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  • Writer's pictureKristina Lang

Multicultural differences

I recently made a brief analysis of my life in which I have lived in Croatia for 31 years, 20 years in England and 2 years in Italy. If there is one thing I have learned and concluded from that life, it is that the rules that apply in our gorge do not apply to the whole world. Multicultural differences are always an interesting topic that makes us laugh or bewilder us or both.

Italians are known around the world for their diet, but probably even more so for their coffees. The world enjoys espresso and cappuccino, but the way coffee is consumed is quite diverse. While Italians often drink coffee after their meals, they do not have the habit of sitting in cafes. Italians go to a cafe and usually drink espresso on a sled in 2 minutes. They are unhappy to pay a slightly higher price for coffee, which is the case if they sit in a cafe. This frugality is very widespread and present even among wealthy people. When I moved to England twenty years ago, Italian coffees were a rarity and were dominated by filter coffee, which is a weak coffee drunk in large cups. This has changed significantly in the last 2 decades and now espresso and cappuccino can be found in almost every restaurant, cafe, but also supermarket in England. However, the English do not have the habit of sitting outside and drinking coffee, such places are still rare in England and foreigners often sit in them. Unlike the English and Italians, Croats spend much of their lives in cafes, often on outdoor terraces. Numerous cafes in Croatia are open from early morning until late at night. Croatian towns and villages are full of cafes and they are at least half full at any time of the day or evening. You will ask yourself when Croats work and where do they get so much money from? Well, they work, but there is always a break and time for coffee and the last penny in your pocket will be spent in cafes without regret.

Alcohol is very common in England after work and enjoying a beer is widely socially acceptable. Beer is consumed in pubs that are often filled from early evening until midnight. For example, if you get so drunk at a Christmas party in England that you can barely walk, there is no shame, on the contrary it is often a topic for a good story a few days later. Alcohol consumption is widespread in Croatia as it is served also in cafes, but intoxication, is generally socially unacceptable, although it does occur. Italians enjoy alcohol, but in fine cocktails and wines, drunkenness is not as widespread and socially acceptable, the same as in Croatia.

Croats smoke incomparably more than Italians and English. Sitting in cafes is often accompanied by cigarettes and this, unlike England, is still quite socially acceptable. I unfortunately brought this habit with me to England. I am aware that the English often look at me with reproach when I light a cigarette, and I know I should be ashamed, but somehow, I am not.

The Italians developed the art of food preparation to perfection. Their dishes are simple, healthy and delicious. Food is the most important thing in the world for Italians. Meals have a precisely defined time, it is known when it is time for lunch and when for dinner. It is not eaten in the meantime. When I travelled to Hamburg with my Italian friend on a business trip, she asked me in amazement: "Why do people eat pizza at 5 in the afternoon?" I said, "It is normal everywhere in the world to eat when you want." Italian restaurants are closed between lunch and dinner. When I arrived in Italy the first week I travelled immediately to a congress in another part of Italy. The first day I toured the city all afternoon hoping that at least one restaurant on my list would be open as I was very hungry and deeply desperate that everyone was closed. I did not understand that. Italians sit in restaurants for a long time, lunch is often an hour or more, and dinner is a few hours.

It is the Croatian way to spend half of your life in the kitchen because Croatian dishes are complicated, and very tasty and Croats have a tradition of preparing fresh food from scratch every day. Unlike the English, for whom a sandwich is the most common and widespread lunch, Croats rarely eat sandwiches. Croatian women tend to work and that is why they prepare lunches the evening before or early in the morning so that the family has a hot meal as soon as they get home. I do not know how it is for the new Croatian generation, but this is how it was in my time. In both Italy and Croatia, unlike England, ready meals are a rarity. I have been living in England for 20 years and I have never bought a ready meal in a supermarket. English women and men do not spend much time in the kitchen, except on weekends, but they have much more time for other things, such as their hobbies. Unlike Croats and Italians who enjoy the local cuisines and are very suspicious towards different dishes, the English are the most open to trying other cuisines. That is why England is full of restaurants from all over the world, although Indian is the most popular. Even the English themselves joke at their own expense and say that their favourite national dish is the Chicken Tikka Masala, which is a typical Indian dish.


Multicultural differences are a topic to which I will return, and I sincerely hope that I managed to write positively about the three cultures I have so far experienced in my life. I also hope that no one who reads this article will be offended.


Kristina

Sunday, February 28th, 2021





Multikulturalne razlike


Nedavno sam napravila kratku analizu svog života u kojem sam 31 godinu provela u Hrvatskoj, 20 godina u Engleskoj i 2 godine u Italiji. Ako sam nešto naučila i zaključila iz tog života, to je da pravila koja vrijede u našem klancu ne vrijede za cijeli svijet. Multikulturalne razlike uvijek su zanimljiva tema koja nas nasmijava ili zbunjuje ili oboje.

Talijani su širom svijeta poznati po prehrani, ali vjerojatno još i više po svojim kavama. Svijet uživa u espressu i kapucinu, ali način konzumiranja kave prilično je raznolik. Iako Talijani često piju kavu nakon obroka, nemaju naviku sjediti u kafićima. Talijani odlaze u kafić i obično piju espresso na sanku u 2 minute. Talijani ne zele placate nešto veću cijenu kave, što je slučaj ako sjede u kafiću. Ta je štedljivost vrlo raširena i prisutna čak i među imucnim ljudima. Kad sam se prije dvadeset godina preselila u Englesku, talijanske kave bile su rijetkost i dominirala je filter kava, slaba kava koja se pije u velikim šalicama. To se značajno promijenilo u posljednja 2 desetljeća i sada se espresso i kapucino mogu naći u gotovo svim restoranima, kafićima, ali i supermarketima u Engleskoj. Međutim, Englezi nemaju naviku sjediti vani i piti kavu, takva mjesta su u Engleskoj još uvijek rijetka i u njima često sjede stranci. Za razliku od Engleza i Talijana, Hrvati veći dio života provode u kafićima, često na otvorenim terasama. Brojni kafići u Hrvatskoj otvoreni su od ranog jutra do kasno u noć. Hrvatski gradovi i sela vrve kafićima i u svako doba dana ili veceri puni su barem upola. Pitat ćete se kada Hrvati rade i odakle im toliko novca? Pa, rade, ali uvijek postoji pauza i vrijeme za kavu, a posljednju lipu u džepu provest ćete u kafićima bez žaljenja.

Alkohol je vrlo čest u Engleskoj nakon posla, a uživanje u pivu široko je društveno prihvatljivo. Pivo se konzumira u pubovima koji se često pune od ranih večernjih sati do ponoći. Primjerice, ako se toliko napijete na božićnoj zabavi u Engleskoj da jedva hodate, nema srama, naprotiv, to je često tema za dobru priču nekoliko dana kasnije. Konzumacija alkohola široko je raširena u Hrvatskoj, ali opijenost je općenito društveno neprihvatljiva, iako se događa. Talijani uživaju u alkoholu, ali u finim koktelima i vinima dok prekomjerno opijanje nije toliko rašireno i društveno prihvatljivo, jednako kao u Hrvatskoj.

Hrvati puše neusporedivo više od Talijana i Engleza. Sjedenje u kafićima često prati cigareta i to je, za razliku od Engleske, još uvijek sasvim društveno prihvatljivo. Nažalost, ovu naviku ponijela sam sa sobom u Englesku. Svjesna sam da me Englezi često gledaju s prijekorom kad zapalim cigaretu, i znam da bih se trebala sramiti, ali nekako nista to meni nije da me je sram.

Talijani su do savršenstva razvili umijeće pripreme hrane. Njihova su jela jednostavna, zdrava i ukusna. Talijanima je hrana najvažnija stvar na svijetu. Obroci imaju točno određeno vrijeme, zna se kada je vrijeme za ručak, a kada za večeru. U međuvremenu se ne jede. Kad sam putovala u Hamburgu s mojom talijanskim prijateljicom na službeno putovanje, pitala me je začuđeno: "Zašto ljudi jedu pizzu u 5 popodne?" Rekla sam, "Normalno je da svuda u svijetu jedete kada želite." Talijanski restorani zatvoreni su između ručke i večere. Kad sam prvi tjedan stigla u Italiju, odmah sam otputovala na kongres u drugi dio Italije. Prvi dan sam cijelo popodne obilazila grad nadajući se da će barem jedan restoran sa moje liste biti otvoren, jer sam bila jako gladna i duboko očajna što su bas svi zatvoreni. Nisam to tad razumjela, ali brzo sam naucila da se rucak jede kad je vrijeme rucka 12-2. Talijani dugo sjede u restoranima, ručak često traje sat i više, dok večera I po nekoliko sati.

Hrvatski obicaj je da se polovinu svog života provede u kuhinji, jer su hrvatska jela složena i vrlo ukusna, a Hrvati imaju tradiciju svakodnevnog pripremanja svježe hrane od osnovnih sastojaka. Za razliku od Engleza, kojima je sendvič najčešći i najrasprostranjeniji ručak, Hrvati rijetko jedu sendviče. Hrvatice imaju tendenciju raditi i zato pripremaju ručkove večer prije ili rano ujutro kako bi obitelj imala topli obrok čim se vrate kući. Ne znam kako je s novom hrvatskom generacijom, ali tako je bilo u moje vrijeme. I u Italiji i u Hrvatskoj, za razliku od Engleske, gotova jela su rijetkost. Već 20 godina živim u Engleskoj i nikada nisam kupila gotov obrok u supermarketu. Engleskinje i Englezi ne provode puno vremena u kuhinji, osim vikendom, ali imaju puno više vremena za druge stvari, poput svojih hobija. Za razliku od Hrvata i Talijana koji uživaju u lokalnim kuhinjama i vrlo su sumnjičavi prema različitim jelima, Englezi su najotvoreniji za isprobavanje drugih kuhinja. Zbog toga je Engleska puna restorana iz cijelog svijeta, iako je indijski najpopularniji. Čak se i sami Englezi šale na svoj račun i kažu da im je omiljeno nacionalno jelo Piletina Tikka Masala, tipično indijsko jelo.

Multikulturne razlike tema su kojima ću se vratiti i iskreno se nadam da sam uspjela pozitivno pisati o tri kulture koje sam do sada iskusila u svom životu. Također se nadam da se nitko tko pročita ovaj članak neće uvrijediti.


Kristina

Nedelja, 28. Veljace 2021.

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