The importance of language

Many of my memories from when I was younger involve being surrounded by family speaking in different languages and dialects, I had absolutely no idea what they were all saying, but I knew that was what home sounded like.

Last week I was given an assignment in one of my classes to write about why language is important to me, and it really got me thinking. What is it about language that is special? Beyond the words which a phrase may translate to, I think there’s something inherent about language that carries something much deeper than a face value meaning.

My family speaks many languages, and for as long as I can remember in large family gatherings conversations could switch between three languages in just one sentence. Personally, I can only speak one language fluently at the moment, but there’s something about hearing these languages which makes me feel safe and comforted even though I may not be entirely sure what they mean. Language tells you about your past and your culture, it tells you the different parts and places of which a person is made up of.

Different dialects and interpretations can tell you what has impacted a person. For my family, our cultural language tells our family history about moving around and traveling throughout a region and then settling and intertwining with the local culture. Hearing words from my language instantly makes me feel calm and protected. Sometimes when I’m traveling and feel a little homesick, just hearing someone speaking in my language instantly calms me, as I’m sure it may do for some of you.

When I lived in England, before I became an expat, I used to be embarrassed about having a different cultural language than my friends. When I would greet my parents with a different phrase than ‘hello’ my friends would ask me why I did that. Not until I moved to a different country, did I fully appreciate having a cultural language. Especially for people who have moved around a lot, language can tell us about our roots and our past, it’s something that keeps us grounded wherever we may be.

I believe that language, even if it is just a few words strung together, can tell us something much richer than any other means of communication. It can tell a story much deeper than even the words it translates to.

What’s your cultural language and why is it important to you? Let me know in the comment section.

See you next week!

Little Miss Expat

Sustainability: why it’s important

I just spent the past few days at Abu Dhabi Sustainability week and I’ve come back very INSPIRED. Sustainability has always been something I’ve been very passionate about, but I feel like it’s extremely vital that we take action right now, otherwise nothing is ever going to change! As part of the younger generation I feel as though it’s up to us to be change makers and to speak up and inspire others to do the same, because if we all do our part, we can help the environment a lot. It was amazing to meet with other teenagers from around the world and hear about how they use their innovative spirits to help our world, and it made me inspired to do the same. It was nice to get out of my privileged life and experience something bigger than myself, to be around others who think the same way as me and hear about ways in which they’re helping the environment. Honestly, it just puts everything in perspective, when I worry about my high school problems, I realize how insignificant they are compared to what’s really going on in the world. It’s heartwarming to see so many people working towards the same goal: environmental protection! And I want to inspire you guys to do the same! So here are some easy ways to support the environment in your everyday life:

Get a reusable water bottle: This is such a simple way to be more sustainable! By getting a reusable water bottle you’re stopping yourself from using so much plastic. Also, it’s way better for your health and it inspires you to drink more water! Personally, I bring my water bottle on holidays with me, and pretty much everywhere I go if I know I’ll be out for a while.

Bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket: This is also another easy way to cut down on plastic usage! Just remember to bring your own plastic bags to the supermarket instead of using the disposable plastic ones.

Save water and energy: When you don’t need lights, don’t use them! Or when you don’t need the air conditioning don’t use it! Also, try not to waste water when you’re brushing your teeth etc… These are really easy things to do, and not only are you helping the environment, but you’re also cutting down your water and electricity bills!

Say no to plastic cutlery: This one is really easy to implement. When you’re getting a takeout just ask them not to include plastic cutlery in your order (as most of the time you don’t even need this if you’re eating at home) and it’s just a waste of plastic that goes into landfills.

Don’t use plastic straws: This is another tip that is really simple to do, you could buy reusable straws made from metal (which is what I have) or just don’t ask for a straw when you’re out. It’s something really simple to cut down on and is great for the environment!

Use your voice: We all have a voice, and a way to speak out! Be a change maker who inspires others to do the same. Let your actions be positive ones, and others will follow in your path.

I hope that these tips are useful to you and that you start implementing them in your daily lives! If you can think of any other easy tips to be more sustainable let me know in the comments section and we can learn from each other.

Make sustainable choices and see you next week!

Little Miss Expat

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