Somehow we have been meeting a lot of Dutch-Canadians recently. I suppose it’s mainly because of the Church we’ve been going to since we moved. At any rate, it’s provided us with some fun insight and cultural exposure.
Today, a family invited us to have lunch at their house after church. Never one to turn down Sloppy Joe’s and boardgames, we went. At one point in the conversation, someone mentioned how most Dutch-Canadians marry other Dutch-Canadians. Jokingly, Varun asked if they “have to”. The response made sense: No, but it’s a tight-knit community so people tend to marry people they know and are like. Logical enough. Inside, I giggled to myself thinking how different our life is in comparison. Varun and I did not go to high school together. Or grow up the same religion. Or on the same continent. In fact, besides our love of food, the ridiculous and over-intellectualization, we have many, many differences. And yet there we were–Indian, Dutch-Canadian and American-European-Mutt (Me), sitting around the dinner table laughing together.
As they asked us our story (“Where did you move here from?…Oh. So where are you from? Oh… So, how did you meet?”) and Varun told them about coming to Canada as a fresh-faced 19 year old, I thought about his bravery. It took a lot of guts to get on a plane to a country he’d never seen and learn in a language he wasn’t comfortable speaking. As much as I tease him for not knowing who Mr. Rogers is and hating Egg Nog, Varun’s ability to adjust to and embrace a new culture is really quite impressive.
As much as our Dutch friends laugh about their homogeneity, I find it cozy. To a young couple who has moved and lives far from family, it’s lovely to sink onto a couch and hear stories about small town life in (Dutch) Canada.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to make Varun’s adjustment to life in Canada more bearable: time to cook up scrambled eggs with spices, cilantro and onion, with a side of Naan.