Tradition – Maryland

Crabs in Maryland

My informant told me about this summertime tradition in Maryland that revolves primarily around the obsession with the crabs that are fished out of Chesapeake Bay.  For as long as Kevin can remember he has been involved with the traditional festivities that cater to the “crab craze” of Maryland.

This is an article of folklore because it is a long time tradition in Maryland.  The people of Maryland have realized what their state has to offer, and has utilized that to start a traditional festival.  Everyone in Maryland knows about, practices, and identifies with this tradition.  It is part of what shapes the culture in Maryland and enables the residents to relate with one another.  Kevin says that he really feels a strong connection with his neighbors and friends at home when they engage in this summertime tradition.  The crabs brings them together and they are all able to spend a lot of time with each other, tell stories, and catch up on the events of their lives.  It is this crab craze that instigates many barbeques, parties, and get-togethers.  Kevin says, “crab cakes, football, and beer is what Maryland is all about.”  He enjoys it because it is so different from Los Angeles, where he lives most of the year.  It reminds him of where he came from, and he says it is so nice to relax, in comparison to his quick paced life in LA.  He is proud to identify himself as a Maryland native because they are famous for having the best crabs in the nation.

I think the obsession with crab and all that surrounds the tradition is a very unique article of folklore native only to those in Maryland.  I had no idea that they have some of the best crab in the nation, and I enjoy the fact that Maryland residents are so proud of it.  This made me realize that every different city, no matter how small or big, has fun artifacts that separate it from other cultures and places.  It reinforced the fact that folklore really does enable people to establish a sense of identity and be part of a group.  Additionally, this reminded me to my family’s tradition of barbequing every Sunday during the summer.  My parents take pride in their barbequing skills, and it is a designated time that my family can relax together and catch up.  Like Kevin’s crab tradition, the barbeques feel like a break from real life.