If you are a foreign student, prepare to surprise plenty of people during your stay in the U.S. A lot of people take for granted that you have been in this country your whole life! This is okay until traditions come up. Friends and I have laughed much about things we find out about each other’s countries. Sometimes I still get surprising looks about things I am not aware of or do not know about specific cultural stuff. I promise I am catching up!
There are traditional songs that most people learned in kindergarten like “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”. There are rhymes like Jack and Jill, the story of Peter Rabbit and The Cat in the Hat. People who grew up with tootsie rolls, 99 bottles of beer on the wall, Gumby and Pokey assume you know them too.
To find the middle ground and make a point, I ask if they know the kindergarten game “Dona Blanca”, or the Christmas song “Campana Sobre Campana”, or the delicious candy “Miguelitos”, or the most popular Saturday show, “Chabelo”. All these are learned very early and in kindergarten in my country. When people answer,” No, what is that?”, they begin to realize we were learning different traditions and customs in our countries. Then, of course, we talk about many details, and it is a nice time of sharing our cultures and learning from each other. The findings are endless and recalling our memories is always fun.