Before moving here from abroad, it was a place I knew nothing more about than what I’d seen in The Full Monty – a hit Down Under in the late 90s! But after living in five countries across three continents, Sheffield has quickly become home: a welcoming balance of city and village, bustle and quiet, work and escape.
Being an Australian of British descent living in the UK means constant encounters with forms of the customs and cultural artefacts I grew up with, but which often felt out of place in a land of sun, heat, the bush and beaches. The scenes in the British storybooks I read as a child are now made real in the hills, villages and glens of the Peak District, while particular words and phrases used by my British father suddenly make more sense when heard and shared in the context from which they came!
Koreans always remove their shoes before entering a home – a legacy of using the floor for sitting, sleeping and eating meals at low tables (상 / sang). This custom tends to travel with us (including non-Koreans married to Koreans) regardless of whether we live in modern or foreign homes with sofas and dining chairs. A visiting plumber told us recently that removing shoes at the door is also common in Sheffield, but in this case, it’s the rain and the mud that necessitate it!