When I was studying in Australia and sneezed no one ever said ‘Bless you.’
It was an eery silence felt by every sneezing American there unless of course you were sitting next to a compatriot. But the absence of acknowledgement made you rethink culture and habit.
In America and pretty much rest of world, sneezing is a cue for pity. Our hearts stop momentarily when we sneeze so we like the vocal pat on the back when we make it through. The Turks even have a saying for this after they sneeze (Çok yaşa!), basically ’glad you’re still alive, keep going.’
How did Australia skip out on this universal gesture, one that is as old as AD 77. This phenomenon may seriously be worth looking into, if only to cure the curiosity.