“Fun Fact: Did you know that in Croatian culture, you give to others on your birthday?”
That’s how the Spector’s begin their latest blog post, chronicling their life as missionaries in Croatia. They continue:
“For example if you find yourself celebrating in a restaurant or a cafe with friends, you will be fully expected to pay for everyone. Or if someone happens to spontaneously stop by your house on your special day to wish you good tidings, there better be some cake in your fridge to serve them. Of course, you’ll end up receiving a few gifts yourself, such as chocolate, a book, homemade cookies or perhaps even a miniature vintage car, etc. These are just a few of the gifts we’ve accumulated from the two birthdays we’ve celebrated in Čakovec. Notice the amazing cultural emphasis on giving, rather than receiving. But, the purpose of this rather odd introduction is to portray the beauty of the culture in which we live. We dove headlong into studying this way of life, mindset, complex set of unspoken social rules which must be learned and must become a part of us if we desire to be used of the Lord in Croatia, and it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll ever emerge. Language and culture go hand in hand, and the deeper we go with one, the deeper we go with the other. We continue to meet with our language tutor twice a week, which is extremely helpful, but recently, we’ve found that being with people, practicing speaking, and listening to topics of conversation, have provided even greater lessons. Being with people as much as we possibly can and building wonderful, lifelong friendships is the current goal, and not a bad one in the least!”
If you haven’t checked out their work yet, see their blog at http://thespectors.wordpress.com/.