Marrying Into the Tribe

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Marrying Into the Tribe


Category: Culture / Lifestyle

When worlds seem so alike, we unfairly presume shared characteristics that are  not really there. And that leaves us… not so much “foreign” … but a bit lonely.  Like we have been let down or betrayed, even though the slight is imagined.

I am raising my dual-nationality children here because my wife is Norwegian  and wanted to come back after years abroad. Norwegians, I notice, are much like  salmon. They want adventure but, when the time comes, they inevitably return to  their native waters to spawn.

My children attend the local barnehagen, or kindergarten, which is across  from my apartment. I work from home and sometimes I can see them in the windows  across the street and a floor below. It is very comforting. I know for a fact  that my five-year-old does, indeed, wash his hands properly, even when I’m not  standing behind him.

Before coming here, I lived in Geneva for more than a decade. Geneva reminded  me of nothing. However well I came to know it – and I came to know it very well – it was, and remained, foreign. Switzerland never whispered a promise to adopt  me like Norway does. When I left, we exchanged paperwork, not goodbyes.

Source: The Financial Times

Published: April 25, 2024