The 5 Oddest American Trends That Other Countries Stole

America is the great melting pot. Generations upon generations of disparate cultures, all just stewing together in the tasty broth of freedom. That’s what made the country what it is today: A barren hellscape patrolled by Corporate Overbots, murderous brand-enforcement drones whose every thundering step sends fear into- Oh, sorry, that’s tomorrow. We skipped ahead a bit in the chronology. We meant to say, “That’s what made the country what it is today: a cultural powerhouse.” In fact, America Americas so hard that even other, less-American countries have to get in on this All-American action. Like …


North Koreans Hate America (But Love American Brands)

North Koreans are taught that everything wrong with the world — and especially everything wrong with North Korea — is solely the fault of America and the evils of capitalism. That’s why it’s so odd that, when French photographer Eric Lafforgue toured the country to capture a photographic essay of its people, he came back with pics like these:

Eric Lafforgue
“Just Do It … Or You Go To Gulag.”

All across Pyongyang, Lafforgue encountered people sporting distinctly American corporate logos: Nike, McDonald’s, Mickey Mouse, and … Bart Simpson?

Eric Lafforgue
Better to eat shorts than to eat nothing at all.

When asked about the products, citizens didn’t see any problem: They told Lafforgue that they were Chinese in origin. And that’s not entirely wrong — the vast majority of North Korea’s goods are imported from China, aka “America’s sweatshop.”

It doesn’t end at clothing: Here’s an obvious rip-off of America’s favorite soda, creatively relabeled “Cocoa Crabonated [sic] Drink.”

Eric Lafforgue

After six successful trips to North Korea, and smuggling out hundreds of photos, Lafforgue was eventually banned from the country — whether for exposing its rampant poverty, its hypocritical love of Western products, or just to keep Coke from sending Copyright lawyers to Pyongyang, we simply do not know.


American Subcultures Never Die; They Just Retire To Japan

Japan has no shortage of unique subcultures, ranging from people who dress like dolls, all the way to people who dress like other, more disturbing dolls. But there’s plenty of America in that mix: Take, for example, Chicano Rap, coming at you straight from Tokyo (by way of East L.A., by way of Mexico). It all started when record label owner Shin Miyata became fascinated with everyone’s sixth favorite ’70s cop show, CHiPs, and the Chicano culture depicted therein. The subculture has since grown into a veritable phenomenon, complete with lowriders, black-and-white tattoos, and seriously on-point makeup.

They’re repping Eastside. No, farther east. Farther still …

Performers in the genre don’t mimic cholo lifestyle lightly — they full-on embody it, adopting entirely new identities like MoNa aka Sad Girl, El Latino, and GARCiA. But even Tokyo’s Cholos aren’t as dedicated as Tokyo’s Rockabillies.

This is revenge for Elvis’ “kimono” period.

Unlike America, where Rockabilly has been largely forgotten, the genre saw a huge resurgence in ’80s Japan, and it only grew in the ’90s. Now, on any given Sunday, you can find the Tokyo Rockabilly Club in Yoyogi park. Don’t worry, you can’t miss them: They’ll be the ones decked out in full leather, rocking out to the finest of the ’50s, and sporting duck’s ass hairdos you could — nay, should — ramp a DeSoto off of.

The line between “pompadour” and “anime lightning hair” is a fine one.


European “American Parties” Feature Red Solo Cups And A Million Calories

If Instagram is any indication, “American Parties” have taken Europe by storm, presumably landing at Normandy before sweeping south and to the east.

And you thought they hated us!

Everyone knows the only thing Americans love more than Old Glory and casual racism is fueling their ever-growing waistlines, so one of the most important aspects of an American party is the food: Sloppy Joes, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, donuts, popcorn, French fries, soda, and anything else with at least a 500:1 calorie-to-nutrient ratio. But the single most important element of any American Party is, of course, the humble red Solo cup.

And their version of beer pong is somehow more American than ours.

As any ’90s teen comedy film can tell you, it is literally impossible to throw a party in the U.S.A. without red Solo cups. They’re so crucial to the experience that Europeans have taken to begging their U.S.-bound friends and relatives to bring back as many packs of them as their luggage can handle.

That’s presumably also how they smuggle in their party attire, because there’s simply no other way to dress so authentically American:

That cop is missing, like, three layers of riot gear.

Of course, there’s a thin line between authenticity and “wildly offensive.”

Actually, this is pretty authentic too.


Germans Have A Strange Obsession With Playing Indian

Adult Germans have an inexplicable obsession with playing Cowboys and Indians. Well, with the “Indians” part, anyway.

Hey, if your most memorable cultural stereotype was the Nazis, you might widen your net, too.

Actually, digging into it a bit, it may be more explicable than we first thought: When American soldiers liberated Berlin at the end of World War II, they were surprised to find that, just like the kids back home, German children loved to play at a romanticized version of the American Old West. This was largely due to the work of German author Karl May, who drew upon his vast experience of having once read The Last Of The Mohicans to pen a series of novels recounting the thrilling adventures of Old Shatterhand, a German immigrant to America who travels the plains with an Apache leader known as Winnetou.

Those books, in turn, inspired an immensely popular series of 1960s films, and that’s how you wind up with countless Germans — who already have a “thing” for nudity — citing authenticity as an excuse to barely cover their dongs with miniscule strips of leather.

“Hey, baby. Wanna help me use every part of the buffalo?”

Germany is host to hundreds of hobbyist clubs in which “thousands of Germans with an American Indian fetish drink firewater, wear turquoise jewelry and run around places like Baden-Wurttemberg or Schleswig-Holstein dressed as Comanches and Apaches.” These enthusiasts spend their weekends camping out in teepees, reenacting battles between tribes, giving themselves native-sounding names like “White Wolf” and “Great Eagle (but not the Nazi kind),” and just generally doing lots of things involving feathers.



Brazil Has An Annual Festival Honoring The American Confederacy

If you’re a shitty person looking to flee the consequences of your own shittiness, look no further than South America. You might think we’re referring to its notorious infestation of Nazi war criminals, but they were just following in the grand tradition of defeated racists before them …

Eighty years before the Nazis fled to the sun and fun of Brazil, at least 10,000 Civil War Confederates did the same. Today, their descendants, known as the Confederados, honor their Southern American roots every April at the Festa Confederada in — no shit — Americana, Brazil.

In direct contrast to literally everything you’d rightfully assume about it, the “Confederate Party” is actually a multi-ethnic celebration, where people of every skin color gather to eat fried chicken, dress in period-appropriate clothing, square dance, and remain entirely oblivious to the bigoted roots of the culture they’re celebrating.

“We were told it was about states’ rights and nothing else, yes?”

If anything, the celebration is actively anti-hate, with festival organizers instituting a gate check where burly bouncers filter out anyone displaying the SS, the swastika, the KKK insignia, or any other imagery commonly associated with white supremacy … the obvious exception being, you know, all the rebel flags.

Follow Alyssa on Twitter.

Also check out 5 Bizarre Subcultures Way Crazier Than Anything From Japan and 5 Insane Subcultures That Might Become The Next Hipster.

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