Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Horlicks and Cultural Differences

Lately I have been drinking Horlicks in the evening before bed. Mmmm. It's hot and comforting : perfect for cold winter nights. When friends found out they were amused because Horlicks is an "old persons drink" in England. Funny, because in Brunei, it's a children's breakfast drink.

I asked Mr K-E what English children drink with their breakfast. Nothing, he said, unless they are on TV, in which case they will have orange juice. How strange.....

Here's something else I find very strange. Mr K-E calls his Aunties and Uncles by their christian names...eg Sam and Mary (not their real names, obviously). It's quite common apparently.

I call Mr K-E's parent "Mum and Dad" as I am a well brought-up young woman. All my English colleagues think that I am weird, especially the younger ones. Mr K-E calls my parents "Mum and Dad" too. There is no way that I would let him call them by their given names....it would be like a personal insult. As my Dad once said, we are humans, not dogs and cats who only have given names. We know how to respect our parents, our elders and our friends.

I wonder how I will bring up my kids (when I have them) - eg will I teach them to take off their shoes inside the house? Our flat is a no-shoe flat and it still feels weird when friends come round and they just walk around with their shoes on everywhere....even upstairs....eek. I still think it's "dirty" especially as the whole flat is carpeted. Of course, I wouldn't dream of asking them to take off their shoes....when in Rome....

Mr K-E says - if you teach our kids to take off their shoes indoors, all their friends will think they are " weirdos" because English kids wear their shoes indoors/outdoors/everywhere. Hmmm. We will see.

6 comments:

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Jewelle Tan said...

What you said about English kids not drinking anything for breakfast is a bit weird, I thought they drink milk?

I also cannot accept the culture of wearing shoes inside the house and I know friends and Asians who married into English household but insist on following our culture of leaving the shoes outside. As they said it, there was some confusion at first but after a while, guests just got used to it. Besides, it is more hygenie.

Btw, I don't give horlicks to my kids, too sweet :-)

baz said...

my daughter drinks dumex (chocolate flavour), hopefully its good for her :)


definitely not weird to drink horlicks, i drink milo all day

baz said...

and definitely no shoes in my house, when i was in uk, i ask all my visitors to take off their shoes... your house is your own rome :P

Katie-Ella said...

Jewelle: I have asked Mr K-E about this. He says that (in his family) they use to eat cereal everyday and they had milk with their cereal, but nothing separately as a drink. Although he says that they used to get milk at school, which he hated.
Baz:It's a bit more tricky when its your in-laws, ha ha ha. There are two rows of shoes by the door, but somehow no-one gets the hint.