Culture Facts



Modified: 31 May 2023

Culture facts, traditional dance, Bali

Culture is identity – and these culture facts will let you see the diversity of the people all over the world and how it relates to who you are. Learn about the practices, superstitions, and customs of the world.

  1. Kissing both cheeks is a common way of greeting someone in Spain.
  2. Russians normally open their umbrellas indoors to dry.
  3. In some Asian countries, slurping loudly is a sign that the food is good.
  4. Mexicans normally celebrate New Year’s Eve by eating 12 grapes at midnight.
  5. The world currently speaks over 6000 languages.
  1. People only clap for theatrical plays and concerts in Germany.
  2. French people normally have cheese and wine after a meal.
  3. You cannot step over a person in Russia if they are on the ground.
  4. It is normal for Indian men to have a platonic relationship and walk while holding hands.
  5. Blowing your nose loudly in Japan is rude.
  6. You cannot add personal information on your resume in the UK, U.S., and Ireland.
  7. Spain has the lowest population density in Europe.
  8. Seven cultural regions in the world exist.
  9. All cultures spread and influence one another.
  10. Traditions are what keep cultures alive throughout the generations.
  1. Italians are incredibly superstitious.
  2. Russian couples and friends do not walk on different sides of a pole or trees.
  3. Africa is one of the most linguistically diverse continents in the world.
  4. Traditional societies often share a culture.
  5. Sub-cultures come from smaller complex societies allowing to create smaller groups that form their norms.
Table of Contents

Culture forms when a group of people share values and behaviors unspokenly.

The term refers to a system of underlying assumptions and attitudes which will rule how the groups will work together. The word culture originally derives from French and Latin roots of the word colere which means to cultivate and nurture.

In Germany, if you don’t clink your glasses and say Prost, you will receive bad luck.

Germans will often make eye contact when making toast as a common custom. This is because of the superstition that if you do not do so, you will receive 7 years of bad sexual relations.

The Japanese have 3 writing formats.

japanese language, language facts, culture facts
Photo by Ryoji Iwata on Unsplash

These 3 writing forms are: Katakana, Hiragana, and Kanji. Katakana mainly uses borrowed words from foreign languages. On the other hand, Hiragana is the basic writing format. Kanji also makes use of borrowed characters from the Chinese language to signify a particular character or word. Find out more interesting language facts!

African Americans use drugs at the same rate as white Americans do.

Despite this fact, African Americans are 6 times more likely to be arrested for drug use. Oftentimes though, innocent African Americans that don’t use drugs will also be suspected due to racism.

If someone accidentally steps on you in Russia, you will have to lightly step on that person back.

This symbolizes stepping or spitting on the devil. By doing so, people also prevent future conflicts with each other from arising.

The Neanderthals were extremely skilled hunters.

Researchers have stated that their bones have high frequencies of fractures similar to injuries sustained among professional rodeo riders who regularly interact with large dangerous animals. A discovery also stated that Neanderthals had a better grip than modern humans which allowed them to fine-tune their movements and strength.

Rudolph’s red nose is the result of a parasite.

According to Roger Highfield, Rudolph’s nose is due to a symbiotic parasite in his respiratory system. The parasite feeds on the famous Christmas deer’s nutrients and in exchange, his bright red nose lights up the path for Santa’s sleigh.

The French will normally wash their glasses first before alternating from red to white wine.

France is well known for its wine, and as such, has a certain standard for wine drinking. It is also customary to clean your glass first before alternating between different wines. Moreover, this is mainly so that the flavors will not mix and that you may enjoy the wine properly.

red wine, white wine, culture facts
Image from Unsplash

Occam’s Razor is a philosophical principle that states plurality should not be posited without necessity.

This principle gives precedence to simplicity. It is also known as the law of economy or the law of parsimony.

China produces the most silk than any other country in the world.

This country produces 78% of the world’s silk. However, India does have a fairly large silk industry as well, but not as large when compared to China.

In Japan, they honor the elderly with drinks and always serve them first when eating.

In Japan, they always respect and honor the elderly. When eating with family, it is a custom to serve the elderly first. When giving them food, it should be passed on with both hands as a sign of respect.

It takes many years to see the progress of the evolution of life.

Mainly triggered by its environment and the need for survival, thousands of years need to pass first for any significant evolutionary changes to happen to a species.

Evolution of life on Earth
Image from Adobe Stock

The number 13 is not unlucky in Russia.

Russia is not very particular about western superstitions. This means that the number 13 is just a normal number and that it is also alright to open umbrellas indoors.

The earliest mentions of vampires date back to ancient Greek mythology.

The story is about a young Italian man named Ambrogio who is said to be the first human vampire. The story features many themes similar to mainstream vampire tales such as romance, sun-sensitivity, and bloodsucking.

French culture emphasizes good table manners.

In France, table etiquette is one of the most demanding in the world. The number of rules you need to follow to not be rude at the table overwhelms most people.

It is bad luck to bump into a nun or ambulance in Italy.

If you do find yourself coming across an ambulance during your visit, pinch your nose and hold your breath until you see a black or brown dog. Doing this will ward off bad luck as these two figures are associated with death.

Europe consumes half of the world’s chocolate.

To be more precise, Switzerland has the highest chocolate production and consumption per capita than any other European country. Second to this is Germany.

chocolate, culture facts
Image from Unsplash

There are over 600,000 homeless people in the U.S.

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development states that most of these people spend the night in homeless shelters or on the streets. Moreover, a 3rd of this population also live in cars or under bridges.

There is a group of small islands in Dubai that resemble the world map.

Located on the water of the Persian Gulf, this project is called the World Islands. During the construction of the project, many difficulties arose, mainly involving financial difficulties.

Indians do not express their love for their partner in public.

In India, adults are forbidden to touch others of the opposite gender as it encourages voyeurism. However, there are no restrictions on this with the elderly or children.

Couples often adopt a child due to infertility.

Statistics have found that 95% of couples that choose adoption because they are unable to have children of their own. Other reasons also include concern for health during pregnancy and the need to avoid passing on inheritable diseases to their children. Moreover, some people are also uncomfortable with adding to the overpopulation problem.

Chinese culture emphasizes great importance on family.

Known for its strong family bonds, the country of China has defined roles for each member. They greatly respect elders and view them as a source of wisdom, while they see their parents as the providers of the family. Additionally, they also see children as future investments that the family has to mold.

chinese family, culture facts
Image from Adobe Stock

Northern Europe is where humans first developed blonde hair.

Research believes that blonde hair enabled the more efficient synthesis of vitamin D due to the lack of sunlight. Moreover, the mutation dates back to almost 11,000 years ago, which is also around the time of the last ice age.

In Russia, hiccups are a sign that somebody is thinking of you.

They believe having hiccups to be a sign that someone is thinking of you at that very moment. If an eyelash falls out while you have hiccups, you will receive a gift.

Youth pride is one of the extensions of the LGBTQ+ culture and movement.

This community promotes the same kind of equality for younger members of the LGBTQ+ community. This culture exists in many different countries around the world, with festivals and parades celebrating it.

Moreover, these festivities also allow members of the LGBT community to network with other members and also celebrate their sexual identities without fear of judgment or ridicule.

LGBTQ+ community, gay marriage, same sex marriage, culture facts
Image from Adobe Stock

Same-sex marriage was legalized in 2001.

The Netherlands was the first to legalize gay marriage. In the years that followed, more countries have continued to legalize same-sex marriage.

Australia is the second country that allowed women to vote.

The Commonwealth Franchise Act of 1902 gave women the right to vote during federal elections and on the same terms as men. The law states that women at the age of 21 and over will be able to practice this right.

In Japanese culture, people always take off their shoes before entering a home.

This is mainly for the reason of not getting dirt from outside, inside the house and dirty the corridors. Instead of using shoes, the family and guests use special indoor slippers so that they may walk around the house.

Going out with someone was not always called dating.

Using the word date in the context of a relationship first dates back to the year 1896. Before this, the act was simply called ‘filling the dates on the calendar’. Over time this evolved into the term dating.

The Mayans painted their human sacrifices blue.

Archeologists discovered that when the Mayans wanted to please the rain gods, they would offer human sacrifices. These people would be painted blue and have their hearts cut out on stone altars and were thrown down wells.

Yoshoku is the term used for Japanese food based on Western food.

A generic term used for dishes like their hambagu steak and omurice. Western dishes also inspired popular foods like curry and such.

Popular culture was traditionally associated with the lower classes.

Coined sometime during the 19th century, this idea was antonymous with the official culture of the higher classes. However, as time went on, popular culture encompassed more activities and the feelings attained from interacting with the dominant objects.

Today, the most common popular culture categories are entertainment, news, sports, fashion, politics, and also technology.

Mardi Gras originated in the United States.

First celebrated in Mobile, Alabama in 1703, Mardi Gras later on became an annual festivity. In 1718, New Orleans took on a different iteration of the holiday which popularized the celebration.

mardi gras
Image from Unsplash

Over 80% of wildlife in Australia is unique to the country alone.

Many believed this to be the case because of how the supercontinent separated millions of years ago. This movement caused major formation and climate changes that became unique from anywhere else in the world. Wild plants and animals evolved in such a way that they can only be found in Australia. This could also be the reason why wildlife is much larger in this country.

The word calligraphy translates to ‘good writing’.

While originating in China, calligraphy has grown to become a popular way of expression and art. In several Asian countries, it is also a large part of their culture.

Americans consume 704 million pounds of turkey annually during Thanksgiving.

This is equivalent to around 44 million turkeys served on one Thanksgiving night. Now, that’s a lot of turkeys.

Art was once an Olympic event.

During the 1912 through the 1948 Olympics, achievements through painting, literature, architecture, sculpture, and music, received medals. The competitors were non-professional artists and all the events needed to have a sports theme.

They consider asking for salt during a meal rude in Egypt.

While adding salt to your food may be a normal act in many countries all around the world, it is nothing but an insult in Egypt. Doing this signifies that you do not like the taste of the food, which they take as an insult to the ones who have cooked and prepared it for you.

In honor of military veterans that served during World War 1, Americans celebrate Veterans Day.

Considered a federal holiday in the U.S., they annually celebrate it on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month by those who have served in the US Armed Forces.

It is illegal to gamble in Japan.

However, the government allows a few exceptions, including sports betting, such as horse races.

Pachinko is also a popular form of legal gambling as the machines give out non-cash prizes that may be converted into money.

The annual death penalty executions have decreased gradually in the US since 1999.

As of 2017, only a total of 23 inmates were executed as compared to the 98 inmates that were sentenced to the death penalty in 1999. A total of eight states were also accounted for the 2017 statistics, which is significantly lower compared to the 20 states that executed the penalty in 1999.

An old Halloween ritual involved finding a husband.

According to historians, women would often throw apple peels over their shoulders and hope to see the initials of their future husbands on Halloween night. They would also competitively bob for apples, with the winner blessed to find a husband first.

halloween ritual, halloween facts, pumpkin
Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

In Greece, children throw their teeth onto the roof of their homes.

This cultural tradition states that if you throw a child’s tooth onto the roof of your home, they will grow in a healthy new tooth. They also believe that this act will bless the family with good luck.

People buy over 36 million heart-shaped chocolate boxes across the U.S on Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day is one of the most romantic festivities of the year. Annually, over 8 million sweethearts all around the world celebrate it with their significant other. Each year, the traditional heart-shaped chocolate boxes are sold between January and February.

Confucianism deeply influenced China.

For thousands of years, Chinese culture stems from two main philosophies. Confucianism states that each person has a place in society and China enforces this by building a structural society.

In South Korea, you cannot use red ink to write a person’s name.

In South Korea, any colored ink is acceptable to use when writing someone’s name or your own. However, you cannot use red ink as the color symbolizes death in the country.

Finger pulling is a serious and traditional sport in Austria.

The name of the game is fingerhakeln and the rules of the game are quite strict. Much similar to tug-of-war, the objective of the game is to drag the opponent by the finger across the table. The German state of Bavaria also play this sport.

The first Earth Day was in April 1970.

While this celebration originated in the U.S., the world recognized it by the 90s. During the first Earth Day celebration, over 20 million people gathered to protest the industrial revolution. This created an environmental movement.

earth day, girl, globe
Photo from Getty Images

Finland associates saunas with good business.

In Finland, going to the sauna is a popular way of socializing. For some business clients, they will invite their counterparts to a sauna after a meeting. While this may seem strange, this is a sign that your meeting was successful.

Different flowers have different symbolism in Russia.

When in Russia, giving flowers as a gift is quite normal. However, different flowers have different meanings. Yellow flowers symbolize a break-up, while war veterans receive red flowers. Those who passed away also received these flowers.