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.