Welcome to 2008. I hope you have arrived well into the new year.
I think back and I recall that I was always looking forward toward the year 2000, because then I would turn 18 and that would be so cool! Drivers license, government scholarships and be able to go to clubs.
Not I feel a bit time is going a bit too fast.
Okay, that was the depression of the day. It is funny how blogs often enhances all the bad things and people uses them to debate and show problems.
I want to tell story of a clash of cultures that not even the famous Geert Hofstede would be able to compete against.
The story takes place this Christmas. I went home to Denmark just before Christmas and had an excellent time with my dearest family and some friends. Gyte, the girlfriend, arrived in Herning, Denmark, the 26th. of December. This was her 3rd time with my family, so I expected that she would be used to the surroundings and the cultural differences. But the truth was not so easy…
I had before Christmas talked to my mom that a cheese slicer did not really exist in Lithuania. Lithuanians handle the cheese by cutting with a knife. Okay for emergencies, but not really a long lasting solution, when you want nice straight thin slices of cheese for your bread. It was a must have to bring and maybe a potential import business
I also told my aunt about this terrible drama with the cheese slicing. She was astonished as well. To make a long story short, I ended Christmas with two slicers, one from my mom and one from my aunt. Terrible that Peter had to live in Lithuania without a cheese slicer (I gave one of them to my younger brother)…
Well, the now famous cheese slicer is not realy the story to tell. The true crime in this case, the cheese slicer is nothing but the murder weapon!
It was after some days and Gyte and I had a small fight/loud debate, based on that I mostly wanted to relax and be with my family and she was dead stressed by being around in the house and the foreign culture and so.
We had just had lunch, typical Danish lunch with sliced bread and all kind of toppings, yummie… Gyte had though more been sitting and staring a bit around, not looking too comfortable to be around my family or the table.
The fight ended with Gyte saying something like: “But I don’t even know how to eat your food!”
I was amazed, what was she talking about. I wouldn’t say she was offered anything weird – it was all good and tasty…
But then I realized how our lunches was. They are a cultural uniqueness. Sitting around the table as a family, eating sliced bread with knife and fork and putting all kind of weird toppings on top. To make it all worse, the most loved cheese had to be cut with this surgical instrument, if etiquette was to be right. Poor Gyte, I understood her and I understood that such a thing had I taken such a simple cultural ritual for granted.
I see now how our lunches are maybe one of our strongest cultural heritages. This, having sliced dark bread with toppings is silly in many cultures around, but a must for Danes. It is – lunch!
Well, I better teach Gyte how to use a cheese slicer – she will be happy for it – next time she is in Denmark…