Saturday, 22 December 2012

Your family or mine?


Earth-shattering news: Prince William will spend Christmas with his wife's family!

One of the advantages of being from two different and distinct cultures is the absence of conflict on where to spend the holidays. No dilemma over whether to spend Christmas or Eid with the wife's or husband's family.
Also, when we are either in Algeria or Germany, there is no taking turns for the grandparents to see their grandchildren. We all stay in the same house, and have no rule over how often to visit the in-laws.

An Algerian friend of mine and her Algerian husband live in Canada with their young children. Every two years, they visit Algeria for a respectable six-week period. In order to satisfy everyone, the woman stays four days with her husband and his family, then takes her children and goes to stay with her own family for the remaining three days. And so on every week. She actually goes straight to her husband's family from the airport. I would personally find this hard, as the only thing I have in mind as soon as the plane lands is to see the faces of my beloved parents waiting for us at the airport.

There are some strong traditions in algeria, whereby a married woman "belongs" to her husband's family. It is not uncommon for a man to marry in Algeria, only to move abroad for work soon after the wedding, and the woman stay with his parent, even though her own family live nearby.

If Prince William had married someone from a completely different background, he would have totally avoided the dilemma of whether to spend Christmas with the Queen or with the Middletons. Mind you, I can think of worse dilemmas to have.