czwartek, 8 marca 2012

We are all the same

I remember the first meeting of Maurice with my parents. He immediately started talkig to them by their names. No Mr. or Mrs.. I knew it wasn't his vulgarity, neverthless I must admit I was a bit surprised. I still don't know what did my parents think about that. I never asked them. I just hope they took it as an element of "the western culture" ;)

Than it appeared to be even harder for me, when I met his parents. I was struggling with myself to say a simple "Hi Els". Why? It seems so easy? But not for a polish person. After all I didn't want my quasi-mother-in-law to think I'm rude or not treating her with respect. This is how this kind of behaviour would be taken in Poland. Who would even dare to addressed as YOU an older person, especially if you just met her/him. But in Holland it's not really like that.

A Polish woman, who have been studying in the windmill country, mentioned me about here experience at the university. She was seriously shocked when she was told to call her profesor with his name. She found it very difficult to do at the beginning. To the profesor? With his first name? At the university?! It's a cultural barbarity! I had to verify this information immediately.
- Did you address you profesors with their names when you were studying? - I asked Maurice.
- Sure. Of course not all of them, but the cool and relaxed ones I did. Why?
- That sounds weird. They are profesors! At the uni! I just can't imagine that...

I do understand many things. Openness, tolerance. The idea that we are all the same. However the Dutch keep surprising me with their relaxed way to be. By the way, when I found the topic interesting, Maurice had a moment of deep worry. Suddenly he realised, that he might seem a rude and bad manner ignorant to my parents when they met for the first time. Why the hell did I tell him about these differences?...

4 komentarze:

  1. I agree! When I first met Jos' parents, I asked him how do I address them and he said " by their name" I feel very very awkward! it is not our culture as well to address and elder by name! But by now, I'm so use to it! :)

    1. I think I'm still kind of getting used to that... especially with newly met people

  2. hi, Justine

    wanted to say your blog is very nice and cozy:)
    I found it through expat-blogs and you also mention Unduchabales where I've also been already :D
    I'm considering to apply for "Orientation year" and look for a job in NL. I've read a few of your posts about job searching. Any news on that? Seems not that easy :(

    And the most amazing thing (what a coincidence!) is that you live in Nijmegen! My sister is studying there and I'm actually visiting her on 14-21 of March :)

    from Kiev

    1. Hi! That's great you find the blog cozy :) Thank you!
      I have to say, that finding a job in Nijmegen without speaking dutch is not so easy. However looking at some of my friends I know it is possible. For me since I'm starting dutch language course at RU and need only a part time job, it got even harder to find. But I don't give up!

      Nijmegen is a great cute city, I bet you're gonna like it a lot. If you'd like to meet, feel free :)


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