This post is not directly wedding related but I felt it was suitable as it is about the ultimate multicultural holiday spent with one of my favourite fusion couples. My sister in law is soon to marry her French Portuguese fiancé and we were fortunate enough to visit his parent’s hometown and learn more about the Portuguese culture. The Portuguese culture is centred around family and has traditional values from Catholicism. The culture is rich, inviting and noteworthy. We travelled around Portugal and visited local areas as well as tourist hotspots that allowed us to absorb the varieties that Portugal has to offer.
Whilst visiting Pombal, we were very fortunate to have some incredible home cooked family meals. During our meals, I learnt that salad is eaten on its own after the main meal as this cleanses the palette. For a French twist we had some delicious croissants from the local bakery in the morning alongside my favourite Portuguese pastry; pastel de nata.
When eating a meal with people from different cultures be sure to be aware of the etiquettes. For example: when to use your hands, how to show you have finished your food etc.
My sister in law’s future family live in France and are of Portuguese decedents so they speak French and Portuguese. Before visiting I was quite nervous about the language barrier but once we were there we all managed fine using key vocabulary, reading expressions and lots of translation thanks to my sister in laws fiancé who was able to switch between English, French and Portuguese – very impressive!
Getting to know the family
I absolutely loved getting to know my sister in laws future family. We were welcomed with open arms and showered with love. The language barrier did not stop us from getting to know them and we are lucky to have them in our family. It was a great experience as we were able to learn about the Portuguese culture and also the French customs too. It was interesting to see how both cultures and customs were combined and reminded me of my own English Punjabi culture.
Stunning views from the country house in Pombal
My top tips for meeting your future family from a different background
- My sister in law has done a fabulous job learning French so she can communicate with her future in laws. If you are marrying into a family who speak another language it is important to embrace it and try to learn the key vocabulary. To help learn the language you could enrol on a language course at your local college or buy an online language course such as Rosetta Stone http://www.rosettastone.co.uk
- Before meeting your future family, learn about the customs. Is there a particular way you need to greet them? Do you need to be aware of your choice of clothes? Are there certain rules you need to know about?
- Be yourself! Talk about your family and your culture so when both sets of parents meet they have some knowledge about each others backgrounds
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions if you are unsure about anything. This shows you are willing to learn and are taking an interest in the culture