It's not in poor taste to discuss cultural difference to foster understanding.This entire thread is in poor taste.
Chalk it up to cultural differences, and leave it at that. Do we want to talk about other demographics who like skinny tires on deep dish rims?
Specific to Asian folks not waving back:
I was a foreign exchange student who ended up studying in Japan.
One cultural nuance - The Japanese do not believe in maintaining eye contact. Looking at someone for more than a few seconds can be considered rude, possibly hostile.
In contrast, we Americans maintain eye contact to establish trust and confidence. “Look at me when I’m speaking to you!” How many times have we heard our parents and teachers say that? “Look me in the eye.” Does that sound familiar?
It’s fascinating that something as fundamental as body language can be so different across cultures.
So, it’s not hard to imagine Koreans not waving to folks they don’t know. I know for a fact that certain Inuits will refuse to greet strangers, as they consider that a bad omen.
Granted, this was many many moons ago, and we’re in a globalized society. But this “you’re in America now, be American” mindset really needs to go.
You're absolutely correct about the other cultures. But I don't understand what's so wrong about "You're in America now, be American".
Are you saying I should go to Japan and look everyone squarely in the eye?
Should I go to Korea and wave at everyone?
Should I seek out and greet every Inuit I can find?
No, that's rude there. That should not be done. The local culture should be respected. So what's wrong about asking for the exact same thing in return? Yes, America benefits from the influence of other cultures but why should American culture completely buckle to every other culture within America? America is allowed to have it's own culture.