I was lucky enough to travel to Germany last month and although it was my fourth visit, it was the first time I really noticed the sweet characteristics that make the country so German such as the little flower pots kept outside windows. But what amazed me was our ability to travel across borders in under three hours and receiving three text messages welcoming me to three different countries while on a drive to Brussels. However what was most memorable of my recent trip to Germany was finding family. Sharing the back seat of the car with my mother-in-law and brother-in-law I felt a part of the family. Sharing intimate talks with my mother-in-law sharing our hopes for the future, sharing jewellery and perfume, I realised that you don’t necessarily need to be proficient in either language to bond.
My husband and I travelled to Germany for the wedding of his cousin. Now, I am not naturally a gregarious, outgoing person and if I must say I was a little anxious about the reception, dancing and failing to fit into the Iranian ideal. I needn’t have worried. As I was in the middle of that dance floor I felt so loved and accepted. My husband and I danced to a song, and people actually stopped and formed a circle around us and watched. Being led on the dance floor by the hand and by my brother-in-law, I realised that there is nothing like weddings to bring people together. In the end it was only my tiredness and the times I saw my mother-in-law sitting alone at the table that ever dragged me away from the dancefloor.
As I literally wiped tears from my eyes as I walked through the departure gate, I reflected on what the short two-day visit bought. Most of all it bought acceptance and the realisation that you don’t need to share a name or even have the same blood running through your veins to feel a part of a family.