-Some expressions that mean pretty common things in Portugal usually have weird, obscene meanings here. For example, 'bicha', there means 'row', here means 'fag'.

Oh, well, this is fun~! But, it is better if you ask what you want to know, I don't wanna bother you with my ramblings...

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 08:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Oh, well, this is fun~! But, it is better if you ask what you want to know, I don't wanna bother you with my ramblings...

No no no, you did perfect! This thread is all ABOUT ramblings. =D If you think of anything else, please share! Just reading all these things people have to say about their countries is really interesting, and I know I'm not the only one who feels that way!

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-16 10:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mcelligots-pool.livejournal.com
NEEDS MOAR CANADIAN INFO RIGHT? XD

Where I am, people tend to forget half the lyrics of both the french and english anthem, so we combine them into some weird...nonsense version
O Canada,
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint
de ....hmmmhmmhmm command... O.o
With glowing hearts..? etc XD

I find that while the elementary students have memorized the french anthem, none of them know what it actually means

Also, what the person above posted about highschools not singing the anthem? True.

Despite -20 degrees celsius on a warm winter day, you will still see people walking around in shorts. Likewise, -10 degrees celsius = spring weather/bring out the t-shirts!

Milk in a bag is completely normal. I think milk in a plastic jug is weird.

Newfoundlander (Newfie's) is the province we make most fun of. Joke is that they're the section of Canada that says "aboot" and "hoser" the most XD

We say sorry atleast twice a day in public. If someone steps on our foot, we say sorry. Most of the time, both people will say sorry at the same time though =u=

I have yet to meet a born canadian who didn't know how to play hockey. It's inbred XD

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Date: 2009-09-17 08:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
O Canada,
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint
de ....hmmmhmmhmm command... O.o
With glowing hearts..? etc XD


Oh, Christ...this is really endearing, for some reason. XD Poor Canada. A weird, jumbled up version of English and French, not making very much sense but trying really hard to do the anthem thing because it is a real country and we have an anthem too, you guys...it's like a microcosm of Canada RIGHT THERE.

If someone steps on our foot, we say sorry.

You guys are the most pleasant neighbors ever. ♥

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Date: 2009-09-16 11:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tanya-tsuki.livejournal.com
I was just talking to a friend of mine from England about this topic, and asking her if she had learned anything about America and she told me something rather interesting. She didn't realize just how often military members tend to move, or the fact that the military member generally takes his or her family with them to whatever base they're relocated to.

I really don't know if it's an American military thing only or not, but it was interesting to find out.

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 08:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Huh! I wonder how they do it in Britain.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] harosketch.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-09-18 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand

You MADE Me Do This.

Date: 2009-09-17 12:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wizzard890.livejournal.com
(In my headcanon, America says it to himself every morning, but only when he knows he won't get caught. >_> )

There is but one appropriate response to this.

+++


Russia isn't sure what wakes him first: the soft glow of morning filtering through his closed eyes, or the slow, measured murmuring coming just above and a little to the left of him.

He blinks, squints in the sunlight at the hand America has placed over his own heart, an inch away from where Russia's head is resting. After a moment's consideration, he decides to lie still and wait for America to finish. But he can't resist shifting closer, letting the side of his mouth brush the skin bared between America's splayed fingers.

The other nation finally falls silent, and Russia listens to the birds outside before arching his back and feigning a little yawn. He gives America a lopsided smile. "Good morning."

"Nice try." America drops a hand into Russia's hair, pets him like a cat. The tips of his ears are red. "You woke up halfway through, you son of a bitch. You're not half as sneaky as you think you are."

Russia shrugs and stretches into the touch. "Maybe." A pause. "You say it very slowly, you know."

"I'd kinda like to think about what I'm saying, thanks. And anyway, you're not allowed to call me out on anything. I bet you don't even know it."

"Mm." Russia sits up, braces a hand on America's shoulder; the other slides up the side of his neck and comes to rest against the sharp angle of his jaw. He meets his eyes, and doesn't bother to keep his face neutral as he kisses him.

"I pledge allegiance to the flag..."

He tastes the corners of America's mouth.

"Of the United States of America..."

Another kiss, soft, and then Russia's teeth find a pulse.

"And to the republic for which it stands..."

Bite, lick, and a gentle swipe of lips across the mark.

"One nation, under God, indivisible..."

He busses the top of his head gently against America's chin, and trails his hand slowly beneath the waistband of his boxers.

"With liberty and justice for all."

Russia raises his eyebrows and squeezes, just a little. "Something like that?" He breathes.

There's a shivering sort of silence.

"Yeah," America finally gasps. "Something like that."


+++





Edited Date: 2009-09-17 12:20 am (UTC)

This is now a fic-off!

Date: 2009-09-17 08:25 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pyrrhiccomedy.livejournal.com
Ffffff I love you XD

But I see it going more like this:

---

"I pledge allegiance to the flag," America muttered, as he wiped the crust out of the corner of his eye and pawed open his underwear drawer, "Of the United States of America--"

He didn't even hear himself when he said it, anymore. It was just a part of his morning routine, like brushing his teeth, or making a pot of coffee.

"And to the republic for which it stands--" he hopped on one foot to the side as he struggled to pull on a sock with one hand. His other hand was on his heart, and he used that elbow to steady himself against the edge of the dresser.

He used to think about it...sort of... At least, when he'd started doing it, back in the fifties, there'd been a certain petty satisfaction about it, yeah, under GOD, you hear that, you commie atheist son of a bitch? But now it was just a reassuring drone while he thought about what jeans he was going to wear today.

Originally, he had faced a flag while he did it, but somewhere along the way that had fallen off, too.

Yes, he did have a flag displayed in his house.

No, contrary to what France had told everybody after he went to sleep early one night at the G20, it was not hanging on the wall in his bedroom. It was in a nice brass stand, in his office.

(And he had another one out on his porch. And a whole crate of them in his basement, "Just in case.")

"One nation, under God, indivisible, with Jesus Christ how did you get in here?!"

Russia blinked at him from the doorway. "I let myself in."

"The front door's locked!"

"I let myself in," Russia repeated.

America uncurled his hand, which was now clutching at his heart rather than reverently covering it. His pulse started to slow down. "What the...fucking Christ, Russia..."

"Were you just swearing your loyalty to yourself?" Russia came the rest of the way into the room and trailed two fingertips across the top of America's dresser.

"--No!" Belatedly, America finished pulling on his sock and dropped his foot to the floor.

"Because that would be the most American thing I have seen you do in--" The corner of his mouth turned up.

"Oh, fuck you. What are you doing here?" America tugged straight his t-shirt and tried to look as with-it and capable as he could, standing half-dressed in his Pacman boxers with one sock on.

"We were going out to lunch. Don't you remember? --Did you sleep through your alarm again?"

America wasn't going to admit that anymore than he was going to admit to saying the Pledge to himself. "I had a late night, okay. Just--get out of my bedroom and go...read a comic book or something, downstairs, and put the coffee on. Thank you."

The door shut. America waited a slow count of ten, then finished,

"With liberty and justice for all."

He'd jump in front of a bus before he ever admitted that he heard the soft chuckle from the other side of the door.

(no subject)

From: [identity profile] erueru-2d.livejournal.com - Date: 2009-09-17 11:50 am (UTC) - Expand

Re: This is now a fic-off!

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(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 12:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sadlygrove.livejournal.com
As far as America goes, unless you want to know all the dirty secrets about the Amish... I think everything has been covered so far :T But, from the time I lived in Tokyo....

+ There is NO hand drying system in most public bathrooms; hardly ever an air dryer, even less often paper towels. Most women, I noticed, brought their own towel with them via purse or just dealt with it.

+ Vending machines are incredibly awesome in comparison to the US. They have steaming hot coffee in cans that's great to put in your pocket in January, beer machines that only operate after 10pm, cigarette machines you need to swipe an ID for... The only thing is there aren't many food machines, like chips and stuff--probably because it's considered rude to walk and eat at the same time. But there are alcoves of vending machines with meals--I saw one with corn dogs and boiled eggs--that are near a table for you to eat. Also there are 'chance' vending machines where you put in $10/1000 yen and anything from a t-shirt to nothing will fall out. Then of course there's all these rumors about the girls' underwear machines and I didn't believe it... until I actually found one shoved behind an alley way with a security camera beside it. Right beside my apartment. So. They're there, just... very hidden.

+ The subway comes every two minutes or something nuts like that. During peak hours, you are packed in like a sardine. And when you think, "There's no fucking way anyone else is getting in this thing." six more people get in.

+ If you get into a car accident, most people handle it without involving the police because usually the police cite both parties at fault. Even if your car was parked, it may not have been parked the 'right way' and you could still have issues. Speaking of police: Legally the police can hold you for 23 days without presenting evidence or defining the case against you. Recently there's been a huge crack-down on marijuana and that can land you more jail time than most sex crimes :T The study abroad school I was at had a unofficial 'policy' of getting you the fuck out of the country if you did something accidently stupid a few hours before they reported it to the police. It was in the news while I was there that a bunch of sumo wrestlers got caught with pot.

+ Randomly, the One Manga (http://onemanga.com) website where most people get their manga scans and translations cannot be accessed via a Japanese IP :o

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 01:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nittle-grasper.livejournal.com
Wait, I'm in Japan now and I've been reading Reborn on OneManga |D

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Date: 2009-09-17 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mahonsky.livejournal.com
This thread is fabulous, so much information *__*
You know, I prefer talking about other countries I’ve been to more than about my own, but, well...*crawls on the stage*

- The shittiest roads in all the Europe (I’ve checked). The most reckless drivers in all the Europe. Sometimes they’re drunk, which makes them even more reckless.

- Russians abroad are often ashamed to name the country they are from. Sad and stupid, but true.

- Life here’s unpredictable. You can’t be certain about weather, you can’t say if there would be any hot water when you wake up next morning, or would you be able to buy, like, milk in the nearest grocery store. Or for how long will you wait for a bus – they ignore the schedule completely. Or where you’ll be working next year.You never know if that nice car would actually stop and let you cross the road or hit you and drive away without stopping. Planning things is useless, things happen SUDDENLY – but that’s what makes the living fun :3

- There is an easy way to distinguish a foreigner in Russia. Just find the guy in the fastened coat, smiling and freezing.

- We don’t have an established way to address strangers. After 91 calling people "comrades" without the irony was uneasy, "sirs" and "misters" were all long dead and the new government forgot to invent the new way of addressing, we just call people we don’t know "man", "young man", "woman", "girl" and the universal "excuse me, sorry". Like, "Woman, what’s the time, please?". Now they’re trying to introduce "mister" into practice. Good luck, what else can I say.

-Cigarettes are extremely cheap and it’s allowed to smoke almost everywhere. And even if smoking is prohibited – like in the subway – you still can do it, just not that openly. Same goes for drinking, sellers usually don’t ask to show the ID and police doesn’t mind people with bottles walking around in the evening. The situation with drinking becomes better, though.

-Moving from one city to another is really problematic. You can’t just get on the train to, I don’t know, Irkutsk, rent an apartment and live in peace, the registration needs to be obtained or in 3 month you’ll be sent back. Sounds simple, but the main thing is that it often takes more than 3 month to get this paper from official sources - and even longer for foreigners (not for ppl from America, Western Europe or China. Lol, double standards =_=), while they need to get it much faster, so hundreds of students have to deal with this headache every year and hide from the police. Besides, you can’t get a proper job without registration and not all the students are fond of handing out the dodgers. Of course the registration can be obtained faster if you pay, but we don’t like easy ways. X) And we also have quite a number of closed towns. No special permit – no entrance...But that’s reasonable. We have, like, secret factories there.

-Russians have special nostalgic feelings for German porn. (Why am I even telling this?...) First porn tapes that appeared in Russia were German and it was all, you know, forbidden and unusual and loud and, er, crafty and why-do-they-speak-doing-it-oh-my-god. Now we have tons of this stuff, but every Russian knows what "ja, ja, zer gut, dast ist fantastisch!" stands for X)

-Kids at school still have to greet every elder person coming into the classroom with standing up...And they, at least in my city, need to follow that stupid dress-code now... But no pledges or anthems!(Except the Gaudeamus at the Universities)
The situation with our national anthem is a bit awkward, because some people remember the old version better then the new one and start singing about the unbreakable union of free republics and oh god >_<

(no subject)

Date: 2009-09-17 11:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] erueru-2d.livejournal.com
Now they’re trying to introduce "mister" into practice. Good luck, what else can I say.
I believe it is "sudar", not "mister". Sudar and sudarynya. I wish it would work; these words are old but nice.

The situation with our national anthem is a bit awkward, because some people remember the old version better then the new one and start singing about the unbreakable union of free republics and oh god
pffft, yes... and they sing it like this:
(translation from Wiki)
You are unique in the world! You alone are like this —
Our dear land kept safe by God!
Glory to you, our free Motherland
Bulwark of people, in brotherhood strong!
Party of Lenin! The strength of the people.
To Communism's triumph- wait, shit, that's wrong
*facepalm*

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