Embracing two cultures that you belong to has its own benefits. For starters, being exposed to both cultures allows you to experience and understand different languages, traditions, religions, and practices. You get to experience firsthand how people from the two cultures behave, think, celebrate and express themselves. This in a way broadens your mind as a result. You are able to think in more ways than one and see things from different perspectives. All these come together to shape you as an innovative and creative individual who excels in most areas of life.
But, how do you stay true to the two cultures that have shaped you to the individual that you are today? Here are four ways that you can weave a hybrid life of both cultures.
1. Reflect both cultures in your home
Your home is the place you spend a significant amount of your time. It is also the place where you entertain your guests from the two cultures that you belong to. It is only right that you incorporate some elements from your cultures in your home as a way of staying faithful to the two cultures.
Some of the things that you can think of are artwork drawn from the two cultures, rugs or blankets with traditional designs, or indoor flowers from each culture among others. You can also think about changing some structural features to reflect both cultures. For instance, if you are a mix of French and American cultures, you can remodel your kitchen into a French kitchen. Think of floral textiles, yellow and cream colors, and wooden furniture and surfaces among others. However, you need to hire a good general contractor for any structural changes. Be sure that you get several general contractors so that you land on the right one for you.
2. Join communities of people like you
One of the challenges that bicultural people struggle with is finding an environment that they feel that they belong to. Many are forced to live a double life where they drop practices from one culture when they are with the people from the other culture. However, living this way can lead to some social and psychological problems that can later affect your mental health.
If you want to successfully weave a hybrid life, it is important that you find an environment that accepts you. You can connect with other people with whom you share cultures for support. These people are in a position to understand and accept you since you are one of them. However, don’t be intimidated to not share your true self with people from other cultures. Get rid of the mental block that says that you don’t belong and feel free to share your authentic and unique self with people from all cultures.
3. Prepare meals from both cultures
Each culture has its own unique foods and a way of preparing them. In addition, these traditional meals often have memories and stories that remind the people who natively grew up with them. You can incorporate foods from the two cultures in your home to create a hybrid life for you and your family. If you were lucky enough to grow with such foods before migrating to another culture, prepare those meals at home and encourage your family to participate. You can also invite your friends to your home and narrate stories about what foods in your native culture reminds you of.
4. Speak both languages
Language is one element that identifies a particular culture. If you want to live a hybrid life, you want to be able to communicate well with people from both cultures. For instance, if you are an American immigrant to other parts of the world, you want to be able to communicate well with the people around you who may not understand English. In this case, be interested to learn the local culture’s language to show your commitment to living in both cultures. You can do so by reading books, watching local channels, and listening to local music consistently. But if convenient and affordable, you should also visit the place you come from or the place where your other members of family/relatives live as much as possible so you are always in touch with both cultures. You could take a roadtrip if the countries are not too far from each other. Just make sure to equip yourself with an international driving permit so you can drive abroad without any legal issues.
Living a bicultural life is an opportunity to create unique family traditions in your household. Bring elements from both cultures into your home from décor, foods, and dress codes. In addition, celebrate events and holidays from both cultures as a family. Lastly, make it a point to study and understand customs and traditions, languages as well as music and traditional dances from both cultures.