Wednesday, October 24, 2012

European Etiquette

For all of my dearest friends...who ever wondered...what exactly is this whole "EUROPEAN CULTURE" thing that you're so obsessed about...this is for cough cough "funny" Lithuanian perspective...

Someone once told me that Russian women are the most beautiful women in the world...Reality's true....I'll just stop right there. and I'm Russian btw....Lithuanian women? Russian women? the same....=P Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania are known as the "Baltic Beauties" or so I've heard from my dearest Lithuanian cousins. When we Baltic Beauties wake up in the morning, we can't help but smile brightly when we look in the mirror. We don't even need to worry about make up. (and if you're lucky like me, your hair looks crazily awesome as well) We're naturally beautiful. It's in our eastern european genetics....

How a European carries oneself. Well, if you've ever wondered about my "Lithuanian seriously poetic haunting death stare"...LOL It's normal in the European culture to have a very serious expression on your face, and walk in a confident, tall posture, with your chin slightly raised. It's just what we culturally do. If you're riding a bus in Europe, EVERYONE is deathly silent. No one is talking to each other. If you laugh, RIGHT AWAY they will be able to point out that you are American. (Not going to lie on this one, this past summer when I was in Macedonia, I LAUGHED ALOT on european buses...)

A European's eating habits are distinct as well. First of all, eating food with a fork and a knife is pretty much a dead give away if you have European food ettiqutte. I remember last year when I was in college, I literally was the only European soul that ate with a fork and a knife. A true European man...he ACTUALLY cough cough has this etiquette too. I honestly admire this alot about European men. As the saying goes, "A European man eat's his mama's food". By this, we Europeans or I pray at least some of  us still like to eat healthy and close to natural food as possible. If you have ever wondered why Europeans are so skinny...obviously many other factors other than food influence this (smoking, exercise, genetics etc) it's because their eating lifestyle is simple and healthy food. For me, being Lithuanian, by "healthy food" I mean eating natural meats, veggies, cheeses, kefir (Russian jogurt) and fruits. The Lithuanian food lifestyle is more on the low carb side. I'm sure you've heard this, if not the PORTION SIZES in Europe CAN be alot smaller. I learned this summer, depending what REGION of Europe you are in such as Southeastern, food portion sizes tend to increase. Having smaller portions and smaller plates is normal. It's expensive to eat out at restaurants so most people just make their own food.

Eating a meal as a family is a very important cultural element in Europe. Also when one sits down for a meal in Europe, the food is usually already on the table, you have your plate and eat like that.

I've also noticed in some cases that we Europeans would rather buy a piece of nice and quality clothing than food. Looks are HUGE. Every European country has it's own unique and colorful style. Fashion is a daily habit, especially for my generation. I've said this many times before a European WOULD NOT be caught dead in sneakers, sweat shirts, sweat pants, or baseball caps. That would be mere fashion SUICIDE. From a very young age, we are taught to "dress up".  When you're walking the streets of Europe, everyone simply just looks so stylish or professional. Wither it be skinny jeans, converse, scarves, colorful sweaters, black leggings, high heels, or flower print summer dresses...the artistic color is found everywhere... One of my favorite European fashion sayings by my favorite French author Mireille Guiliano, (my paraphrase)  "A French woman dresses up to take out the trash, because she never knows who she may run into". All I can say to that is....AHMEN.

I will FOREVER LOVE European culture. It's part of who I am, and even living in America, when I have to stand alone in this European Passion most's SO worth it....=)

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