bnbalder (bnbalder) wrote,

The blinding feeling of kinship

Ravelry( the center of the knitting universe, in case you were wondering) was talking like mad about the sweater Sara Lund from The Killing wears in her fabulous detective series from Denmark.

I followed an impulse and bought the first season, and I'm blown away. You know why?

Because nearly every male actor I've seen on that series looks like my brother, or my uncle, or grandfather, or anyone from my mother's family. The foreheads, the cheekbones, the way their tall lanky bodies move. My mother's family is from Frisia, which is in the North Netherlands, not too far from Denmark, actually.

It's made me realize how different American and English faces are, as well as body language and culture. I watch so much TV from the US and quite a lot from the UK, since a small country like the Netherlands doesn't produce that much, and frankly, not always of the highest quality. Beside the point, probably.

It's the faces, and the bodies, and the body language. I love that recognition. I just love watching people who look like me and my family. It moves me. I feel more emotionally connected to what happens. The landscape, the light.

And at the same time, the Danish language provides  a little veil, which makes the similarities easier to see. When I watch Dutch TV, I'm so overloaded with the flood of information on their accents and looks, which tell me everything about their regional background and education and religion that it takes away this blinding feeling of kinship.

And now I'm wondering what it's like to be always watching people who don't look like yourself on screen. Because I think it distances you, makes it seem unreal, and yet TV is so real. If you don't look like the people you see on TV every day, what does it do to your self image? Do you still feel real?

And, to inject a dose of reality in here, I'm aware I'm talking about people of Northern European descent, who although they live in different countries, are no more than 500 miles apart. Yes, I  live in a country where most everybody is white and has lived there for centuries if not millennia.

But what is it like for someone who lives in a country with people from another continent? How big is the difference then? Bigger and deeper than the disconnect I feel when watching US TV, I bet.

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