Tag Archives: living cross-culturally

Culture shock. Again.

Just when I think that maybe twelve years is enough to give me an exemption from culture shock, another layer of it comes.

And really, I know better.

Every few months I hear a phrase I’ve never heard, understand a pop culture reference that previously went over my head, or am baffled by something I see on an Aussie TV program and I’m struck with a tiny little bout of culture shock, which fades as quickly as it landed.

This morning it happened while singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

You guys, the motions are different here. *gasp*

What?? Seriously?

Yup, for real.

Instead of flicking their entire hands from clinched fists to fingers extended like blinking lights, they extend all ten fingers wide and make them wiggle tiny little wiggles. (Like I would make to demonstrate rain.) The movements are small and delicate… kind of like twinkling stars. 

Imagine that.

And maybe this is a little thing, but it kind of spun me out.

I realized that the songs I’ve been singing to my littles at home will be taught differently at kindy or preschool or when they’re watching Playschool on the telly. Sometimes it’s the motions that are a bit different, and sometimes the tune actually varies!

I’ve seen this before but kind-of brushed it off, thinking that the person I saw or heard must not know the song properly. But now it’s starting to sink in that they do know the song properly… just differently to me.

As silly as it sounds it’s sent me into culture shock all over again.

Different is not wrong, it’s just different” is my motto when it comes to all things culture-shock-ish, but it doesn’t mean I don’t like it my way better. (Just keepin’ it real here, friends.)

Anyway, I will continue to teach my kids the American version of things (it’s called the “trunk” of the car, not the “boot”) and their dad and everyone else around them can go all Australian on them I guess. Cuz even if my littles are Aussie, and end up doing everything the Aussie way, at least maybe they can understand a tiny bit of their American heritage too. Even if it is just the way we sing I’m a Little Teapot.

STOP.

 

Q for you: Do you experience culture shock in your own family? Maybe you and your partner aren’t from different nations but you might have very different family backgrounds or life experiences. How do you meld two worlds into one?

 

Love,
A


For the love of holiday M&Ms

I get homesick at holidays.

I know what you’re thinking – of ocurse you miss your family when you want to celebrate with them most.

Um yeah. That’s true. I miss family…

But actually, I’m talking about another kind of homesick.

M&Ms.

It’s Valentines Day tomorrow.

All I want is some little conversation hearts and some pink and red and white peanut M&Ms.

Is that too much to ask?

At Christmas I want red and green ones.

At Easter I want some nice pastel ones.

I’d even buy green ones for St Patricks Day, just becuase I could.

(Do they sell red, white, and blue ones for 4th of July? Probably.)

I know it probably sounds crazy, but I miss holiday candies.

Yup, I know – it’s all just part of their marketing ploys to empty our pockets.

Yup, I know – it’s all consumerism and a litle ridiculous.

But… I kinda like it. I like conversation hearts and pink M&Ms.

I strolled the isles of Target adn Big W (Australia’s version of Walmart) and Woolies (Safeway) today in search of Valentiens candy.

Guess what I found?

A few heart-shaped chocolates and…

Easter eggs.

Apparently Australia thinks Valentines is an American hoax to make you buy yet aother greeting card. maybe…

But I think Valentines Day is an American way of reminding you to tell the people you love that… you love them.

So happy Valentines Day to my lovies. You’ll just have to take my kisses… since red and pink hersheys ones are nowhere to be found.

STOP.

Q for you: Do you get into Valentines Day? Or do you think it’s ridiculous?

Love,
A

Click Clink Five is a blog by Adriel Booker. | Five minutes a day, unedited. | 2012 All rights reserved. | Adriel also writes on parenting and motherhood at The Mommyhood Memos.