3rd Blog: by Daniel Gaar - Tuesday, 17 January 2023, 5:49 PM
My way of dealing with something that is unfamiliar has changed during my time in Liechtenstein considerably. There is no specific thing that became more familiar to me than before. It is my view and way of dealing with something that is unlike what I know. I could spend some time traveling in recent months especially in Italy and Switzerland. Coming in contact with foreign cultures a lot it made me embrace those differences between them more than before. Growing up as kids we often believe that what we experience is the only way things are handled in the world, in that case our world. The older you get, the more you learn you start to realize how many more ways there are for a case. The endless practices in the world that were build up over millennia express the different histories happening all over the planet which you are exposed to when you travel. My time in Liechtenstein taught me many different practices and habits like the Almabtrieb in the alps and how that relates to celebration of survival. You are faced with something happening that you don´t have any relation to from a cultural perspective and often question the reason for it. What should u do with what you just experienced? Is it part of your life now that you were exposed to it? Or is cultural appropriation because you didn´t grow up with it? I face this question a lot how much assimilation to a culture is appropriate especially when you´re submerged in it only for a limited amount of time, like on a trip or even during an exchange when you know you will leave in just some months. You enter a conversation about what makes up your own personality : is it your life history or is it the history you grew up in? How much outside is inside you and when can u compliment it? All of this exposure to foreign experiences spawned a reaction of adaptability in me, which I can sense as growing up. As you have more responsibilities during an exchange, handling the administrative and daily life in an unknown you have to be flexible to change in your environment. Confronted with different challenges you develop a skill for defiance in any situation because you are used to the unknown, the unfamiliar, the unexpected, the foreign. The constant in all this storm ends up being just you.