Coming to a new country I knew that there would be things that would surprise me. I also knew that many things that I do would be strange to other people. I did not, however, expect how I eat my corn to be one of them.
I have been around enough mexican food in the US to know that corn on the cob or elote is often eaten with some combination of mayo, chili and or cheese. Not quite my favorite yet. But I learned through my temporary mexican host family in Tepoztlán this week that lime and salt is also a very delicious combination (and probably a lot healthier!). I was sitting at the table with the family and my YAGM roomie Rachel when we tried the lime (imitating our 7 year old “host niece”). We commented on how good it was and that we really liked it! Then I went on to explain that at home I love corn on the cob but that I typically eat it with “mantequilla y sal.” I did not expect the jaw dropped, perplexed look that came over my host father and mother’s faces. I turned to Rachel to make sure that mantequilla was the word for butter! It in fact was and they replied that they would have to try it sometime.
I was prepared for the way that they eat this particular favorite food of mine to be different. I however did not expect them to be so stunned by my way of eating it!
Culture is the rose colored glasses through which we see. We often don’t notice that we have them on, but every now and again we catch glimpses of what our glasses look like and how they tint our world. During orientation in Chicago we had the opportunity to listen to Sunitha Mortha talk about Cross-Cultural Competency and how Culture is our response to “How do we do life?” This experience with butter on corn is just one small example. I’m excited and a little scared for all the ways I will be challenged to experience new ways of life and see my own ways of living more clearly this year and bring you all along on the journey. :)