Passing on Family Heritage and Culture
Passing on Your Family Heritage to your children
Each family usually has specific customs and most certainly food that they remember eating as a child. The other day a musical artist that my parents use-to play often in our home released a new cd. As I listened to the music it reminded me of my childhood but it also made me think what if any heritage am I passing on to my own children? What will they remember or associate with their childhood? This motivated me to make some changes! I have now decided that what little family heritage my husband and I remember from our childhood we should pass on to our children. Music and food have played a wonderful and enriching role in our lives, so those are the two areas we are going to concentrate on.
Music I remember there always being music around us. My sister would play the piano and we would all sit around and sing at Christmastime. No one else in the family played an instrument, but we would all figure out something to play like the spoons or bang on something to make noise. Now, my daughter plays the flute and she is already learning Christmas songs! I am going to start learning how to play the piano again and I hope to learn the guitar by early next year. This has made everyone in the family want to learn to play some sort of instrument so maybe we will turn out to be a musical family after all! Recently, I have started playing more latin music for the kids. That is the heritage I grew up with and remember. The kids love to hear my stories of spending time with my grandparents and which songs mean most to me. I highly suggest you spend a little time remembering which songs struck a cord with you and share them with your children.Also, if your kids are old enough ask them what they remember so far about growing up and I think you will be surprised the moments that stand out to them. When we travel we always take a small speaker with us so that we can attach the ipod and always have music every where we go. It actually has really helped us when the kids get anxious because we have been stuck in line for a while or in traffic and its amazing how music can get everyone thinking about something else.
Food Both my husband and I remember so much of the food that we grew up with. Every Christmas Eve the family did the traditional pig roast (which just the thought of it made me queasy) but it was still that family custom. My husbands’ family who is mainly Italian, remembers courses and courses of food on Christmas. The fish course, to pasta, to antipasti – he just remembers it being an all day food event. Once we had our children we started to try to have our own little customs such as always going to the pumpkin patch as a family before halloween. On Thanksgiving we make it a point to go visit my husbands family that we only get to see once a year. On Christmas we have everyone over to our house so the kids can enjoy all their new treasures of the day. I realize that the holidays only come around once a year so my sister had a great idea that we are all going to start doing on the weekends. As a family, we are going to try to plan out ethnic weekend where we research the music, food and language of different cultures and as a family enjoy it together. The kids were very excited about this idea and have already suggested a few cultures they want to start with. I will let you know how it goes.