Thursday, 5 January 2012

Which culture?

It's been brought to my attention that I refer to myself in terms of British or more specifically, Scottish people.  I often refer to Americans as 'you' not 'us/we' and the British as 'us/we' not 'them'.

Due to my residing in the UK for nearly 12 years I feel well-adapted to the culture of this nation, and the country from which I originate seems almost foreign to me.  This is not a judgement on one culture being superior to the other.  Where I currently live feels like 'home' and I feel like a visitor in the US.  This has nothing to do with patriotism as I am American, but I'm also a citizen of the UK and this is where I've made my permanent home. Yes, I was born and raised in the US and lived there for 48 years, but I haven't lived there in what seems like a very long time.  I drove there for 30 years before moving abroad but I'm used to driving in the UK and driving on the left side in a right hand drive car feels natural to me, not the other way around.  I am so accustomed to different spellings that I often find that a spelling such as 'color' looks incorrect to me.

I regret not doing a  blog or journal when I first arrived here.  A summary at the end of each year would be interesting to look back on.

It amazes me that a few expats (and others) think they are being traitors or betraying their American identity by using non-American terms or identifying with a culture other than the American one.  Some expats enjoy the attention they get by using American terms even when they are confusing.  Seems to me this is done by only relatively new expats as this just gets tiresome after living in a new country for a few years.  It's been implied, and sometimes outright accusatory, that I must be a traitor or unpatriotic by becoming totally acclimated to the culture in which I live.  This is my home for the rest of my life so my question is - why wouldn't I?  Is there some point that needs to be proven by clinging to a culture that is no longer part of my everyday life?

As for adapting to the language my question is if you move to France are you going to learn to speak French, or are you going to make your life very difficult, if not impossible, by clinging to your own language and culture?  How is this different from moving to an English-speaking country?

My blog on vocabulary changes I have made

Comments and questions are welcome.

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