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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So while I'm all for embracing local traditions, I'm also big on not letting go who I am. As a result, here in SA - I maintain my American and South African traditions. I do cook traditional south african meals but I also prepare all my American favorites. I also do purchase imported American products when I can.

So my question - do you celebrate any of your local holidays in SA as well?

I do Thanksgiving and Halloween .

For Halloween we make all the treats, do the whole costume thing and took my daughter trick or treating. I'm doing Thanksgiving dinner this year ( on the Friday so my working friends aren't screwed). I've got both Americans and South Africans coming.

I do this to help offset home sickness as well. Does anyone else do this?
 

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So while I'm all for embracing local traditions, I'm also big on not letting go who I am. As a result, here in SA - I maintain my American and South African traditions. I do cook traditional south african meals but I also prepare all my American favorites. I also do purchase imported American products when I can.

So my question - do you celebrate any of your local holidays in SA as well?

I do Thanksgiving and Halloween .

For Halloween we make all the treats, do the whole costume thing and took my daughter trick or treating. I'm doing Thanksgiving dinner this year ( on the Friday so my working friends aren't screwed). I've got both Americans and South Africans coming.

I do this to help offset home sickness as well. Does anyone else do this?
I also try to embrace my new country's traditions but I am trying to keep all my Swedish traditions alive as well (feel it is very important to do this for my daughter's sake and for me not to feel home sick).

The main 'Sweden holidays' that I celebrate are:
1. Midsummer (mid/end June);
2. Valborgsmässoafton (last day of April and is our celebration that spring has finally arrived);
3. National Day of Sweden (6th June);
4. St Lucia (on 13th December)

and of course we celebrate Christmas on the 24th Dec rather than the 25th so at Christmas we tend to do the Swedish thing on the 24th and the SA Christmas on the 25th. Works well as my daughter gets to celebrate twice and gets 'exposed' to both traditions. I force feed my SA family with Swedish Meat Balls and Snapps and they don't seem to mind.
 

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I have lived in the UK for more than 20 years and have always tried to avoid hanging on to SA traditions - with some food exceptions as the UK idea of food is shocking. As my daughter was raised in the UK, I wanted her to be British rather than displaced South African, so I avoided all RSA holidays and even did not make friends with South Africans here.
Unless you intend to stay for a little while only, you should avoid 'traditions from home' as they always seem nicer than they really were and the yearning to return will remain.
I am a firm believer in embracing your new homeland and making it home, not standing with one foot in the country of origin.
I hate people that always refer to 'home' in conversationsm meaning where they came from. If their new country is not home, they should go home.
 

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I have lived in the UK for more than 20 years and have always tried to avoid hanging on to SA traditions - with some food exceptions as the UK idea of food is shocking. As my daughter was raised in the UK, I wanted her to be British rather than displaced South African, so I avoided all RSA holidays and even did not make friends with South Africans here.
Unless you intend to stay for a little while only, you should avoid 'traditions from home' as they always seem nicer than they really were and the yearning to return will remain.
I am a firm believer in embracing your new homeland and making it home, not standing with one foot in the country of origin.
I hate people that always refer to 'home' in conversationsm meaning where they came from. If their new country is not home, they should go home.
I so do not agree with the above. I am totally embracing my new country and its traditions, holidays etc. This does not mean that I will cut ties with my roots. I am Swedish by birth and Swedish in my heart and my passports confirms the same. My daughter will always be encouraged to embrace her SA roots from her dad and her Swedish roots from her mum, I do not see why I should try to eradicate half of her heritage.

Home is where the heart is, when I refer to South Africa I call it 'home' as my husband and daughter are here. When I refer to Sweden I also call it 'home' as that is where my parents and family remains.

Erasing your roots just seems a bit sad and unnecessary but each to their own I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Shumi it's interesting that you say that. I was born in the US to South African parents. I spent my formative years living in South Africa and then moved back to the States for university. I was there for 15 years and then had my kid so moved here. In each instance - I've always maintained my traditions from wherever I left - and I never once even thought of "erasing" my background as part of my assimilation. I have never even bothered to adjust my accent to where I was living. I think this is one of those cases - where perhaps for you - it is too hard to hang on to the past and live in a new place - but I think it's actually quite healthy to find the balance. After all - the time you spent elsewhere has had a huge impact on who you are, what your value system is, your tastes and preferences, etc. I think I would have felt quite hollow if I ignored all my SA traditions when I lived in the USA and ignored all my USA traditions when I was in South Africa.

One thing I've loved about living in the US is the appreciation for different cultures. I've been lucky enough to be surrounded by people who were eager to share in my traditions and to expose me to theirs. Perhaps things are different in the UK. I don't know - I feel like I'd be dishonest with myself if I pretended like those traditions no longer had any meaning to me.
 
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