My blog was established in conjunction with my participation in FOLK-F121 "World's Arts and Cultures" at Indiana University, Fall 2007.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Traditions

When I was thinking about this reflection question, I wondered to myself, how many traditions do I belong to? If I do something twice does it qualify as a tradition? Do the same people have to be apart of the tradition? While reading chapter three, I realized that like a lot of lore, tradition refers to several related concepts (65). The book said that tradition has three main concepts: being the lore we share and the process by which we share it, creates and confirms identity, and is something a group identifies as a tradition (65).

I sat for a while, trying to think of a tradition that I was a part of that I felt was starting to disappear or one that has already disappeared. I realized that one very common and important tradition that has faded for my family is thanksgiving. The book says that since traditions exist because they are meaningful, they rarely ever end outright (75). I find this to be extremely true with thanksgiving in my family. Every year my family and I went to Washington, Indiana to my grandparents for thanksgiving. The whole family would rent out a mess hall and everyone would bring food. After my father and grandfather passed away, my family stopped going and started having small thanksgivings at our house in Evansville, Indiana. We still keep the same traditions, like always eating turkey and dumplings, playing basketball and football after dinner, and ending the night with cards. The thing that is missing is the mess hall, and the people.

I actually had a hard time finding a tradition that is becoming increasingly central to my life. My boyfriend goes to Purdue, and about once or twice a month, I go to West Lafayette to visit. Every Sunday around one, my boyfriend, his best friend, and I go to IHOP. We haven’t missed a Sunday yet when I go to visit. It has actually become something that is unspoken, just understood, which makes it a tradition to me. It’s always just the three of us, and we usually always order the same thing every time.

My boyfriend is Muslim, so I have witnessed many traditions that I don’t belong to. The main tradition that I have been able to take part in was their big dinner for the end of Rhamadan. They have this huge feast at their house every year with traditional Iranian food such as blended potatoes, green beans, and broccoli fried in a skillet, and lots of rice. The music was absolutely intriguing and their dancing was quite entertaining. It is nothing like what dancing is like from my culture. It was one of the most enjoyable nights I have ever had, and was really excited to be brought into their religious tradition for a day.

This blog entry is my response to Reflection Questions for Chapter 3.Sims, Martha C., and Martine Stephens. Living Folklore An Introduction to the Study of People and Their Traditions. Logan, Utah: Utah State University Press, 2005