Expat Magazine

Being Yourself

By Expatmum @tonihargis
My July column for the Expat Focus web site discusses how far expats should go to assimilate to another country's culture and how far they should just be themselves. It's a tricky one.
Take Brits in the USA for example. A lot of us come over here and silently (or not so silently) criticize Americans for not using a knife and fork properly, not knowing how to spell and generally being unsophisticated. But this is not the UK; they don't speak British English and they don't follow British spelling rules. Who are we to come over here and tell them to do it our way? Can you imagine going to live in say, Japan, and refusing to take your shoes off when going to someone's house? Or going to a country where the left hand isn't used, and deliberately shoving your left hand out all the time? We just wouldn't, would we.
Having said that, when we had a huge empire, we sort of did that all over the world didn't we?
Anyway, here's the post.

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