Have you ever taken the time to think about all those moments when you felt proud of your values, your beliefs, your ideologies, your lifestyle, and everything attached to them? If you have, then you would know how important they are in the formation of our own distinctive identity and personality. When you move abroad, one of the consequences you face is your inability to live up to all of these and you also risk losing a part of you that’s important to you.
No matter how reluctant you are, there is always a massive struggle not to change. Where many drift off their path towards a change; many successfully pass the test and their will to keep their cultures and traditions remain. People who move abroad have found ways to keep their identity the same.
Here are some of those ways to help you do the same:
Staying Connected With the Help of Similar People
One of the many wonders of globalization is that it has brought the concept of living together to a whole new frame. With the ease in travel restrictions around the globe, people have started to move to the places where their hearts and minds take them. It comes with no surprise that while you are living in a foreign country or at least planning to do so in the near future, you will always find many from your country who have also done the same.
When the number of migrants or expats increases in a country, there is always a fair chance to find the centres or clubs where your beliefs, traditions, and cultures are practiced. Thanks to the Internet, this has never been easier. If it still doesn’t make it easier enough; simply go ahead and ask the people you find outside or even talk to the ones at the embassy.
And what is better than finding the people from your country? Reach out to them, make friends with them, and create the feeling of being home by celebrating the joyous occasions with them. There might be a chance of losing your sense of values and beliefs while living in a foreign land with foreign people, but spending time with people who are from the same country as you might be able to help you preserve them.
With the increasing political harmony among countries, the majority of the nations now create an open environment for foreigners to have their cultures and traditions to be practiced and celebrated.
So if you are an expat and aren’t already doing the same, what’s stopping you?
Don’t Lose the Desire to Learn
The only reason you’d forget something is if you stop practicing it or stop putting effort into learning about it. When you are out there in a foreign land and fear being unable to maintain your traditions and cultures, you can always find places or people to help you with it.
You are only required to find different ways to learn and simply insert them into your daily life from time to time. Simply take out your phone and call the elders from your family or relatives, ask them questions about your past, learn from them about the traditional history and the things that make your culture distinct. Once you have collected the data, you can apply it in your daily life and try to work on the conflicts which may arrive when you are following them. Think of unique ideas and make them more exciting and appealing.
Don’t forget to structure and celebrate your cultures and traditions in a way that even the ones who are unfamiliar with them will want to join you so they can become a part of them.
Channel Your Multi-Cultural Identity
If you have ever met people who come back from abroad after several years, you must have observed several forms of change in them. From their dialect to their way of living, everything is no more the same. It doesn’t always mean that they have forgotten who they used to be. Their old personality simply fused with the new personality that was formed in the foreign country.
This happens when you open your heart to new things. Allow yourself to become a new person when you move to a new country. Think about it this way-if you were to celebrate the cultures of foreigners with them, there is a good chance that they will do the same with you and your culture. Isn’t that something that will make you happy?
Sometimes you may find it hard to maintain your traditions and cultures and sharing them with foreigners would only enable them to help you. It will also allow you to create an environment for your Third Culture Kids (TCK) who find it hard to relate with the culture to which they belong. So go ahead and learn to share! That’s all you need to do!
Eliminate the Wrongs and Adopt the Right Ways
Every tradition and culture has its ups and downs. When you’re in your own country, you sometimes have no choice but to follow both the rights and wrongs without questioning them. You can always change that when you’re living in a foreign country as an expat. Think of it as an oppportunity to correct your rights and wrongs and open your mind to accept the better change which can be adapted from the culture of the foreign land.
When you open your eyes to a wider and clearer perspective, you can serve as an inspiration for your family and guide them to change for the better. Leaving behind traditions which neither hold any importance nor bring any usefulness is indeed a great accomplishment.
You can use these methods to remain in touch with your traditions and cultures. Just remember that there is nothing wrong with change, and if you feel something isn’t working for you, you’re free to let it go. Allow yourself to accept the new culture and let it become a part of you.
But don’t let that stop you from staying connected to your culture. Talk to people who are from the same country as you. Teach foreigners about your culture so you remain interested. Do these things and you won’t have any trouble staying in touch with your culture!