I hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving. I know I did.
We drove out to Long Island my mother, father and I, my brother didn't come. He was invited but he's still got issues about being around the family, really, he should grow up about that, but he's 15, it's hard enough to do at any age. His cell was out of service so we couldn't call him, but when I saw him the next day I wished him a happy thanksgiving anyway. I missed him, but there's no point making everyone feel bad about it.
I've got family out there. Like cousins and Uncles and Aunts. Zio this and Zia that, well it would have been anyway. Some people were talking italian but I don't think even the fluent ones are comfortable conversing in it. It's kind of funny really, changing your native language. People have always said to me "You think differently in different languages." and it's got to be true. I only know how to talk in english, american english, and if you want to get more specific about it North Eastern American English. But if you were to go up to Main I'd bet you'd get different words and concepts and probably a lot of Canadian structures in there.
Between the gender and family rolls I noticed (Like even though my mother isn't traditional Italian and she wasn't involved in cooking, she was still in the kitchen quite a bit up until the meal.) and the behavior and interaction patterns I got to observe my family's "culture".
Now it's not my immediate family's everyday way of thinking or acting, but it's part of us. We're pretty decent mix of old school Italian and Californian liberal. Never mind my parents bring a lot more to the table then just their upbringing. My Father's been in New York a long time, long enough to bring a little New York liberal and New York Radical into the mix, and my Mother's been traversing circles all her life, from hippy herbalists to midwest conservatives. I'm not saying they behave like these groups, they just understand them, or the patterns of thinking that might come from them.
To be perfectly honest, I'm probably wrong. How people act differs greatly from situation to situation. How I act visiting relatives is going to be different then how I act or think while visiting my Parents. How they act around me, and how they think first thing in the morning, or at night, is going not going to be the same. I've only seen my parents through my eyes, and mostly while they known I'm looking. I'm not unbiased and I change things by observing them. How I see my parents is probably unique. (Also I probably wrong for a lot of those groups on how they really think too. I made some of them up. So don't judge. =) )
We all have sets of ways we've learned to think. Of course we act differently, that's nothing new to most of us. But we really do think differently in different situations, probably more then we know. And knowing a different language, even if you don't speak it, that's got to give you some ways of thinking too. Like in the latin languages you specify the gender for verbs, which makes you define the gender, in english you might not even think about it. I wish I knew more languages now, I'm curious how else I might think, and how other people who speak them think.
I once knew a girl who spoke fluently at least 6 languages. She understood the structure of all of them, which allowed her to at least understand a lot about all the related languages. (I'm trying to remember the different language types from a junior year highschool history class that I failed.) While a lot of the languages she spoke were related, she knew at least 3 completely different types. What a way she must have thought.