18 Cultural Traditions That May Disappear From Modern America

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By Darryl Henderson

Modern America is abundant with cultural traditions that span generations, but thanks to the fast pace of modern life, the sad reality could be that many of these cultural traditions may soon disappear. To illustrate, here are 18 American traditions that may disappear from our lives.

Sunday Family Dinners

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Once a staple family tradition every single week, the Sunday family dinner may now be becoming too difficult to organize! According to the IFS, family dinners became rarer when households began having two working parents. Life is only getting busier, so organizing a full family dinner every Sunday may soon go completely forgotten. 

Handwritten Letters

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Traditionally, America has always preferred the art of letter writing for more personalized communications, especially if you had family or a pen pal in a different state! These days, instant messaging and emails are the preferred ways to reach someone, so handwritten letters are rare to see. We hope they don’t disappear completely, though.

Community Festivals

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Another popular tradition in the U.S. is community festivals, but they might soon disappear, too. Local festivals celebrating cultural heritage are seeing a decline, as the younger generation is less interested in attending such events due to modern entertainment. That’s just sad–they should remember their roots!

Storytelling and Folktales

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Parents and grandparents used to share old folk tales down through generations, and oral storytelling was commonplace in the community. Unfortunately, this wholesome cultural tradition is at risk of disappearing, too, thanks to digital media and online storytelling. It’s just not the same!

Traditional Craftsmanship

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Although many small businesses and online sellers are persevering with the handcrafted market, it’s safe to say that mass-produced items have largely replaced traditional artisanal skills. It may be that factory goods completely replace traditional craftsmanship altogether, which would be pretty tragic.

Neighborhood Block Parties

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Another, more modern, cultural tradition in America is the neighborhood block party, an opportunity for community bonding and for people to get together. Nowadays, these parties are less frequent due to public safety, leading them to be hosted within individual homes. We can understand why, but we’ll miss the vibrant block parties!

Local Dialects and Accents

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Local dialects and accents are as much a part of American identity as other customs, but sadly, they too could be gone soon. CNN notes that American accents on TV all sound the same these days, and thanks to modern education, regional dialects or accents are being lost to more standardized speech.

Huge Family Reunions

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Just like with Sunday dinners, you’d be hard-pressed to find an American actually looking forward to a large-scale family reunion these days. This is partially because more families are relocating and spreading out across the world than they used to, making reunions far more difficult to organize!

Quilting Bees

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Another American cultural tradition is community quilting bees, where people get together to learn new skills and share a conversation or two. Sadly, that tradition is slowly dying out; fewer people are finding time in their busy lives to attend shared hobby meets like this, with many groups moving online.

Barbershop Quartets

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The tradition of barbershop quartet singing is also on the decline, risking fading out from America altogether! Originally starting out in the 19th Century, according to Britannica, the rise of the younger generation and modern music tastes taking over may mean quartets no longer take precedence. Rap groups are dominating instead!

Home Gardening

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While some are still green-fingered and sustainable with their own produce, many Americans don’t have the option of home gardening due to the necessity of urban living. Lack of time, space, and even interest also mean this pastime could be seeing its downfall, which is a sad state of affairs.

Traditional Forms of Dance

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Folk dancing and traditional dances used to be extremely popular in the U.S., and dance halls were great places to be. Sadly, this is also another cultural tradition that is waning in popularity due to fewer people showing enthusiasm for learning traditional dances or celebrating with them.

Potluck Dinners

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Potluck dinners also used to be an extremely popular custom in America, with huge social meetups consisting of each person bringing their own dish. Nowadays, this is a less popular tradition because of our busy lifestyles and more specific dietary requirements. It is what it is, sadly.

Traditional Holiday Celebrations

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Celebrating the holidays in America is still a big deal, but such cultural traditions have changed significantly. Many traditional ways of celebrating holidays have been replaced with a more commercial mindset, and certain rituals are being forgotten in favor of modern ones. Bring back old-school celebrations!


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Unfortunately, the tradition of handing down clothing to other family members is also declining in modern America. The reason is fast fashion, an industry that makes it cheaper for Americans to purchase low-quality clothing for their families, which Yahoo Finance claims is growing 5% in America every year! That’s kind of messed up. 

Canning and Preserving

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Home canning and preserving food was a regular practice with old-fashioned American families, but it’s another cultural tradition that is now at risk of disappearing from society. Thanks to convenience foods and more modern preservation options, traditional canning could become obsolete, but we think that’s just plain lazy!

Sitting on the Front Porch

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In the South, many people still value communal conversations on the porch as valuable community time. However, elsewhere in the U.S., the age-old tradition of porch sitting is seeing a significant decline, primarily due to modern entertainment options keeping people indoors.

Church Picnics

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One final cultural tradition that may be at risk of disappearing from modern America is the church picnic, which once used to be a respected social event. The decline of these picnics is mainly a product of changing religious practices and more diverse community viewpoints these days, making them less popular and inclusive in general.

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