We could have snow tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the next day. Well, that is what the weatherman says. But then, the weathermen are notoriously wrong. It certainly feels cold enough. Here in England everything grinds to a halt when it snows. Even the trains. There was once a hilarious response from a rail company, saying that it was "the wrong kind of snow". What is the right kind then? I thought snow was snow. We will see.
I was flipping through some new blogs this morning, and I can't remember where I read about combined cultures, but it struck a chord with me. I was born in South Africa. 3 of my grandparents were born in England, and one in Scotland. My husband was English, as was his father, and his mother was Irish. My children have grown up in South Africa and England. We spend a great deal of time in Switzerland with my sister, whose husband was born in Germany. Now my daughter lives in New Zealand. So what I am wondering is whether children who move countries when they are young, tend to move countries again, possibly more than once, when they are adults. I know that I have never ruled out the possibility of moving again. I have done it once, and lived to tell the tale, and I always saw it as not leaving a life, but gaining a new one, while keeping the things that really mattered from the old one. Like friends. Nowadays that is so much simpler, because of technological advances in communication. Like blogs.
My youngest son was just 1 when we moved to England, and he is, to all intents and purposes, British. He sounds British. This is all he knows. But he also knows he was born in South Africa, and that makes him different too. He has been back and it is a part of him as well. My older 2 sound South African to the British and British to South Africans. Weird. They have been to school in both countries, and adapted well to the changes. My sister sounds Swiss. Her english is now a translation of german, which is hysterical. Most people think I am from somewhere foreign, but they never get it right. We have a mixture of traditions from 3 countries, and I see this as wonderful. If I moved again one day, there would be more new ones to add as well.
The generation I grew up with scattered to the 4 corners of the earth after we graduated from university. My best friend lives in New Zealand, and I have friends and family in Canada, the States, Australia, Europe, Britain, Zimbabwe and South Africa, and heaven knows where else. My children have godparents in Scotland, England, Zimbabwe, New Zealand, South Africa. We are a real mixture, and that has to be good.
I do BBQs like South Africans, I cook porridge like the Scots. I make raclette like the Swiss. I make scones like the English. (And stir fry like Chinese, and pasta like Italians etc etc ) I go barefoot as much as possible - African. I don't stand on ceremony - colonial. I think I take what I like from all the combined cultures and make my own in a way. Unique. We are all unique, and a sum of all our experiences and heritages, aren't we. I think that this is what makes communities so interesting. In this village, there are French, Indian, Sinaporean, Irish, Dutch, Thai, Canadian, and South African families that I know of. Not to mention the 4 home nations. Probably lots more nations represented too. I work with German, French, Polish, Rumanian, Jamaican, Zimbabwean, Ghanaian, and British people. Those are just the ones I have met so far from a staff of over 200. The world has changed. And it is all getting very interesting. When my oldest son was at school in South Africa, I remember doing BBQs for his friends, and we had 3 sections divided up on the BBQ. There was ordinary food, kosher food, and halaal food, each with its own fork and tinfoil separating it all. It all seemed quite normal to me.
South Africa is called the rainbow nation. Maybe there are a whole lot of countries who could claim the same name. We are a rainbow people. I like the sound of that.