2020 had a rough start in terms of global news. The outbreak of the coronavirus was one of them. The sheer amount of media coverage (on all levels of quality) and the uncertainty that the virus outbreak brought to many lives also affected expat families around the globe but specifically those closer to the area of origin. I was wondering, how expat families are coping with the challenge, how they made their decision on whether to stay or to go “home”, and what they have learned from the current situation.
Where are you coming from?
About the question:
Where are you coming from?
AMERICAN CULTURE: WHAT ARE YOUR ROOTS?
Recently, I discovered something amusing about the way Americans introduce themselves to me.
When talking with Americans, I often hear them saying “Oh, I am also German/Italian/Dutch…”
An example of this small talk is:
American: Oh, I am also from Germany!
Me: Oh great, which city are you from?
American: Oh actually, I was never in Germany. However, my ancestors are from Germany.
Me: Interesting, do you also speak German?
American: No, but my grandparents came here from Germany, and they still can speak the language. I never learned about it, unfortunately.
Me: Have you been to Germany yet?
American: No, I have not left the US yet, but I was always saying that I want to visit Europe one day…
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The German words “Heimat” and “zu Hause” translate both to the English word “home”. While “Heimat” for me the country that I am coming from, where I spent my childhood, “zu Hause” is more the country I am living in right now. In my case, Germany is my “Heimat” and the US is my “zu Hause”.
I wonder whether we as global citizens will always be somehow in between or if one nationality will fade out with the time spent in another country.
Would love to hear your thoughts on that and your story. Please share in the comments below.
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