I’ve grown up in a school that has actively promoted patriotism. We had to memorize our eight-paragraph-long national anthem and the meanings behind each verse. Memorizing everything that makes our country unique, beautiful, and majestic was a requisite for graduation. We were taught to be proud of being Hondurans, to love and admire our country, and to represent its greatness if we ever go abroad. I’ve lived in Honduras for 23 years and never loved my country and my culture as much as I do now, living in another country.
We all want what we don’t have.
Now that I live in Germany and have built my home here, I wish I enjoyed my country and culture more while living there. I realized that during my 23 years in Honduras, I rarely appreciated our cultural heritage or bothered getting closer to my national identity as much as I do now. I didn’t feel the urge to explore northern and eastern Honduras and personally learn more about indigenous communities like the Garifunas, Tawahkas, and Tolupanes.
Neither have I greatly admired the handcrafted products they create nor glorified the gastronomy they have given us as much as I do now. As I was a kid, I remember feeling somewhat embarrassed for taking folkloric dance classes while now I wish I could show videos of me dancing. And the list goes on!
I dream of traveling back home and exploring the countless landscapes which I’m constantly reminded of or visiting the famous carnivals I’ve never been to. I’m jealous of my friends who constantly make weekend trips to new amazing spots around my home city. Now more than ever, I feel like an outsider to my own culture. And this reason is why I try to remain close to it as much as I can.
How Adapting to A New Culture Brought Me Closer to My Own
Living abroad is a bizarre experience that never stops to astound. The more I have contact with other cultures, the more I appreciate my own. Traveling has helped me earn broader perspectives about life, home, and the value of cultural identity. Trying to become part of a society whose culture is very different from yours makes you recognize better than before your cultural identity, one you realize you don’t want to loose and look forward to share with others.
The charm of living in a multicultural city like Frankfurt lays on the countless possibilities to learn about foreign cultures while finding a reminder from home at the same time. I’m thankful for globalization, free commerce, and nice coincidences. Who would have known I would find a cute Honduran food store in the center of Frankfurt, waiting for me to discover it?
That and the international food market in Frankfurt has given me a chance to a collect piece of home and share it with others through cuisine, my passion! 🙂
What has life abroad taught me? Being a Honduran is beautiful.
And also delicious! Have you heard about the Honduran Baleada? Keep an eye for the following posts! 😉