We’re all (mostly) proud to be from the countries we call home, but listen – even the best things in life can be improved, right?

Except for donuts. Those are pretty great the way they are.

But everything else – including these 14 practices that some countries sure do seem to get right – should be adopted across the board.

14. Please be aware of others.

Not taking up space needlessly/being considerate to others in common spaces.

In North America, people will stand in doorways, stop to have a chat in the middle of a busy hallway, basically take up space that is for common use and not think it is rude whatsoever.

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve come across someone blocking a doorway and you give them like 5 seconds to move and then when you say “excuse me” to get by, they look at you like you’re rude. You’re standing in a doorway people need to come and go out of, be considerate.

13. Or even at home.

Teaching a second language early on in schools. -Canadian

12. Why cook when there are 6 fast food places within a mile, eh?

The love of cooking food like Koreans and many other Asian cultures. When I dormed, I thought it was so cool when the Korean students would buy groceries and cook food together in the dorm kitchens.

I didn’t see any American students cook or even use the kitchen, much less cook in large groups. I think it’s a special thing to cook for each other. My bf and I are both impartial to cooking because we didn’t have a great environment where a love of cooking was nourished and taught.

11. This sounds lovely.

Being friendly?

My mum was a teacher in my country, then moved to England and was presented with all these rules about how you cannot make physical contact with children.

It sounds weird, but let me explain.

If I was sad, I could cry on my teacher’s lap, and if I did something good, she’d give me a hug. She was like a second mother to me. I’m still in contact with her, almost 10 years later. When she injured her leg, we’d go to her house to do our projects.

Same with my mother. Her teacher has been her best friend for 20 years, and she was there when I was born.

I understand the reason for the ‘no contact’ policy. Some people do have bad intentions. But in my country, it is normal to visit your teachers at home. To go to their house to sing a birthday song. To invite them, or be invited by them. I see how it could go wrong, but I’m thankful for the teachers that I got close to (and still am).

Also, my mother works with special needs children. Some of them really do need human touch, and we both feel like strict rules like this prevent the child from forming a connection.

10. Healthier options that don’t break the bank.

I live in the US and wish more healthy lifestyles were promoted and more accessible. For example, even if you’re just getting a fast food meal, there are much healthier options in countries such as Japan (rice, sushi, seaweed can be cheap easy snacks). In America, a fast cheap meal is mostly just whatever is at McDonald’s (so fries, burger, etc).

And the emphasis on getting the biggest, best thing all the time. It can be so excessive and wasteful at times.

9. What are “bikes?”

Bike friendly cities.

You can get so much exercise and get almost anywhere you need to go.

As long as the weather isn’t scorching.

8. Where “at least we’re not American” is an identity.

More self awareness/responsibility

I’m from Canada and everyone up here likes to act like we’re gods gift to the world and constantly shit on the US as if we aren’t basically exactly the same. And it’s not just Trump, ever since I was a kid I’ve been told “Canada is the nicest most best country, be glad you’re not an American, they’re all rude idiots!”

7. Some people say Americans are too friendly but?

Being polite/caring for strangers as a society

6. And not just during a pandemic.

Like many Asian cultures, the aspect of wearing a mask when a sickness is spreading.

Wow… this is so relevant right now.

5. It’s not just an Asian thing.

Take your f*cking shoes off in my house.

I constantly read American interpretations that suggest they think taking shoes off before entering another’s house is something typical of Japanese culture.

I’m pretty sure it happens almost everywhere because bringing street dirt into the house is just a very bad idea… why would you not take your shoes off?

4. It’s not what you think.

Divorce. Or the normalization of it. My family and I immigrated to the US years ago, but we still preserve a lot of aspects of our culture and customs. For a very very long time, my parents told me that Americans didn’t know “real” love and that they would get a divorce for the most trivial of reasons. They told me that I should be proud that my parents had a strong relationship and that I was being raised by the two of them.

I believed it. Even when my parents would have screaming matches where I was the mediator or when my father would hit my mother or when she would make “jokes” about running away.

I remember being very confused when I would have sleepovers at friends’ houses and I would see the love between a bio parent and a new step-parent. My parents made me believe that because I was being raised by both of my bio parents, who were married, that I was somehow “better” than my friends who were kids of divorce. That was obviously a lie because some of those friends were the happiest, most well-adjusted kids I knew.

Meanwhile, I would often come to school in tears and hyperventilating because of the fights between my parents. If divorce wasn’t seen as taboo in our home country, then I genuinely believe that my parents would have separated earlier, and saved all three of us a lot of pain and heartache and suicidal ideations. Instead, my home situation has only gotten worse, partly because of their long-held beliefs and overall fears.

I know divorce isn’t a cure for everything wrong between a couple with a child, and there is a lot of bad fallout waiting to happen in a lot of separations, but it still seems healthier to me than raising a child in such a negatively-charged atmosphere and teaching them that that’s the norm they should expect. :/

3. Now that is a travesty.


We don’t have them in Germany.

2. It sounds like a dream.

Collectivism found in Nordic countries.

Their ability to do things for their communities and their societies is unparalleled and I wish (now more than ever) that we had some sense of duty for each other in the US.

1. Not everyone wants to enter the rat race.

As an American is it too much to ask to not have everyone in a one upping contest on how sh^tty they can make their lives my overworking?

Just let me work the hours I’m surpassed to then go home.

Work to live, not live to work.

I’m from the US and I would just love to see some of these happen here.

What’s something you’d like to bring to your home country? Tell us in the comments!