Home is what defines us as people. How we furnish it, pictures and knick knacks from adventures, childhood and other milestones give a glimpse into who we are and what we hold as important. As an expat I don’t have a home, but a place to live. I won’t stay there forever, so my home is defined as my country. When meeting people one of the first questions asked is “where are you from?” I define myself as Canadian. People automatically make assumptions about what kind of person you are based on your passport.
Cultural references need to be explained to others and often the reference or meaning is lost in translation. One of the big things I find myself explaining is snow. Many people assume it is very cold and snowy in Canada all the time. They seem surprised when you mention summer. I fall into the trap when we get the few snow flurries or skiff of snow that barely covers the ground in Shanghai. I can be heard saying “This isn’t snow… you have to see a Canadian winter to experience real snow.” I should tell them the few flurries in Shanghai are the equivalent to a snow in summer in Canada and really mess with them
This week’s photo challenge is home. I happened to be home here in Canada to experience a ‘real snow’. This was the worst storm since 2008. In St. Catharines we had 44cm of the white stuff. To put it in perspective Toronto has had 33cm of snow thus far this winter, not including the February 8th snowfall of course. St Catharines had the highest amount where most places 20-30cm fell. Snow is what home has been defined as since I have lived abroad for close to 3 years now. I am sure many of my coworkers and students will be in awe of my trip home and having the experience of all this snow.
To see more examples of the theme home or to join the photo challenge click here.
What does home mean to you?