This year (2021), 4th of July falls on a Sunday. During this holiday, many will go to the park for picnics, camp out, have bar-be-ques, go on road trips, or have fun at home with family and friends. Many will also go to see fireworks. While many towns have their fireworks display on July 4th, many other towns may start their fireworks displays a few days before or elect to conduct them up to a few days after the 4th of July. Therefore, fireworks can be seen in many city night skies for about a week during the 4th of July holiday.
When speaking to your US counterparts on July 3 (or days preceding this holiday), here are a few small talk phrases or questions that can be used to stimulate conversations and build relationships:
These are just a few conversation starters. When the other person answers you, find something interesting in it and reply back. For instance,
“How do you celebrate the 4th of July?”
“My family and I have a family gathering at the lake, and in the evening watch fireworks. Maybe we will go camping.”
(Find something interesting in their response and respond accordingly.)
“Wow, you go to the lake! I also love to go to the lake. Do you go boating?”
Keep in mind that unless your US counterpart brings up ‘family and friends’ do not broach this topic first. Direct all questions to that individual himself.
Another exception is talking about gas prices. While Americans don’t typically like to be asked about how much they spent on things, they are more open to talk about gas prices. Similar to Memorial Day (the last Monday of May), Americans will always talk and probably complain about the cost of gas as many take road trips during this time. The videos below are news clips from 2017 on the cost of gas during the 4th of July and summer holiday season.
Videos to watch on YouTube to gain context to US culture reference points:
You can also wish or greet someone for this holiday as noted in the tutorial below
Note a few other interesting phrases/words:
Going away, going out of town, going on a vacation – all of these phrases means “out of station” in Indian English. Americans do not say “out of station.”
Days off or take off days – In Indian English the closest equivalent is “leave” or “take an off”. Americans do not use those two phrases.
Feel free to add additional conversation starters and small talk you have used in your interactions about the 4th of July with your US counterparts in the comments below.
Videos of Independence Day Fireworks in Different Parts of the USA
Salt Lake Valley Fireworks – Celebrating Independence Day during a Global Pandemic
A fun word search to use to expose yourself to new American English words and idioms used to discuss America’s Independence Day is below.
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