Celebrating Family Heritage

In the USA St. Patrick’s day is right around the corner.  The day when all the Irish Americans (and many others) celebrate being Irish.  But here in America we’re fortunate enough to have people of many different backgrounds present, from Italian and Czechoslovakian to South African and Chinese.  Today I thought we should recognize these other backgrounds that make many of us who we are, and include celebrating and honoring them in our lives.

Who

Everyone has some history.  Even if you’re totally American, your ancestors traveled from other countries to America.  If you don’t know your ancestry, it’s even more important that you spend a little time talking with family members and learning about who your relatives were.  If you’re adopted and don’t know what your birth ancestry is, that’s ok, celebrating the cultures and history of your adoptive family is just as important.  The same goes for couples, celebrate both (all) of your ancestral traditions with your children and with each other.

What

Celebrate and share the stories, traditions, food, language, games, music and customs that are unique to your heritage.  Since most of us have ancestors from more than one country now, you’ve got a variety of things to celebrate.

When

Holidays are a great time to include a cultural blessing, food that is customary and music from throughout history.  Or you could incorporate it into your daily life with food, colors and traditions.

Where

Most people celebrate around their dinner table, in their homes and in bars.  Although, if you have an opportunity to visit a museum, such as Ellis Island, to see some of that family history, I do encourage you to do so.

Why

I think it’s important to know what your heritage is, how that country or group celebrates life and what makes you, you!  I’m not talking about totally changing your life or doing things you don’t enjoy, I’m just suggesting that you include the diversity and uniqueness of your heritage in your life.

How

One of my favorite ways to celebrate my heritage is with food!  Whether you are talking Oktoberfest, Christmas, St. Patrick’s day or another holiday, food is always involved.  Food is a great starting point for talking about family and about culture.

How do you celebrate your family heritage?  What customs and foods have you incorporated into your life?  Share your stories below.

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