Tuesday, August 14, 2018

What We Learned on Our Cruise: Heritage is Priceless

Basel, Switzerland, Photo by Mary Vee
Last week, hubby and I cruised the Rhine River from Basel, Switzerland to Amsterdam. I have a plethora of photos, new information, and SO much to tell...for another time. Today, I want to share what my new friends from the ship discovered.

Guests came from all over the world to experience a cruise. Traveling port to port. The convenience of leaving your suitcase in one stateroom the entire time and having the option to eat on the ship or to purchase a meal at a restaurant near the dock is so lovely. 

For every walking tour and excursion, only local guides were allowed to present information. So, a guide hired by the ship may take us to a palace built in the 1600's, but the same guide may not present information about the actual grounds. Only an individual living locally and is an expert in the topic may present. Seriously, I couldn't take notes fast enough. These individuals were a wealth of knowledge!

Remember, these guides are local individuals. They, of course, spoke English, which was the common language of all on the tour.

So, while dining one night, those at my table brought up an interesting observation. The guides communicated so well, we all felt they could reside in our respective country. There wasn't an accent to be detected. The only telltale variance in language happened when the guide turned to a fellow countryman and spoke the native language. 

The jokes. The mannerisms. So much resembled what we felt familiar with. There was one German guide who so resembled Ricky Gervais, a British comedian, I was certain he had to be a relative. From the jokes to his mannerisms in communicating the information, this man resembled Gervais. He wasn't the only one who surprised those of us in the tour group.

Those from my table concurred, television, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, news, and all other forms of communication have paved a way in blending languages and cultures. Globalization has been a theme for so long, right? Businesses and Powers to Be find a convenience in conducting business with other countries. 

But. What is lost?

Those of us visiting the Rhine wanted to experience a unique culture. We wanted to see not only traditional aspects of each country but also modern variations. What do the locals eat, do for entertainment, grow, use for transportation, like for architecture, and so much more? 

So when special nights happened on the cruise, like the German theme night we laughed and had such a wonderful time, even if we couldn't speak German. We ate delicious cultural foods and joined in typical German music, clapping and singing and never wanted it to fade.

Individual countries and their history have a wealth to offer. Those from my table hope cultures from around the world hold on to their heritage and teach their children. It is priceless.

This post has been brought to you by the one word: Heritage


quietspirit said...

We seem to lose a lot of our heritage here in the US. The younger generations don't like what the older generation did or had to do in order to live. Your pictures on Facebook were marvelous.

Mary Vee Writer said...

I think every generation has felt the younger ones were not interested in their heritage. But, perhaps the olders didn't alway show a love for their heritage. I must admit, I like conveniences that have come along the way, like writting comments here. Once upon a time I would not have had the chance to communicate with you because I wouldn't have known you. So, to me, the key is more showing the youngers the value and charm in key elements of heritage to help them hold on to what is golden.