When I was growing up in China we always ate fresh and raw tomatoes with sugar as a cold dish, whether we were at home or in a restaurant. I always refused to eat them because I like salty food. I disliked the cold, sweat and sour taste of tomatoes, especially during dinner when most dishes, including the warm dishes with tomatoes, are salty. I sometime murmured that I only like to eat the raw tomatoes if they are salty and not sweet. But neither my parents nor anyone else thought it was a good idea. They all stared at me as if I was E.T. coming from another planet with a ridiculous custom. They often laughed at me and tried to convince me to try sugared tomatoes. “Don´t be silly! Everyone eats raw tomatoes with sugar! They are so delicious! Just try them!“ they would say. I still refused to eat tomatoes with sugar but learned to keep my mouth shut.
When I came to Europe I soon discovered that it was totally normal to eat raw tomatoes with salt. It’s a very small thing but I was very excited. I had been unsure about my preference for so many years and finally everyone around me agreed. From this story I learned that I do not always need to do or think like everybody else. The world is large and its cultures and customs are varied. There is frequently more than one truth. Besides it’s good to question things and not take everything for granted.
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