Foodways

Sunday Family Barbecues

The informant is a 39 year old male from Ecuador. His family used to live in Ecuador, where he was born. He moved to live in Southern California with his immediate family and cousins.

Informant’s Tradition: Every Sunday, my family makes barbecues. It’s always carne asada, or some form of carne asada and ribs. Sometimes other families will come over and it turns into a bigger party, but it’s just what my mom does. If my uncle comes over, he’ll bring something else. If I go, I’ll usually get guacamole and salsa. My mom has always been more of a house wife, taking care of the kids. When I was a kid, she always took care of me and the other kids. She takes care of my sister’s kids, so she’s always been like the homemaker.

Collector: Why do you think your mom does this?

Informant: That’s just who she was. She was the oldest sibling–she was the first daughter, so she has six brothers and sisters. And she always helped my mom take care of the other siblings. My mom enjoys it.

Collector: Where did your mom learn this from?

Informant: From my grandma. My grandma used to own a restaurant, so she taught my mom how to cook.

Collector: What does this mean to you?

Informant: To me, I think it’s just a way of keeping the family together, always knowing that there’s this event to bring us together. So they’re always there doing their thing, so they bring the family together.

Weekend barbecues is a very popular American tradition, and it’s interesting to see how cultures blend together when an Ecuadorian family participates in the culture. It shows the “melting pot” nature of the United States–the blend of Sunday barbecues with carne asada, guacamole, and salsa. It also shows there is a universality of the mother’s multiple roles in taking care of her family.

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