Maintaining our own traditions while living as expats!

“A nations culture resides and the hearts and soul of its people” Mahatma Ghandi

Part of the excitement of living overseas is the discovery of a new culture and joining in the celebration of the local holidays and traditions of our adopted country, but there are so many reasons why maintaining our own cultural traditions remain just as important.

Traditional celebrations such as  weddings, religious holidays, a national observance, are some of the key elements of all cultures which form part of our cultural identity.  

Staying Connected


Celebrating traditions helps us to stay grounded in our own culture while adapting to a new one. This is particularly important when going through some of the phases that may affect us in the first months in our adopted country; be it culture shock , trials whilst settling in our new job, finding appropriate housing or navigating through the usual bureaucratic hoops; connecting and celebrating one of your traditional holidays can brighten up our mood for weeks as we become absorbed in preparations for the event and the excitement of the day itself and helps us to connect with fellow compatriots who can eventually form part of our support group. Staying connected with your countrymen, serves as a constant reminder of your background, ethnicity, religious and social behavior. Coming from a multilingual and multicultural background, my regret is not having taught my children the different languages I was exposed to.

Regular get-together’s allows for many new friendships to flourish and memories that will last a lifetime.


Giving our 3rd Culture Kids Some Roots


“A people without the knowledge of their past, origin and culture is like a tree without roots”

Reminders of our traditions is perhaps most important for the 3rd culture kids, it helps them to keep firmly rooted to our own culture at the same time learning experiences which might not otherwise occur.


Unique Opportunities


So next time you see one of our traditional holidays approaching on the calendar, start planning. Invite your friends, involve the kids, and create lasting memories.

Share our Culture

Traditional celebrations are also an excellent opportunity for intercultural exchange and understanding, kids and adults learn about other cultures through these gatherings.



Being part of the global village and  diverse society is great to broaden your horizons, however  understanding and embracing your heritage, your roots and ancestry are important elements that help shape our future…

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Published by

Umm suhail

A South African currently living and working in Qatar always striving to contribute towards the “change” where emails will be short, love letters brave and every “thank you” note be hand written! As I move through life, I want to share my experiences - the interesting places I am so fortunate to visit, the amazing people I meet and the profound moments I am blessed with. When I am not working, you can find me watching Pretty Woman or Devdas for the 101th time, I watch obscene amounts of television without a trace of shame, surf the net, visit main stream or boutique hotels, restaurants and street food vendors, specialized coffee shops or the local karak drive through stores, High end stores to 5Riyal stores, Home Interior Stores or drive aimlessly looking for inspiration for my next post, the ultimate photo opportunity or simply write about what captures my imagination.

One thought on “Maintaining our own traditions while living as expats!

  1. I love this article.
    It is so true and while we need to embrace new cultures and friendships we should always make a concerted effort to hold onto and celebrate the cultures and traditions of where we come from and teach it to others.

    Liked by 1 person

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