Let’s Party American Style

AsolocupI’ve recently come across (seen without looking for it) a couple of reports about American-themed (style) parties in other countries. The idea is to decorate, eat, drink, and play games that are stereotypical (a widely believed but too simple idea) of Americans and their celebrations. People attend these parties dressed like Americans — or at least what they think Americans look like — perhaps in cut-off shorts (short pants made by cutting off the pant legs above the knee, usually from jeans) and t-shirts, team jerseys (uniform shirts) of American basketball, football, or baseball teams, and baseball hats or cowboy hats.

The food served at American parties is also common American food, although not always the food real Americans actually would serve at parties. Among the things served are popcorn (made by cooking corn kernels (seeds) in hot oil and adding butter and salt), cupcakes (small, individual cakes), and hamburgers.

And, of course, there has to be beer. Apparently (it seems that) the most important part of having an American party is to have red Solo cups. Solo is an American brand of disposable (used once and thrown away) plates, utensils (knives, forks, and spoons), and plastic cups.

Most Americans would be surprised that people from other countries have identified these red plastic cups to be so, well, American. In fact, there is nothing special about these cups, to our way of thinking (from our point of view). The main reason they are so often used at parties is because they are cheap and they’re relatively large. They are large enough to hold a good amount of beer (16 ounces) and they are fairly sturdy (not easily broken) for a disposable cup. There is no particular reason for the cups to be red; it’s just the company’s way of distinguishing (separating themselves in people’s minds) its product from those of other companies. But because of its association with American parties, some companies are now selling red Solo cups on websites and in stores abroad (in foreign countries), precisely so they can be used for American parties.

The red Solo cup even has its own song. Popular country music singer Toby Keith released (made available to the public) a song in 2011 called “Red Solo Cup.” It’s a tribute (something done to honor or appreciate something) to the cup, and if you must hear it, you can see the video for it here. It’s truly a dreadful (terrible) song. I normally wouldn’t pass judgement (give an opinion), but it really is a bad, bad, bad song. You have been warned.

If you have had or have gone to an American-themed party, tell us about it.

If we were to have a party based on the country or culture you live in, what is the one thing that the party must have?

– Lucy

Photo Credit: Asolocup from Wikipedia

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13 Responses to Let’s Party American Style

  1. Marcos says:

    Hi everyone

    The “red solo cup” here is white and small, about 8.45 oz or less. I don’t drink beer or soda but party must have beer. The only one party here that I know where people dress like Americans, eat food like popcorn, hamburgers and hotdogs is in april when we have the confederate party where people, some of them descendant of Americans, usually dressed like people dressed in 1861 – 1865 during the American civil war. That party is because Americans who lost the Civil War come to my country and founded the city where I live, Americana.
    So we have here something about party on my country and history of my city.

    Thank you Lucy for the opportunity to write something more

  2. Betty says:

    Thank you Dear Lucy for this entertaining article. I confess I didn’t know about this red solo cup which is stereotypical of Americans and their celebrations.

    I watched the YouTube video of the song and it made me laugh. I thought I heard some rude things in the song. That’s why you said it really was a bad, bad, bad song, yes?

    Sometimes we need something to cheer us up, and an article like yours and the song fit the bill perfectly well. I’m a happier person now.

    Thanks again Lucy.

    Betty 🙂

  3. Hilario says:

    A today´s Spanish themed party should include the classic Iberian sausage. One of the most funny slogans at current street demonstrations is “There is not enough bread for so much sausage.” We are suffering a big amount of corruption flourishing among politicians, civil servants, government officers, bankers, trade union reps and business executives. The media have put the adjective of generalized corruption on it, and the people by now seem to have had more than enough of that kind of people, has been realizing themselves that all suspicion was much more than true and much less of a urban legend. Before everything was subtle and everyone had got easy coverage from their political group or institution in order to avoid image damage or lose votes. Now a days, the combination of internet journalism and the action of promissing political movement “We Can” now become political party regular on the elections, the scenario of hand-in-pot people is almost unbearable. For not well known reasons the word sausage has in Spanish a generic meaning to describe from the mere pilferer or shoplifter to any kind of “superior” category of private or public theft, including the big. A connotation attached to the word is to be caught in fraganti and with a mess of lies and weak explanations. The cure iberian sausage can be easily cut to make perfect pick snack still affordable, it´s delicious with bread slices and a cup of red wine. The rest of the atrezo is made of jokes, chatting and laughing at, or satirizing with everything around. What else could it be?

  4. Dan says:

    Hello everyone and thank you Lucy.

    I agree with you about the song and video. It is horrible. He probably has some shares of that company that would explain the effort(failed) to producing such a bad song.

    I have no problem admitting that my social life is bad almost like this song.
    Not that I am shy or anything, it’s just that I find myself like this.

    Never attending parties, I know absolutely nothing about it. Not that I have anything against party, who knows? maybe it is even good getting drunk or high every once in a while.
    What about you guys? do you attend parties?


  5. Peter says:

    I just wanna put down one line that will say it all
    ” the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.”

    By now

  6. Val says:

    Hi, everyone! I don’t like stereotypes about other cultures and countries. If you try to copy or mimic something from other culture (what, in fact, usually are just your speculations and misconceptions about attributes of other culture), it always looks silly and cheesy, really. So, I have never been to such parties, and wouldn’t like to. Furthermore, I think that America has no culture, and so called “American food” is the most disgusting in the world.
    And, as for my culture, Russian culture, I know that people from all over the world have the set of stupid stereotypes about it (Vodka, accordion, brown bear, communism…) and it’s almost impossible to convince people from other countries that these stereotypes have nothing to do with real Russia.
    I think that in modern world the culture becomes more and more universal. People from the different parts of the world dress the same way, eat the same food, watch the same movies and TV-shows. So, it’s not actual nowadays to talk about cultural differences and mimic people from other countries. I would say it’s even somewhat disrespectful and insulting. That’s just my opinion, you can think differently.

  7. Thiago Messias says:

    I always have a blast reading this section. You guys are the best ever.
    Interesting one, I´m always learning from you.

    Cheers from Brazil. 😉

  8. tania says:

    Hi! Talking about stomach problems (ESLPodcast 1050)… I think we can have many digestive problems after a long party.
    In this case, it’s just a good lesson of medicine.
    I have perfectly understood almost all medical phrases. We use the same words:
    stomac, digestie, indigestie, sistem digestiv, ulcer, lactoza, carbohidrat, intoleranta, constipat, diarea, reflux acid, antiacid,
    panica, gaz for gas, flatulenta.
    The new words are fart, bloating and many others.
    What can we do if our digestive system contains or produces sa many gases?
    At the Medicine University the students study the gases from the human body for one year. Can we ignore them?
    In fact it’s one of the most unwelcome problems.
    Stress, pollution, all chemicals from our food can cause serious digestive problems.

  9. tania says:

    Hi! I have read how stress can affect every part of the digestive system.
    Goethe, the great German writer and philosopher, believed that “the gut was the seat of all human emotions”.
    Digestion is controlled by the nervous system.
    Stress can cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal system. Stress can cause our colon to react in a way that gives us
    diarrhea or constipation.
    It’s hard to practice a relaxation or talk therapy.
    Our digestive system appreciates a healthy, well-balanced diet, avoiding sugar, fat, alcohol.
    A good sleep can help, too.
    Are we talking about relaxation therapy, healthy/ bio food, proper food for everyone ?
    The same problem: money, money, money…

  10. Marcos says:

    Hi again

    Actually, If you have a party based on my culture you must have a barbecue with beer, but I have to say that brazilian barbecue is very different than american barbecue.

    Nice day everyone

  11. Parviz says:

    I am late, again.
    I am very much of a party goer.
    I guess it’s because I grew up in a society where people love communication.
    For many different reasons, people love to party.
    For example, when a new baby is born, the parents invite friends and relatives to a party which involves dinner and sometimes dance.
    Not very much ago, when I was growing up, I remember my relatives and my family lived in a very big yard involving different not small houses.
    Very close together.
    And I remember how in that friendly, intimate vibe, they may throw parties for no every reason, which include dancing after dinner.
    Girls were the keystone members of the parties due to their natural ability to learn and perform dance.
    I was most often spectator, not much.
    Now, everything has changed.
    If you want to see your relatives, you are going to make an appointment first.
    You can not just drop in on people for the reason to have party or dance. They will throw you out.
    It has been this big gap between families, that I cannot believe it, considering the situation it had just 2 decades ago.
    Recently drinking has been introduced to our party as a substitute to smoking which is condemned by many parents.
    I myself have changed a lot.
    As I was and am very shy. I didn’t feel comfortable when women and girls are around, nor I have a proper physical body for dancing.
    But I love watching.
    I have to say that singing has always been important in our parties.
    Long ago people would sing locally-developed songs along with performing instruments related to that area.
    That has also changed. Nowadays people use digital songs, so, no need for live performance.
    Thanks you Lucy,

  12. tania says:

    Hi! There is always a big problem to me when I have guests.
    There are more historical areas in my country and everyone has its own customs, especially food, cakes…
    I have relatives in the North and in the South.
    I never know what to cook for my guests as my food is “horrible” for my relatives. They don’t want to eat my “food”.
    My sister-in-law smiles sarcastically and brings her own food.
    On the other hand, I have to be polite admiring their food and cakes with much, much fat and sugar.
    Excellent, very, very good, I have to say. And all are happy.
    Nobody cooks like my relatives.

  13. WangLuu says:

    I have been participated in Ame s parties for mant times so i think you are right about the color of

    The cups, Lucy. We usually use white plastic/paper cups/plates here. As far as i know, you usually have breads

    On the tables, and some salads too.

    Best regard!


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