Tag Archives: immigrant


Heiliger Abend

Main piece: In the informant’s family, they celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve rather than the normal American practice of opening presents Christmas morning. They call this Heiliger Abend, or Weihnachten, which translates to Holy Night. When a family’s children are young, all gifts from family members were exchanged during Heiliger Abend, while gifts from Santa… Continue Reading »

Italian Family tradition

I asked Mae her earliest memories of traveling to Chicago to visit her extended family, she responded: “My great- great grandma moved to the U.S. directly from Italy so obviously they had a really Italian family and they ended up living in south side Chicago. She owned chickens, and every Sunday she would go into… Continue Reading »

“When you are an anvil, bear, a hammer, strike.”

My mother, who says this proverb has a lot of significance for her as an adult, learned it from her father, who was a strict man with a tough work ethic and a Latin scholar. My mom’s family immigrated to the United States from Dominica when she was a kid and they were able to… Continue Reading »