Tag: cultural differences

7 fun facts about Scottish culture

Hi darlings!

I cannot I’ve now been in Dundee for 1 month! I gotta say I really love living in the sunniest city in Scotland, and even though being a university student can be quite challenging at times, I love every part of it! However, the scottish culture is quite different from what I’m used to, and I’ve here chosen the 10 funniest facts I’ve discovered so far:

  1. Bagpupes and kilts. t’s the typical, scottish cliché, but like all the cheesy quotes you so often see in movies, it comes from truth. Here at University of Dundee e.g. you’ll see someone standing in a kilt, playing the bagpipe for all bigger event.
  2. Haggis. Haggis is the real taste of Scotland, and I got say that as long as you’re not thinking about what it really is, it taste pretty good. Haggis is a dish made of a sheep’s ‘pluck’ (heart, liver and lungs), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally simmered in sheep’s stomach for about three hours. Delicious right?!
  3. Tatties, bampot and other scottish words. The scottish accent is something we’ve all heard of, but how about the scottish words? I can tell you I’ve been repeating the word “what?” a lot of times since I arrived here, because the scottish have a lot of their own words, very different from the american or british Im used to!
  4. Scotland has the highest amount of redheads in the world. And it’s something you really notice once you walk around in the cities etc.
  5. Scotland’s national animal is a unicorn. I find that really cool though (Denmark’s is just a swan – boring right?)
  6. It was the Scots were the ones to invest golfing, and the city St Andrews (which is really close to Dundee btw) is considered to be the city home for golf. Loads of famous people come there to golf, Obama has been there, and Jamie Dornan is there now!
  7. Scotland has 3 officially recognized language: English (of course), Scottish Gaelic and Scots. Maybe that’s also why they have so many of their own, special words?

That’s what I’ve got so far – what did you think about it? Anything surprising? I definitely was!

xx

 

Why you need to leave your comfort zone while you’re young

“Paris, it seems, was the beginning of letting go of who I was and grabbing hold of who I was to become.”

We go to school for a big part of our lives, and when we’re young it’s all our lives are about. To do our homework, to make our assignments, to get good grades so we can get into good universities, so we can get good jobs. It seems like that’s what it’s all about. And the society, our parents, maybe even our friends, puts this pressure on us. Makes us think that’s what we should do.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past 6 months, it’s that there’s so much more to life than that!

Don’t get me wrong here, I still think an education and to get a job one day is important, and I’m planning on going to university soon. But come on you guys. If all you’ve ever known is being a student, how do you know who you are? What you like, and thereby what you want to study and one day work with? School is good and it’s important to have knowledge, but how about knowing life? I have been way more challenged living abroad than I ever have in my 13 years in school. I’ve learned more about myself, what is important to me, what I want from life and which values I have.

By going out of my comfort zone I have (sorry for the cliché) found myself. I feel like I know who I am and thereby I feel so much more secure that what I have applied for at university is what I really want. When I applied 6 months ago I wasn’t even sure I ever wanted to go to university.
Leaving my home country has been the best decision in my life. It’s so important that you try to escape, try something new. Taste the world and experience what it means to be truly alive. We’re only young once and we only live once. Get the best out of it, before we grow old and full of regrets.

I know this post is filled with cliches from movies and so many books. But I gotta say I’m serious about it too. Life is too short, and there’s no point doing something you hate when there’s a whole world out there, waiting for you to discover it. Leaving your comfort zone is the scariest and best thing you can ever do to yourself. It’s not easy, but I’ve never regretted my choice.

 

4 things I’ve noticed about the french

One of the great things about being an au pair, is that you get really close to the culture of the country you’re au paring in! I have here written 4 things I’ve learned about the french culture since my last post about it (read it here)

  1. They eat dinner so late. I mean for a dane, normal dinner time is around 18-19. But french people, when there eating at a friend’s place, they don’t even shove up before 19.30. And then you first get drinks, eat some chips, talk. And not until you’ve finished with that you start getting to the table.
  2. Their sense of humour. I know every language has it’s own sense of humour that can be hard for foreigners to understand, but have you seen a french movie? It’s kind of a cruel humour, it relies a lot on humiliating situations where you cringe and wanna hide under your duvet on behalf of the characters, who doesn’t realize the situations themselves.
  3. The patriotism. If there is one word I would definitely describe the french people with, it’s pride. They take great pride in their government and nation, and I would go as far to say they are typically offended by negative comments about their country. Several of my friends interpret their attitude toward foreigners as rude.
  4. French cuisine. Though the dinnertime is late, the food is really delicious. Good food and good wine are very important for the french people, and thought the cooking style has changed, most french associate french cooking with complicated preparation.

Spending christmas with your host family or Trying other traditions

Bonjour a tout le monde et joyeux noël!

So today is the 25th of December and for the first time ever I haven’t spend Christmas eve with my family. It has been a really different experience for me, and even though Christmas has a different meaning the older you get, not being home with my family has made me realize that there’s still a lot of things you appreciate and traditions you prefer. E.g. for the first time ever I tried to open my christmas presents in the morning of the 25th, which was really weird for me, since the tradition in Denmark is to open the gifts in the evening of the 24th. I tried to go out and eat with another family, and to eat a completely different meal, than what we in Denmark would consider as a typical Danish christmas meal. Though it wasn’t a traditional french meal either. So I guess in many ways it was a very special christmas for me, and it haven’t really felt like christmas. I didn’t get to go to church for the christmas service with my family  or walk around the christmas tree and sing christmas songs. I didn’t get my moms home-baked christmas biscuits and the traditional “ris-a-la-mande” for dessert. And for me I think these traditions are some of the things that makes christmas feel like christmas for me, these traditions that we follow on this magical night. But of course the biggest difference was the fact that I wasn’t with my own family, and I think, in the end, that’s the most important. However I enjoyed the experience of trying something very different, e.g. I spend the last 3 days in the country Bahrain, where I was swimming in the pool and sun bathing by the ocean. That’s definitely the first time ever I’ve tried that, to be in 25 degrees christmas day.
I wish you all a very merry christmas, and hope that you get to be with the ones you love today (:

A bientôt

The 7 first surprises or The differences between France and Denmark

Hi guys! I know its been a while since my last blog post, and Im really sorry about that! I guess the last couple of weeks have been a bit crazy, but Im back now with a brand new post! I’ve been in Paris 5 weeks, and in my time here I have come across some differences between France and Denmark. I’ve listet the first 7 here:

  1. Lunch is just as important and big as dinner. I know it is not only in France it work this way, but it definitely isn’t how it is in Denmark. Some ryebread with cold cuts or “leverpostej” and thats it. But in France the lunch contains the same amount of attention as dinner.
  2. Everything is dubbed into French. One of my first nights here, I sat with my host family in the living room to watch a movie I knew. To my surprise it was not in the language I knew. It was dubbed. And thats how it is with everything you see on TV and also most films in the cinemas. In Denmark it’s only children’s movies that are dubbed, the rest is in original language with subtitles.
  3. Bread is the key to every meal. Before I went to Paris I was thinking of baguette as “french bread”. But now that I’ve been living here, I’ve discovered it’s so much more than that. French people love their bread, and it always gets on the table along with the meal. To be honest I’ve grown really fond of this.
  4. The kissing. In Denmark you shake hands when you meet someone, or hug them if they’re familiar. In France you kiss them. Not on the mouth of course, but depending on where you are in the country, you give 2, 3 or 4 kisses when you meet people. In Paris it’s 2, and though I found it kinda weird in the beginning, I think I’m getting used to it now. But I still prefer to hug my friends when I see them 😉
  5. Opening hours. The French definitely take the part of keeping the sunday free seriously. You’re lucky if you find a shop open, and the restaurants is often limited to McDonald’s. In Denmark there’s always a supermarket open, and even on Sundays, some of them have normal opening hours.
  6. Fresh food. Food is a big deal in generel in France, and to cook a nice meal, french people use a lot of fresh food. I know more and more danish people are getting more conscious about the food they eat, but its rare that it’s not at least potatoes and meet together. I’ve had loads of meals here in france that mainly contained of vegetables and fish.
  7. Vous. In Denmark it’s been some time ago since we called teachers by last name and “sir” or “madame” to strangers. But this is definitely not the case in France. To accidentally say “you” to a stranger on the street is no excuse. You absolutely have to say “madame” and “vous”. Unless they’re familiar faces that is.