How far back does culture affect your life?
As a family, living in rural Wisconsin, meals were never something we rushed through.
No one was in a huge hurry to get up from the table and start whatever they needed to do. It wasn’t because we were lazy, it was because we enjoyed sitting and having a conversation while the food started to digest. We knew the table would be cleaned up, but it wasn’t urgent.
We Are All Immigrants
My paternal grandfather came from Germany, and my paternal grandmother came from Norway as a very young child. My maternal grandparents are a mixture of German, Norwegian and Danish.
My Peeps (For the non-Hollywood types peeps means people)
We in dined in Munich with our German friends last night. They lingered after they were finished eating! One even commented that in Germany one must linger over dinner. Yipppeeeeee! I found my peeps!
Not Just Us
Now I know it just wasn’t my family that lingered. This is a custom or part of the German culture that was passed on to me.
Conflict of Cultures
My husbands culture is to finish the meal quickly and clean up the dishes before–god forbid–the sauce dries on the plates.
As you may have noticed, that is a major difference in our cultures. It is not just the American culture versus the Egyptian culture, it is also the Egyptian culture versus the German ancestral customs that I never realized were so much a part of me.
Clash of Cultures–How do we solve this?
I have found a very simple solution. My husband jumps up from the table and starts washing the dishes. I linger long enough until it looks like he is almost done and then I get up to “help.” If it is so important that it gets cleaned up right away–go for it. I will not stop you.
But don’t even think about stopping me from lingering.