The United States of America is home to every nation on the planet and so varied diversity, cultural backgrounds and sexuality, especially in larger cities, are generally accepted and embraced. Americans are in general friendly and a handshake and a kindly greeting go a long way across the country. Driving is on the right side of the road and tipping 15-20% in restaurants and taxis is expected.
Although the US does not have an official language, nearly 80% of people living in America speak English. Due to its proximity to Mexico, many Spanish speakers have made America their home and approximately 17% of the population speak Spanish. Asian languages such as Mandarin, Cantonese (China) and Tagalog (Philippians) are spoken in the US, with approximately 3 million speakers. It is a country of rich diversity and history, including the French Cajuns in Louisiana and the Acadians in the Northeastern US who came from French Canada and settled there.
Most Americans identify as Christian - about 70% of the population - however, America has a long history of welcoming people of different backgrounds and so Catholicism, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam are found throughout the country. For the most part, especially in big cities, Americans are tolerant and understanding of religious beliefs. Respectful visitors are generally welcome to attend public religious ceremonies, which can be anywhere from emotionally moving and inspirational to highly entertaining and musical. Many Native Americans practise different spiritual beliefs which largely involve the worship of the natural world.
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