Bridging the Cultural Gap

As an immigrant, growing up there have been many times that I haven't understood certain American traditions or sayings. (Still can never remember the difference in the use of borrow vs. lend. Or remember I'm standing in line not on line. And I call myself a writer ha!)

But for my parents, who were born and raised in Poland and spent their entire adult lives there, this can be even more difficult. This issue has come up for us several times during wedding planning. Though my fiancé and I are planning a wedding that is big on Polish culture and traditions, there are definitely some American customs that we've decided to incorporate into our big day. For example, in Poland the bride and groom normally walk into their ceremony together, whereas in America the tried-and-true tradition is the father walking the bride down the aisle. (I've opted for the American way of having my dad walk me down.)

Another area that has come under scrutiny during our wedding planning is all the pre-wedding activities that go on for the bride, i.e. bridal shower, bachelorette, etc. My mom is having a hard time understanding the whole concept of the shower. What is the point exactly? Why do you do it this way vs. that way? How should it even look like? etc, etc. And there's also the father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, flower girls and ring bearers, rehearsal dinner, registries and even the concept of a bridal party (you only have two witnesses in Poland) to add to the list of things that has been thrown their way to wrap their heads around. Just as we've learned a lot throughout this planning process so have our parents, and bless their hearts for being open and understanding to all this new information. My mom has even joked that she should write a book for other immigrant parents planning weddings in the U.S. I think it's a great idea!

Thank goodness we're having a 13-month engagement because it gives us plenty of time to prepare and learn all this stuff along the way :) Kudos to our parentals for being such good students of the American wedding traditions, it will be a breeze for the rest of our siblings!


Mila said...

Haha good post! My Mama still doesn't understand the idea of a registry and says giving money is essentially the same thing. instead of paying for something random they picked out and having it shipped to them, only to have them return it because they got too many!

Kasia said...

thank you! and haha I love Polish mama's and their thinking! :)

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