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A new landscape...

"In the paradise of childhood,

which was blooming,

I was part of the landscape

Today I am a guest"

(Shlomo Artzi)

This song connects me very much to where we are, people who left their place of birth for a reason or another.

The landscape is not the same landscape.

Many times we feel like guests.

When we arrive in a new place, we strive to blend in with the landscape, to look like the people who live in the landscape... but we don't always succeed.

I believe we don't have to.

I think you don't always have to fit in. There are things to be learned from the environment, and customs to be accepted, but some not. For example, if in my environment they say "Hello" in a certain way (kisses on the cheek in Belgium for example) I will adopt the custom if it does not conflict with my values. But if I am a religious woman, for example, who avoids physical contact, I can explain to others my customs and behaviour.

In Belgium, social gatherings are usually arranged in advance. In this matter I have accepted the local custom because it is convenient for me to act this way and to plan my time according to my needs. I keep spontaneity for meetings with Israelis...

Maintaining customs that are in line with my values adds interest and colour to the experience of meetings between cultures. Of course, you can do everything while respecting the other.

What customs did you take in? Which customs from home did you prefer to keep?

Dr. Efrat Tzadik

Coach for personal development and empowerment

"Finding the home away from home"

*The single flower, that looks like it doesn't belong, adds beauty to what exists.

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