Local traditions and culture in California

  • Santa Ana. California
    Santa Ana. California
    by marinarena
  • Neighborhood signboards
    Neighborhood signboards
    by DSwede
  • Bears
    by Jim_Eliason

Most Viewed Local Customs in California

  • lmkluque's Profile Photo

    Putting on an Act? Time Will Tell!

    by lmkluque Updated Jun 25, 2012

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    This photo is supposed to be funny, just a joke to give us a laugh, however, the various reactions it evokes is an example of how Californians are perceived by outsiders.

    Though the Hollywood Scene and the Movie Making Industry is only a small part of California's life and economy, it seems that because of the popularity of Actors, people tend to confuse what an Actor does or says with the mind set of the average Californian, in some cases even with the mind set of the average American.

    Time will tell the true character and ability of the actor turned Governor. In any case, it is "Based on a true story." Like all well told stories, we hope there is a satisfying ending to this one.

    This photo was sent to me by a Danish friend who has been keeping track of our recent, successful, effort to recall the Governor of California, Gray Davis.

    My friend was also fascinated by the fact that we voted Arnold Schwarzenegger, an actor, into office. Of course, I reminded him that Ronald Reagan, an actor, was once Governor of California and grew-up to become President of the U.S.A.

    Now Playing On TV Screens Near You! (2003)
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    Sales Tax

    by keeweechic Updated Sep 3, 2006

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    Sales Tax : The tax in California is applied to almost everything with the exception of some items of food. There is an across the state tax as well as supplementary taxes which varies from county to county and from city to city within each county.

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  • marinarena's Profile Photo

    STICK to Suburbs for seeing the real CA

    by marinarena Written Jan 21, 2006

    When visiting and experiencing California, don't get so fixed on the dreamy, Hollywood-like image that California seems to always be link to despite her great diversity. Even in Hollywood, you will find quite ordinary life of everyday people. There are many attractions that the famous cities offer but stray away for a few days and visit a small town California. Here in the most diverse of states, you will come across are numerous charming towns and villages scatter throughout the land. For the sake of saving a few dollars, accomodations are usually cheaper in the outskirts (also , I have found that the hospitality is genuine and overall better.) Here are some random towns to try out:

    Yorba Linda
    Thousand Oaks
    Pacific Grove
    St. Helena

    Related to:
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    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

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    Old cars

    by sim1 Updated Mar 3, 2005

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    Along the way from San Simeon to my next destination I saw this old car standing in front of a barn. You don't see things like that in Holland (where I used to live at that time) and so I had to stop to take a picture. This is one of the things I liked about my trip. Everywhere you would see these old cars just standing there getting rusty. There is so much to see when you just drive around... from old cars, to beautiful buildings, spectacular nature.....just keep on looking and be amazed.

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    Restaurants - you'll be seated

    by Mandy23 Written Jun 22, 2004

    In the restaurants I've visited here so far, there was always an employee of the restaurant who is seating the guests. If the tables are still occupied, most restaurants will have a waiting area where you can sit down until a table is free.
    This is not so common in Germany. There you'll often just look for a free table yourself.

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    Famous Californian: Ronald Reagan

    by b1bob Updated Jun 5, 2004

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    Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) was born in Tampico, Illinois on 6 February 1911 and grew up in Dixon, Illinois. However, he has lived a goodly part of his life in California. He served as a lifeguard during his youth and saved dozens and dozens of lives from the river. He started out as a radio personality in the Midwest, and slowly moved westward to California in the 1930's. He became a movie actor and was married to Jane Wyman 1940-1948. In 1952, he married Nancy Reagan. Reagan got his first taste of politics by doing an advertisement endorsing Barry Goldwater for president in 1964. The interesting thing is this icon of the Republican party was a Democrat through to the 1950's. He voted for F.D.R. all 4 times plus Truman in 1948, and voted Republican since Eisenhower. In 1966, Reagan ran for governor against an incumbent Democrat and won, serving from 1966-1974. He ran unsuccesfully for president in 1976, narrowly losing to Gerald Ford. In 1980, he ran much more succesfully both in the primary and the general election. In 1984, he was even more successful on reelection. Reagan's firm stance against communism is often credited for its fall in the former Soviet Union and the liberation of Eastern Europe. Five years out of the presidency, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease and is steadily deteriorating as of this writing. Regardless of that, Reagan is the longest-lived former president, living to make 93 years old when he died 5 June 2004..

    Ronald Reagan

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    Local smoking bans

    by b1bob Updated May 1, 2004

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    Some localities in California has some of the most stringent anti-smoking laws in the USA. I'm sure the city of Los Angeles has a smoking ban in all restaurants, including bars. I'm not sure if the ban extends to the whole of L.A. county. On top of that, some beaches have even banned smoking on them (enforced by a hefty fine). I don't smoke, but some people might find this somewhat helpful.

    No smoking

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    Christmas in Southern California!!!

    by bruingirl Written Jan 15, 2004

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    Christmas (Xmas) is a major holiday in the U.S. It falls on December 25 of every year and it is the day that Jesus Christ was born. Most people celebrate this holiday, even if they are Jewish or not religious. It has become a very commercialized holiday, filled with images of Santa Claus, poinsettias, Xmas trees, reindeer, gingerbread houses, wreaths, and many other things! In the US, we decorate many things in green and red which are the traditional colors of Xmas. If, under a mistletoe, you have to kiss the person who is standing underneath it with you. Gingerbread house making is also a popular past time, as shown in this picture. It's generally a good time to get together with friends and family to celebrate! Being in Southern California, we get to celebrate a sunny and warm Xmas almost every year!! :)

    Gingerbread houses!!!

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  • mcpangie's Profile Photo

    Christmas in California

    by mcpangie Updated Jan 12, 2004

    Amy Grant wrote a song called Tennesse Christmas years ago, where she noticed the Holidays in California aren't quite what she was used to...

    Every now and then,
    I got a wanderin' urge to see
    Maybe California,
    Maybe tinsel town's for me.
    There's a parade there;
    We'd have it made there;
    Bring home a tan for New Year's Eve.
    Sure sounds exciting,
    Awfully inviting,
    Still I think I'll gonna keep
    Another tender Tennessee Christmas,
    The only Christmas for me.
    Where the love circles around us,
    Like the gift around our tree.
    Well they say in L.A.,
    It's a warm holiday;
    It's the only place to be.
    But a tender Tennessee Christmas
    Is the only Christmas for me.

    The rest of the song describes how it is Tennessee that is home for her...

    California Christmas
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  • mcpangie's Profile Photo

    California Christmas

    by mcpangie Updated Jan 12, 2004

    There are plenty of pine trees in the California, and down in the warm coastal areas plenty of palm trees too. It's interesting to see how people decorate the palm trees in their yards for Christmas in California. There could be a pine tree next to a palm tree, and the palm tree will probably be decorated.

    Palm Trees
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    by keeweechic Updated Sep 7, 2003

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    It is said (humorously) that California has four seasons: flood, fire, earthquake, and riot. But seriously, for 6 - 9 months of the year in most of California the weather is predictable with only two real seasons - a short cool winter wet season and a long dry season.

    A lot of California doesn't see rain at all during the dry season. In San Francisco and nearby coastal areas, it actually gets quite cold in summer when the fog rolls in off the ocean

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    by bruingirl Written Jul 17, 2003

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    CA is diverse on so many different levels. The geography, the people, the cultures, languages, religions, beliefs, lifestyles, and the list seems to go on and on!!! There are some parts of CA where most of the people are very conservative and other parts where people are very liberal. Some areas are very cosmopolitan whereas others seem like they haven't changed since the early 1900s!! On any given day, if you're in a bigger city like Los Angeles, San Francisco, Long Beach, or San Diego, you are bound to encounter some interesting people who are probably very different from yourself.

    People sure love to dress up like Elvis in the US!

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    Famous Californian: Richard M. Nixon

    by b1bob Written May 18, 2003

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    Richard Milhous Nixon (1913-1994) was born in Yorba Linda, California on 9 January 1913. He married the former Patricia Ryan in 1940. After serving in World War II, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1946. Nixon served there until standing successfully for an open Senate seat in 1950. Nixon had probably counted on a long Senate career when Dwight David Eisenhower unexpectedly nominated him for vice president in 1952. He served as vice president for all 8 years of the Eisenhower administration. He stood for president in 1960, losing to John F. Kennedy by the narrowest margin. In 1968, he won the presidency almost as narrowly as he lost it in 1960. In 1972, he won it handily, losing only Massachusetts and the District of Columbia. Unfortunately, from 1972-1974, his presidency was fixed on the Watergate scandal, where Nixon's coverups and tapes led to his resignation on 9 August 1974. Richard M. Nixon died in New York City on 22 April 1994 and is buried just a short distance from where he was born 81 years earlier.

    Richard M. Nixon

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    King of the road

    by acemj Updated Sep 15, 2002

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    Californians take their cars and their driving seriously. The great American highway system is best exemplified by the sprawling network of roadways in California. As a result of the historical progression from urban living to suburban commuting, Californians spend a lot of time in their cars and take great pride in what they're driving. It's fairly common in certain areas to see incredible cars (Ferraris and the like) and many drivers will have personalized "vanity" plates.

    Mine might look something like this.

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    by Krystynn Written Sep 12, 2002

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    Yes, Yes, Yes! Using your credit card can sometimes save you MORE money than using hard foreign cash... Not kidding. (Read: Low/ Wholesale interbank exchange rates). So go ahead and use it!

    ** For more info about the using the ATM card and some insider's tips, please refer to my respective Continent i.e. NORTH AMERICA pages. **

    If you've been overcharged by a foreign vendor, your credit card company can often refund back to you (the consumer) all disputed charges.

    Many times your credit card will offer an extra guarantee or warranty when you purchase items with your card, but you?ll want to read the fine print for exceptions first. If your credit card has this 'security protection' clause where you (the consumer) will not be liable for things charged to your credit card should it get stolen, kudos to this card company. Offhand, I know Citibank, American Express and Standard Chartered offer these kinds of protection. But for the latter, you have to PAY to enjoy this service. :-( I'll choose Citibank and AMEX anyday, man.

    If you lose your card, most credit cards have a low maximum liability limit if you quickly report the card as lost.

    You won?t have to risk your safety by carrying and displaying large amounts of cash. An American Chinese pal of mine lost US$3,000 CASH in Madrid after the porter left her hotel room. It was just less than 1 minute and the money's gone... including her Chanel purse.

    If you have a Citibank credit card, I GUARANTEE you, you'd have nothing to worry about. Now I understand why this bank is world famous. Let me give you an example:

    When I was in the States some years ago, I charged something into my credit card for US$900 (just one item). At that time, we were traveling from town to town along the Californian coast. I was having lunch at Solvang (!!!) one afternoon when the waitress at the restaurant interrupted me and asked - 'Are you Ms Krystynn? There's a phone call for you from Citibank!' (it's not difficult to find me since I was the only Oriental lady at the restaurant!). My jaws dropped. The Personal Banker on the other end of the phone was really sweet and said something like: 'Wow, it's been difficult tracking you down. Ms Krystynn, we're calling to check if you signed for this purchase for an amount
    of US$900?' The minute I confirmed that it was me and that it wasn't a fraud case, the Citibanker thanked me and told me to enjoy my trip! How did they find me? Simple. By tracking the things I charged into my credit card.... and my last known destination. I was sooooo impressed with their service that to this day, NO other banks/ credit card companies (yes, even AMEX) could match up to the kind of service offered by Citibank Visa card.

    No wonder their motto is - 'The Citi that never sleeps'. :-))

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