This is our little family. We are made up of the Nevins of Ireland and the Crousers of South Africa (and then some…) A lot of people ask whether being married to someone from a different country can be more challenging due to cultural differences. I know that in some cases it can be; but for us, we have embraced each others’ heritage.
A prime example is the glorious braai (AKA the barbecue). Every South African (well, at least all the ones I know) will tell you that the best form of socialising comes in the form of the braai. It usually entails the girls preparing salads and snacks (sipping on a nice glass of wine), while the boys are in charge of making the fire and cooking the meat… (While standing around and drinking beer or brandy!)
Luckily for me, my husband loves food, particularly protein. He is also partial to the odd beer and even brandewyn from time to time. So when I told Donal that the braai to a South African is the potato to the Irish, he knew exactly what I meant! We are the proud owners of a Weber gas braai (don’t tell my Saffa friends that we don’t use wood and charcoal please!) and we use it regularly, come rain or shine (or snow for that matter). So my Irish husband loves braais, biltong and rugby- I foresaw no clash of cultures there! As for me taking to the Irish- no problems there either. They are amazingly hospitable people, who have a rich cultural heritage in arts, music, sport (and drinking), so again; a perfect match for a South African.
We are fortunate enough to visit South Africa annually and Ireland a good few times each year, nonetheless, it’s still tough being away from our wonderfully supportive families and I’m not sure it ever gets easier.