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Home is Where the Heart Beats

Home is Where the Heart Beats

There are a lot of similarities that Brazil and England have in common I have learned during my two year stay in London.  There are a whole lot of things that are different too.

One of the things I find alike about the two countries is that they both have their share of cultural mixes.  Where I lived in Rio de Janeiro, there were a huge array of skin colors, nationalities and languages as well.  I find the same is true in London.  I suppose the fact that they are major cities may play a part in the fact.

Another thing that is similar is that families seem to have close ties in England as they do in Brazil although maybe not quite as much so.  Holidays and vacations are often spent with family members I can tell because I see them enjoying the park and visiting the sites, hand in hand.  Take the Royal Family for instance.  The fact that the entire family is so prominent shows that England respects family that consist of parents and children as well as grandparents, aunts, uncles and so on.

In Brazil, our family bonds are strong.  Family is everything.  Although the family unit is pretty much the same as the English, we extend our kinship to distant relatives and even in-laws and in-laws of our in-laws.  Friends are oftentimes even considered family.

One way in which the two cultures are different is that in Brazil, family members usually continue to be close, even after marriage.  That doesn’t just mean close at heart either.  It is pretty common for the new couple to move right down the road from the family.  Now you can understand the drama that accompanied my decision to move to England and leave my family in Brazil.  We have since gotten it sorted but at first, it was not alright and my family was furious and very hurt.

Another difference between the cultures in the two countries is the food.  It is much cheaper to eat healthy in my homeland.  It seems the fresher the food in England, the more expensive it is.  That does, indeed, make it difficult for students and the lower income people to eat properly.

The difference in the food we eat is vast for the most part.  In Brazil, we eat a good share of meat, beans and rice.  We also eat cassava which is a bitter sweet root and is a mainstay for us.  It is hard to find in England and is practically never used in cooking.  That is odd to me.

Potatoes are abundant in England and you are likely to find them in all manners such as baked, stewed, fried and even in dishes like fish and chips.  Potatoes are not found as freely in Brazil.

I love feijoada.  My mother prepares the best.  It is made with black beans and meat, my preference is when it’s made with pork.  It must be spiced just right.  When I have found it in London, it is lacking the pizzazz that my mother’s has but it is better than not having it at all.

Family, food and the mixing of foreigners are things that Brazil and England have in common and at the same time, those things are worlds apart in other ways.  Funny how when I am feeling adventurous and brave, I seek the differences out and celebrate them but when I am lonely and homesick, I look for ways in which I am reminded of home.  Perhaps it is true, or I hope it is, that no matter how far I am from my home, it’s really just a heartbeat away.

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