A Little Ray of Sunshine

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Multiculturalism

Lots of people say this is a bad thing. Lots of others say it's a good thing. I say it depends. Depends on which parts of which cultures you're combining.
Oh, I guess I should say that you can't have multiculturalism without combining cultures. Otherwise you get a bunch of seperate cultures with different traditions living side-by-side and not getting along.
How do you get multiculturalism? Generally by marriages between people from different cultures. So, you see, my mom (and by extension, me) learned how to make Pulla for Christmas breakfast and Matsilaatiko for New Years Day. My father's family was Finnish. Dad doesn't cling too tightly to the customs of his youth, but certain holidays require certain foods. And that's that.
Now my kids have another set of customs from another culture, in addition to the ones passed on from my father's family. Some clothing, some great music, dancing, and a lot of food. A little custom that whoever's in the house at meal time gets fed, whether or not they were expected to be there. It's a nice, friendly, custom. It also means we eat a lot more soups and stews than steaks and pork chops. It's easier to stretch a stew than four portions of meat.
So that's multiculturalism. You take what's nice, what's important, about one culture, and you blend it into the other. You don't sacrifice anything important from the other culture. I know three other families who started with my husband's cultural background on one side, his three siblings' families. Each of those families has used different bits of it. Except for food. If something's going on, there's always food. Even though as far as I can tell one sister-in-law could burn water.

3 Comments:

  • At 1:12 PM, March 08, 2006, Blogger CrazyJo said…

    I've always said I'm a good ol' American mutt, I have so many different races mixed up in my heritage. We don't really have any customs passed down, though we do have some family ones. My mom started making cheesecakes for our birthdays (yum!) and there are certain foods that MUST be made for certain holidays. :)
    My sister Arielle used to be one of the "burns water" types. She put a pan of water on the stove, turned it on, and forgot about it until the water was gone and the pan black and ruined. We still tease her about it!

     
  • At 9:27 PM, March 08, 2006, Blogger BoysMom said…

    Give Arielle a cast iron pan. As far as I have attempted they cannot be ruined. :-D
    My husband is a cheesecake fan, and the question is always does he want a cheesecake or a pineapple-upside-down-cake. Usually the answer is both!
    That's funny about Arielle, though, because she's such a mommy/wife-type, one doesn't think of her as the sort to forget about her cooking.

     
  • At 9:51 AM, March 11, 2006, Blogger Serena said…

    Yes, Arielle has surprised us all. She said she didn't want to be a homemaker and she is learning to be a good one. She even cooks without a recipe now and makes up her own. Arielle is the only one of my older girls that had NO interest in cooking and only did it because I required it. Now she's a good wife, mommy and getting quite domesticated.
    Love and shalom,
    Serena

     

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