There was the time I made my Mom’s chocolate cake recipe for friends for the first time.
There was the time I brought a locally-grown watermelon and sunflowers (from our own farm) to share with coworkers at the office.
Then there were all the times I shared people have remarked on the way I treat others, the way I host guests, the way I dress, the way I talk, and so on.
In these occasions I got to give the peculiar gifts of my upbringing and my culture to people who had never experienced them before.
We all have “cultural exports” like these, and it’s easy to underestimate how foreign and attractive they may be to the people around you.
Think about the recipes you grew up with, the games you learned to play as a child, the skills your father or mother taught you. All of these and more make up the life you carry with you wherever you go. And when you do go, you become an exporter of that culture that raised you.
In sharing the gifts of my own culture, I’ve learned to appreciate them as never before – as being special, even “exotic” gifts to give.