Today's Guest blogger (my first!) is one of my favorite people, the lovely Cherrye.
Like me, Cherrye is an American living in Italy. She lives in Calabria with her husband, where they own a B&B.
Cherrye's a very talented writer (it runs in her family) and I loved meeting her and Peppe earlier this year. I felt kinda bad for him because Cherrye and I like to talk. Uhmm, a lot. ha
Her advice below is on point. Here's a link to her blog, My Bella Vita.
Merging Cultures: Three Ways to Share Your New Culture With Your Old Family
"I remember feeling like a kid on a candy-crazed high during my first trip to Europe. I loved each new place more than the last and I couldn’t wait to get home and share these experiences with my family.
I wanted to take them to the top of the Eiffel Tower with me, share some homemade pistachio gelato with them and splash them with a bit of Nessie’s water from her near-frozen loch.
When I got home I was surprised to learn they didn’t care to climb to the top of Notre Dame and watching The Sound of Music was as close to Salzburg as they cared to get.
I didn’t get it.
I continued to travel and would report home with mom’s magnet, they’d look at pictures and that was that.
But when I moved to Italy it all changed.
No, it wasn’t them-it was me. I changed my approach to sharing and discussing my new culture and whatdoyouknow, they were hooked on Italy, too.
Here are three ways you can share your new culture with your old friends and family back home.
1. The Way to a Man (and your mom’s) Heart
… is still through food.
When I go to Texas I make a point of taking fun Calabrian ingredients they don’t normally eat back home. Sometimes it is limoncello, other times it is traditional Italian Christmas candy and often it is a new pasta recipe or homemade dessert idea they wouldn’t have tried on their own.
2. Education as a Weapon
Nelson Mandela said education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world. So why not start with your family?
When I started reporting on what I’d learned about Italy, the history of the buildings they were seeing in photos and how Italians do things differently than we do back home-my family started listening.
It wasn’t enough for them to just look at pictures. Once they understood the history and could appreciate the background, they understood why I love this country.
3. Lasting Impressions
If you are intent on sharing your new culture with your family, then take them gifts they can’t get in the states. For example, my mother now proudly displays La Befana
every year with her Christmas decorations and she uses her Italian porcelain salad tongs every time she serves dinner.
Credit: Clarita82 at Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/clarita_it/
What other ideas do you have for sharing your new culture with your family and friends back home?"
Cherrye Moore is a freelance writer and B&B owner living in Calabria, Italy. She writes for aAffordable Calling Cards where they sell prepaid calling cards to Italy, and about living and traveling in Calabria on her site, My Bella Vita.