Last week we recapped some of the family stories you all shared in response to our original culture post. We heard about everything from revolutions and mob ties to being multilingual and moving all over the planet.
This week, as promised, we get to the best part: holidays and food. There were more responses on these subjects than all the rest put together, and many of them were among the most interesting comments—who knew that you could eat maple syrup over snow, for example?
Once again, we’ve organized some of your great comments below, and not just in the hope that you’ll invite us over for hot-pepper-eating contests, salty fish, and baklava. Salud, Sparklers!
On the menu for this evening we have…
Bee_04: we eat lots of italian baked goods at christmas. and lotsa tabouli (sp?) and hummus and grape leaves at my grandparents house.
Sardinboks: At Christmas eve (because that is when we celebrate and open presents) some of us eat pinnekjøtt (literally stick meat).
cemmers: I am from Louisiana, so our food has a cajun influence (as well as plenty of other cultures).
Acryliccherries: i’m fortunate enough to be only one thing: spanish (as in from spain) i can’t even begin to explain the different kind of foods i eat at home from what my friends do…i have a home-cooked meal every single night, with at least some sort of colorful rice and beans..
nylitjunkie09: I’m Dominican…Whenever my American friends come over for dinner, they’re always so excited to try our “exotic” food. In my family, it’s my friends’ pot-roasts and casseroles that are “exotic”!
Eebyenoh: *Fajuata(I think that’s how it’s spelled) is something we eat often. It’s black beans and rice, usu. w/ some kind of vegetable on the side. A lot of cultures have bean-and-rice dishes, I’ve noticed!
Sparky_1403: My family sticks with the usual big Italian family culture. You know; Pasta and lots and lots of Italian bread.
Punkwc: Every Christmas Eve we have home made pizza…don’t know why. Every thanksgiving we have cranberry ice, which is my great grandma’s recipe for this cranberry slushy stuff that everyone loves. Every Christmas Dad bbqs some type of meat.
xMeganxMassacrex: So we go to ginormous Greek gatherings, that we call–Sundays. Deargod, it’s not easy when you’re vegetarian. “You don’t eat meat?! Why not? Noo! You eat meat! Here! Have some souvlaki! Why you not eating?”
These were new to us...
sagegugg: growing up in vermont, we always have sugar on snow during the winter months.
for those who are unaware of God’s little gift, sugar on snow is when maple syrup is cooked over a stove, then poured over packed snow, it hardens, and makes a wonderful piece of sugary bliss. best with a pickle and crackers:]
Icelidia: I’m 100% Russian. We eat a lot of salty fish and salty…other stuff and drink everything at room temperature. I didn’t think the latter was that weird until my friend pointed it out.
Proxidike: Speaking of “simit” (think bagel,but wider -more delicious!- and covered with sesame) we eat that for breakfast with cheese (feta/kashkaval mostly),olives (yum!) etc. and drink mostly tea…24/7! Throughout Ramadan we fast and when it’s time to eat (iftar) after sunset,here comes the pide!(a special kind of bread) and one of the types of desserts made is gullac (veeeery thin sweet pastry with rose water,walnuts or hazelnuts and pomegranate)… and we make baklava like no other!!!
Bearsley: i love my heritage!!! (sorry if that sounded like an ending scene form some Disney channel short but im very enthusiastic right now cuz im eating mashed potatoes and pizza!!!!!! at the same time!!!!! and its (surprisingly) good!!
On holidays we…
Emilyksu: I’m from where we call, “Little Sweden USA” so, we have Swedish festivals in our town. So, when I saw Swedish as part of your heritage, I got excited! If you want to get in touch with that side, check http://www.vimeo.com/65016 out… I’m one of the dancers in that clip actually!
Azure_Sora: Since we’re asian, we get to all these cool holidays!! We have Tet(you guys know it as Chinese New Year) in January or February…the Moon Festival is sometime in the fall, also based on the lunar calendar, and Memorial Day for our ancestors, which is a little before the Moon Festival in August…most Vietnamese celebrate Christmas, even though most of us are Buddhist, other Vietnamese are Catholic.
AlicePotter95: In the Dominican Republic you don’t get your presents until January on the Day of the Kings, which is on January 5, I think.
Lady_Samlet: Anywho we’re a normal American family. Easter involves Easter egg hunts. Fourth of July involves your run of the mill hometown fireworks show and homemade ice cream (if we’re lucky). Thanksgiving involves turkey and dressing. Christmas involves a roast (yum) and presents.
luvRulz131: I’m a pure Korean…our greatest holiday is Chusuk, 8.15 in lunar calendar. On Chusuk, we play a game called 강강술래 where everyone holds hands and dance in a circle.
ErikaJene: I always wish for a white Christmas but being from North Carolina it hardly ever snows…:/
AgentJellyBean: Holidays, etc aren’t especially different, but if we’re celebrating with the Hispanic side of the family meals feature hot pepper eating contests, singing/dancing, and a lil bit of Spanglish. xD
NiNiintheNorth: IRISH!!!!!! I love it. We celebrate all the usual holidays like christmas and easter but they are not really like holidays the are seen as being as very religious and important as most people are devout Christians (either roman catholic or protestant). We also celebrate lots of the old pagan holidays like Lughnasa and Samhain, these are always lots more fun and involve huge amounts of alcohol and dancing. We also have dances called céilís which are so much fun.
swimmingislife57: we have cannoli and ravioli for christmas, and the 21+ family members use the german/irish side as an excuse to get totally drunk on weddings/graduations/birthdays/every day.
Lorimelon: the main thing that’s different about us is that we have a large family (my dad’s parents are divorced) and so we usually have three christmas dinners; moms family some time before christmas, Nana and Papa on christmas day, and Grandma and grandpa on boxing day.
makemusicals: We do Shabbat every Friday and I go to temple with my dad on the high holidays. We celebrate Chanukah for 8 nights every winter. We don’t have an bizarre traditions. Except fasting on Yom Kippuer. Which was on my birthday this year.
two_00_seven: English-Irish-Swedish-Aussie, mate. I love summer Christmas, it’s much better than having all that snow and being cold. I have experienced it, I’m not talking through my hat here.
NCSGgirl: Recently we moved to England…as far as holidays go, we celebrate Chinese New Year (or try too), Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. 4th of July and Thanksgiving are the tiniest bit awkward in England.
Lyra_Rose: I was born in South England so we do party for Guy Fawkes Night and celebrate Bank Holiday and all.
But we moved here to America when i was littleish. We watch fireworks on the 4th of july (come on fireworks are great!) but we don’t have a party or anything or go anywhere, or even set off fireworks since those are illegal in California, i mean come on though I’M BLOODY ENGLISH!
Downthestairsigo: I was born in Iraq and when I came here there was a major culture shock. One of the big differences are weddings. Well, that’s more of a religion thing but culture has an impact on that too. So, here’s how a Muslim wedding would go:
First, before a couple decides to get married they can “date” but there’s always a chaperone tagging along. And then you can’t do this for very long because neighbors will start talking. Then the couple can go through with the engagement. The groom goes to the bride to ask her parents for her hand. Then everyone in attendance says the first few verses of the Quran. They are then engaged. Instead of the diamond engagement ring they both wear the wedding band on their right hand on the ring finger. During engagement if they want to see each other outside of school or work a chaperone has to be in attendance.
After that (and the wedding usually takes place right after this) is what we call the writing of the book. What happens is a matzune (which is like a Shaik only just for marriage which is the equivalent of a priest) asks the father of the bride if he will give his daughter to the groom and the groom then repeats after the matzune that he will take the bride under God’s will. Of course, the bride is there to give her consent. Then everyone says the first few verses of the Quran again.
The wedding then follows but this is a little different too. The bride and groom make this big entrance together and they go to their places. Then they switch the wedding bands from the right hand to the left. And they are now married. The bride also gets a necklace, bracelet and earrings. And the groom also has to put down this upfront fee so if they get divorced the woman can sustain herself for at least a little. Nowadays, this isn’t very necessary because women can work more but the marriage won’t be complete without it.
Thanks again to everyone for the awesome responses! We wish we could fit them all in!