Whilst I was born and raised in France, my father actually emigrated from Italy living a bit of the expat life as a chef in a few European countries before meeting my mother, here, in France. Having lived here all my young life, I sometimes tend to forget that I’m also Italian (my Italian is definitely not as perfect as my French), but hopefully my name is here to remind me where I’m from (and tell others too). Although between France and Italy, the culture clash is not as strong as it is between other countries, nonetheless there are still funny stories and some challenges to face.
So here’s a list of the perks and the drawbacks that only those coming from bicultural families understand!
- Not being able to visit often your family can be difficult (although it may vary according to the circumstances, still not as much as ‘regular’ families)
- Missing the culture of the other country: including the food, traditions and everything in between
- Not speaking the other language on a daily basis (and therefore losing skills over time…)
- Wondering what your life would have been like if your parents had chosen to live in the other country
- Being uncertain on which national team to root for during international competitions (2006 Fifa World Cup & its final opposing France to Italy was both a hard and great time!)
- Having to choose a national holiday celebration when the two countries don’t celebrate on the same day (Father’s and Mother’s Day for instance)
- Being unsure what is your home country so considering yourself a citizen of the world
- Attending family reunions with both sides of the family… struggling to communicate
- Dreaming of encountering the foreigner and ending up in a relationship with him, like your parents did many and many years ago
- Dreaming of living the expat life too
- Having a dual citizenship and being proud to show the other passport when you’re in the other country (and vice versa)
- Enjoying two different climates (it may depend on the region therefore: or the view)
- Speaking at least two languages (YAY to bilingualism, the road to polyglossia!)
- Being proud of your rich cultural legacy
- Realizing that our differences unite us and we all are citizens of the world!
In the end, you don’t choose your family, therefore you have to accept all the highs and lows as part of the journey!
If you’re from a multicultural family, what challenges do you face? Do you have any funny stories to tell? Anything to add to the list? Share away!
Let me know your thoughts anyway!
Viva la France ! Evviva l’Italia !
© Picture by Giulia C.