Is our family ‘less German’? Multilingual family in Berlin

Hello, dear friends. Today I will just leave a small trace of my existence in this blog. My daughter is again in one of those periods, when she wants me to hug her and sleep with her all night through. This also concerns her day naps as well. My productivity level is zero and I hardly keep up with my daily tasks. Product reviews and blog posts are piling up, of course.

Yesterday I met up a young woman from my native city in Russia, who happens to be also living in Berlin with her family (little daughter and a husband). We were ‘matched’ by another young woman, with whom I studied at university, these two are cousins and are very close. Not like I am not having enought friends in Berlin, but I am always happy to meet someone from my home town. And my daughter really craves some playtime with other kids.

We exhanged some messages and finally met. Of course I had to choose a rainy day for our meeting. so I got drained completely right before the ‘play date’. My husband came with me just in case, and then his father also followed. The lady met our whole little family at once and was impressed. She told me later: ‘You are so NOT German’.

Yes, we are. We do have some German relation as my husband is half German. And my daughter is also technically German by nationality. But that’s it. The amount of blood mixture in our family covers probably half of the world, beginning with Russian connection, ending somewhere in Africa. Our daughter speaks two languges fluently and might speak German as well one day, maybe a bit of Arabic also, if grandpa teaches her. We are very flexible, spontaneous and not organized. I guess this can be seen as a positive thing, even though I am constantly trying to get some routines or stability and failing every time.

My husband comes to Russia for 3 days just to pick me up, for that he takes 3 planes (Berlin – London, London – St. Petersburg etc.). He pays in a cafe for me and for my friend, because he would feel weird asking her to pay for her coffee. And many other small details, which I do not notice, but I am generally always grateful as they keep our life bright and spicy. Of couse, I do not want to offend anyone, especially German people. I have a couple of good German friends, one especially close. She always tells me, how different we are from what she is used to in terms of relationships or way of life. And I think she would not mind to be a bit more flexible sometimes, but it is too risky for her nature.

After several years of our marriage I finally got used to this way of life, first couple of years I was adjusting a lot. Now it feels really nice, just it gets a bit complicated, when some stranger asks us: ‘Where are you guys from?’. My husband has it the worst: born in one country, grew up in another, then came back, half German, half somebody else. Daughter speaks Russian, wife moved, dad moved. To round things up, best friend of the family is from South Africa. For a person who lived whole life only in one country or even only one city, this would sound as a crazy talk. But that is the truth.

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