Casa’s Blog

A Life Abroad

What is love? Baby don’t hurt me…don’t hurt me…no more

Okay so I’ve gone and broken to of my self imposed rules.  1) I am posting twice in one day 2) I have gone and titled a post using song lyrics again.  But it was tonight, after I had posted about my rather expected day of tourist activities that I had a somewhat more unique thought.  I started to think about family (and yeah, WARNING this may get deep 😉 haha).

Family has always been a somewhat abstract construct to me and I’ve never known if my idea of what a family is has corresponded with those around me.  I remember being told off by one of my grandparents at a young age when I refered to “my family” specifically meaning my mother, father and brother. As a young 7 or 8 I wasn’t sure about the social taboos or what I was “supposed” to say and just used a term that I believed to be apt.

I have now travelled halfway around the world and am staying with gracious hosts, who besides meeting me twice rather a while ago, only know me in the sense that our family trees connect at my Great Grandmother/Great Grandfather.  I arrived here and have been treated almost no differently to anybody else around the dinner table.  Is that what family is? Is family offering a bed and dinner to someone because of a family tree? Maybe…

I could probably have stopped there, but through discussions and interactions with people (people who I feel a level of satisfaction in calling family) today and on the other days since I arrived, I’ve started to wonder if family should be defined not just in this simple way, but in a more complex way. Maybe family is about having a shared history but I wonder if family is more about having a shared present.

On paper, I think the shared past is what leads us to refer to someone family (I am my uncles nephew because he is my fathers brother and the like), but there is a surprising connection I have discovered with the little/big things in our lives that are shared among families.  These little and big things that may or may not be obvious, but are defining characteristics in how we live.

I’m stating to think that maybe the Mexicans were on to something with the Day of the Dead and our ancestors play a larger role in who we are than what we give them credit for western world.   Maybe family is more than just about lines in a family tree. Or maybe I’m just talking shit…


January 11, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized


  1. I read most of this post with the Arrested Development ‘sentimental’ music in my head. Best family speech since Michael Bluth!

    Comment by Stevechops | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. Simon – now you may understand why I love “history”. I will make sure these comments are passed on to your older generation of the family back here as well. They will understand and appreciate the thoughts as well.
    luv and miss you (the house is soooooo quiet!) mum

    Comment by Christine | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  3. Mate, I think I can get an EU passport through my Papou who was born in Greece! That’s pretty rad 😀

    Comment by Stevechops | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  4. Simy! Enjoying your updates, and personally i think you should challenge yourself to name EVERY blog with song lyrics. Just updating you, cos this is something i would normally msg you :p…final harry potter book is being split into two movies! To be released in 2010 and 2011 respectively! WOOOOOOOOOOOO! Hope you don’t have frostbite!

    Comment by shanchops | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  5. Shan…I’ll try, but you know how generally un-skilled I am 😛 haha

    Comment by casaboy69 | January 11, 2009 | Reply

  6. still a very family based family feeling! love the concept that you’re not only exploring new worlds but new concepts and challenging your own understandings of life and relationships hahah very philosophical

    personally i have always had a much broader perspective on the word family. maybe it comes from having what i consider a very tiny biological linking, the only real biology being my mum dad and sister. family for me has been more encompassing to people who become part of your family (friends of my parents becoming aunts, uncles, and pseudo grandparents, friends of my own and my sister’s becoming brothers and sisters)

    so history does not get much chance to play in my family world!

    Comment by lisbeth | January 12, 2009 | Reply

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