With this month’s theme being love, we took the time to sit down and talk with German Professor, Dr. Mark Looney and his wife, Finance Professor, Dr. Valentina Salotti. Their relationship spans different first languages, different home cultures and and roughly 12 vertical inches. Watch below for the ins and outs of how their relationship works.
In this first video, the pair talks pros and cons of having an intercultural relationship.
“When you’re confronting and interacting with people from a different culture, you have fewer assumptions about what the norms and standards are.”- Mark
In the next clip, we hear from Valentina and Mark about what perspective they have gained from being with someone from another place.
“There are many things that you like about your own culture and a few things that you can’t stand, and when you have a spouse that is not from the same culture and he doesn’t fall into the same little things that you don’t like about your own motherland, that is definitely good.”- Valentina
Next, the two discuss stereotypes across cultures.
“Italians are very out there with their emotions, and even if they talk about something that is really trivial, there is a whole lot of emotion in the way that they express themselves, and the voice can get really, really loud, and to an American, it’s…scary?”- Valentina
“Yeah I think that’s right. Scary.”- Mark
Following that, Mark and Valentina explore the topics of home and self exploration through study abroad.
“I think that to a certain extent, [our experience] applies to every day life, or academic life, or social life if you’re studying abroad. Those same experiences with that which is different helps us reflect back on ourselves and adjust ourselves in the best possible way.”- Mark
Finally, the couple discusses babies. One very, very cute baby in particular. (Yes, the baby makes an appearance!)
“We have a one-year-old now, and I think it’s also interesting to see how that’s different than kids being raised in, theoretically, just one culture….the few words that she’s saying right now are “kitty” and “cervi“- deer in Italian.”- Mark