USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘Family Bonding’
Foodways
Holidays
Material
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Saint Patrick’s Day Food

Context & Analysis

My roommate (the subject) and I were sitting in our dorm room talking about how our families celebrated different holidays. The subject’s family is relatively large and extremely tight-knit, as reflected in the subjects emphasis on “we always always do [it]”. Most of her extended family live within an hour radius, and they value family gatherings. Though this is the case, the subject only celebrates St. Patrick’s day with her immediate family members. I thought it was interesting that the subject’s family celebrates St. Patrick’s Day, considering no one in their family is of Irish descent. Additionally, I thought it was interesting how the family doesn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s day in a traditional sense (i.e. celebrating by drinking or gathering with extended family); instead, I believe the incorporation of images from the Dr. Seuss story, “Green Eggs and Ham”, reflects the nurturing and supportive environment of the family and the encouragement of uniqueness.

 

Main Piece

“On Saint Patrick’s Day—my family and I—we always make green eggs and ham, um, it’s not really specific to St. Patrick’s day, it’s a Dr. Seuss book, but, um, we have everything green for that breakfast. This year my dad even made the butter green so the bagels look really wonky [laughs], that was a little gross, but, um, we always always always do that, and if it’s not breakfast or we can’t be together for breakfast we’re together for, um, dinner or something, and we’ll like dye our Indian food green [laughs].”


 

Customs
general
Humor

Bonding through Media

Informant Info: The informant is a 21-year-old male who was born and raised in Chanhassen, Minnesota. His parents both moved to America from India when they were in their twenties. He is currently a student at USC studying Electrical Engineering.

 

Interview Transcript:

Interviewer: Do you have any little family traditions among your family?

 

Interviewee: Every time I come back to Minnesota. I always watch the same episode of Top Gear with my brother. The same, single episode. It’s called the Vietnam special, in case you want to know. We’ve done it since I left for college, every time I come back. It’s such a stupid episode, but it’s just something we do together and I can’t stop it now.

 

Analysis:

This tradition is yet another tradition where the sole purpose is to help the family, or in this case brothers, bond. I wasn’t able to gather any context as to how the tradition started or if there was significance behind the tradition, other than the fact that the brother just really likes Top Gear.

 

Customs
Gestures
Kinesthetic

Ancestral Visits

Informant Info: The informant is a 21-year-old male who was born and raised in Chanhassen, Minnesota. His parents both moved to America from India when they were in their twenties. He is currently a student at USC studying Electrical Engineering.

 

Interview Transcript:

Interviewer: Do your parents, being first generation immigrants, have any traditions or rituals that they’ve passed down to you?

 

Interviewee: Every time we go to India, we take the train down to my mother’s ancestral village, like where her parents and grandparents grew up. It’s really old and small… only like 20 or 30 people live there I think…so it’s really tiny. And everyone is old, I think the average age is like 80ish, not to be rude.  But it is really, really important to my mom, so we go every time.

 

Analysis:

This story represents the significance of ancestral history. Despite leaving India and coming to America, his mother’s ancestral home is still very important her. It is where she grew up with her parents, spent her childhood, and was taught all of the values and traditions that she still carries with her today. For her, she goes to pay her respects to her ancestors and her hometown, and by doing so, the informant is also learning about its importance.

Customs
Holidays
Humor
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Easter Eggs with Satire

Informant Info: The informant is an 18-year-old from St. Louis, Missouri. She is currently a freshman studying Public Policy at USC.

Interview Transcript:

Interviewer: With Easter just passing, did you or your family celebrate it? If so, how?

 

Interviewee: Sooooo…. We are not religious, but we still celebrate Easter. What we do is we dye Easter eggs AND then the Easter bunny would hide them in our yard on Saturday. On Easter, we would wake up and have the good ol’ traditional Easter egg hunt. And since we weren’t religious, my parents would sorta make jokes out of it. My mom grew up Catholic, so sometimes she would we toss in prank items, like Jesus band aids. We would then dinner 2pm, which I always thought was early, but hey… home cooked food!

 

Analysis:

Despite not being religious, the informant’s family still celebrates a typical American Easter, primarily in terms of the Easter Eggs. Across the globe, eggs are extremely important symbols of spring, regrowth, and birth. Once again, family bonding still appears to be the most important factor.

general
Holidays
Rituals, festivals, holidays

Hanish Family Pie Tradition

Background: Lila is my best friend from high school. She has a tradition with her dad, Jon, and her younger sister, Sydney, to hand make apple pies for Thanksgiving together. They have been inviting me to be part of this tradition for the past 3 years.

Context: I called Lila over FaceTime because she attends Drexel University in Philadelphia. I recorded our conversation and transcribed it below.

“Honestly I don’t know when this tradition started but for as long as I can remember when it’s Thanksgiving time we always go to my cousin’s house in Orange County. Everyone in my family brings something because there are so many people, like first and second cousins. Me and my dad and my sister have a tradition every year to make the apple pies. My dad makes sure that a day or two before Thanksgiving me and my sister are home for the night to make apple pies with him. When we got older it became a thing to invite friends. It’s fun and one of those cute little traditions your family has. I don’t know how it started but yeah. My dad found some recipe online or something but we make the dough fresh every year. We start by skinning the apples… or wait we make the dough first and put it in the fridge. Then we do the whole apples and cinnamon for the filling. Then we make the top crust. For the past year or two we’ve started to make a berry pie too. We’ll make a few apple pies and then a berry pie too. My parents have started to buy extra ingredients so that our friends can take pies home with them to take to their Thanksgiving dinners.”

IMG_0576

 

Apple and berry pie at the Hanish household, Thanksgiving 2017.

 

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