chuttersnap-176806-unsplash

About the question:
Where are you coming from?

Where are you coming from is one of the tricky questions when you are living abroad. There is never a short answer to our story which can be annoying sometimes but most of all its a luxury that makes me happy. I found that Americans have always a funny response to my story of where I am 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…

Let's connect on Social Media

Want some good vibes in your mail?

That’ the way many small talks go and I find it so interesting that the American culture likes to identify themselves with a culture they never actually experienced. The concept of claiming a culture as a nationality without having some knowledge of it is a bit irritating to me. However, at the same time, it goes back to those invisible borders we created in order to shape our very own culture. That triggers the question in me: How much can you grow into another culture by learning about it and living in a similar way? Learning the language and identifying with local values and communication can be a step to adapt to a foreign nationality. Especially coming from Germany, this is an ongoing topic with foreigners coming to live in our country. The public opinion and expectation are that families who want to live in Germany should learn the language in order to become a part of our society and not be left out. So, when you learned the language and become familiar with the culture, what kind of nationality do you have when you moved abroad and started a family with no plans on coming back?

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. 

Thanks for sharing the love and stopping by

Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

Share this article with a friend and share the love:

Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on xing
Share on email

You also might like:

A Different Approach to Everyday Life: A Return to One’s Own Values Abroad

Living abroad not only opens up a completely new view of the country and its people. The perception of worldwide cultural differences also does something to one’s own ideas. What is desirable? What belongs to the things that are absolutely necessary and what are things that are considered absolutely necessary in one culture and play no role at all elsewhere? This becomes very vivid if you make yourself aware of an everyday situation in a very concrete way. In this article, I look at the different designs of children’s rooms around the world and what this has to do with a return to our basic instincts. 

Read More »
expat assignments, global mobility, willingness to move abroad, moving abroad

Why less families decide to move abroad

Are families less willed to move abroad in this world of uncertainty? How will expat assignments change within the next year? How to make the decision of moving abroad or working from home in another country? This article is shedding some light on the future of global mobility in the world we are living in right now.

Read More »
career, family, woman, woman

The 4 types of Female Expats

How differently do women approach the concept of a career abroad? What traits can be assigned to the various international CVs? I spoke with 30 female breadwinners who have made it abroad and identified 4 types that have emerged time and again. In this article, I discuss each type and show what you can learn from them.

Read More »

Mum guilt – How much time should I spend with my child to be a good mum?

You know this nagging feeling when you are spending time apart from your baby? The feeling of guilt that might come over you when you invest in a babysitter just to do something for yourself? The often painful decision to leave your child to daycare to go back to work. In this article, I want to introduce you to the concept behind called mum guilt. You will learn that it is universal and you will learn how changing your approach on HOW you spend time with your kid can make all the difference.

Read More »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

I accept the Privacy Policy