Lina Rettig is a student who has dual U.S.-German citizenship. Every year, she spends the entire summer overseas visiting her friends and family in Europe.
While culture shock makes it an interesting transition each year, Rettig keeps one thing constant whether she is at home in the United States or in Germany: The way she drinks her coffee is consistent, no matter what side of the world she’s on.
In the United States, most people drink drip coffee, while Europeans drink espresso. While traveling abroad you might try different ways of sampling coffee to submerge yourself in the culture. Rettig brings her coffee drinking habits with her wherever she goes: She drinks her coffee in the espresso form, black.
BRINGING IT HOME
If you’re like Rettig and travel copious amounts, you might consider keeping certain aspects of your routine constant. Not only is maintaining a routine beneficial for the intense change in culture, but also for maintaining roots.
Espresso originated from Italy sometime in the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Eventually the hot drink’s popularity spread throughout the world. In the 1960s, espresso was practically unheard of in the United States. Now, it’s easy to find an espresso bar on every corner of a major U.S. city. But that doesn’t mean U.S. citizens drink it black — that’s still primarily a habit of Europeans.
Immersing yourself in a culture that’s divergent from your own is essential for perspective. Adapting a different culture into your life adds a whole new element.
For Lina Rettig, adopting the coffee drinking habits of her second culture is a way she stays connected to her roots when not overseas. While she spends three-fourths of her time in the United States, year-round Rettig maintains a strong connection to Germany’s culture and the habits she adopted from living there.
Habits as simple as drinking the coffee that’s adopted from a different culture can immerse you in the way of life of people on the other side of the world.
By adopting habits that come from one’s second culture, you immerse yourself fully and spread the knowledge of that culture around the world.
Culture is knowledge used to cope with the world and each other, shared by a specific group of people, and passed on from generation to generation.