Leaving and Embracing Culture

I left my country and my culture to embrace a new country and a new culture. First, the language is different and with the language, the mannerisms, the expressions, and the impressions. Second, the food is different and with the food, the expectations. Third, the drinks are different and with the drinks, the constitutions.

I’m talking about people and their everyday living, talking, eating and drinking. Survival stuff. What we do everyday is talk, eat, and drink. And what we do at special occasions is talk, eat, and drink. And then, rituals, patterns, and celebrations are formed.

I wanted to leave my culture’s rituals, patterns, and celebrations. Was fed up with them. Wanted my freedom to do and be what I want. I came to America, the land of freedom from Denmark, a land of rooted culture.

Now, years later, with a knowledge of two cultures, their languages, their food, and their drinks, I customize my culture: I write a story in English on my paternal grandmother and use names, mannerisms, and words from Denmark, I eat dark bread and herring from IKEA, I drink mineral water over soda, and I celebrate Christmas Eve by dancing around the christmas tree.

I have the freedom to be Danish in America when I wish but am not obligated to enact every ritual and celebration as done by the Danes.

Lately, I feel more sentimental when I listen to Danish singers and bands and the language tie is strong. Through language and music cultural perspective is expressed and I connect, I do connect, but I choose when.

 

 

 

6 Comments »

  1. Language and culture are intrinsically bound. Once you’re immersed in Danish language, you’re right back in the culture. I like the idea of picking and choosing when to be what. I started a new Spanish class today and for two hours I spoke Spanish and felt like I’d left my everyday life behind–for awhile. The sound of the words and the feel of the words in my mouth sent me back to Mexico and I was that person again.

    • How cool! Love it ❤ I want to learn Spanish, I mean, really, so I can just speak it…love Mexico and have been to San Miguel twice 🙂 And I like the language because I like the culture – you are so right, language and culture are two peas in a pod!

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