December – in the north of Europe this means Christmas trees, mulled wine, lots of snow and if you are lucky you may spot the odd reindeer. In our show today I asked how my guests celebrate Christmas in Australia, England, Germany, Singapore and Eritrea but also how people formulate their New Year’s resolutions in different cultures.
Christmas celebrations differ around the globe but typically involve gatherings of family and friends and indulging in rich and glorious food and drink. When talking about Christmas, everyone seems to have their own ideal view of what “Christmas” should be all about, which, however, varies greatly from country to country. For me, as a child, Christmas meant spending the holy evening with my family, singing traditional, often gloomy German Christmas songs, remembering previous Christmases and excitedly anticipating the moment where I get to un-wrap my gifts. For the last 25 years, I have been abroad in different countries for that period of year, experiencing different intercultural traditions. I have been fortunate enough to meet people from all around the world and hear about how they spend their festive night.
Is it always an advantage to grow up with more than one language? And what happens if a child does not speak the language of one of its parents? To answer these, and many other questions, we have interviewed four people from very different backgrounds, who all have in common that they grew up either bi-culturally, bi-lingually or both.
absolutely bi-lingual First you’ll hear about a woman whose parents had grown up speaking English and German, who of course herself grew up with these two languages and now raises her little daughter the same way.
Then Peter from England talks about what it was like to grow up with an Austrian mother and an English father in England. And how that changed the whole look and feel of their house in England.
Right after that we go south to Italy, where Manuel, whose father is Italian, tells us why he had to take a beginners’ course in the Italian language a few years ago, and what, as a young boy, got on his nerves when he was visiting his family in Italy.
And for the last part of the show we go even further south to Brazil. Stefanie also doesn’t really talk the language of her mother’s family, but she does love to visit them in Brazil.
The next show will be coming to you on the 21st of September from Anne Fox in Denmark.
In Absolutely Personal we talk to Greg Houfe who had two French internships almost twenty years ago as part of his degree in European Business Administration.
Looking back did he think working at Moët et Chandon benefited him? Would he now employ a former intern preferentially over someone who had not had this type of experience?
In Absolutely Linguistic I talked with Gwen and Mia, 12 and 9, who are bilingual in Danish and English. Does this affect their identity? Do they mix the languages up?
And finally in Absolutely Confidential I talked to Tony Fox who was caught out in a conference in Germany recently.
The Host of this show is: Anne Fox