My name is Stephanie Flowers and until this class assignment I never thoughtfully considered what my actual ethnic background was. After looking up the meaning of my last name I found it to be of Welsh origin. This means that I could possibility trace my family roots back to Great Britain. After reading chapter one of Race and Ethnic Relations I discovered that being a part of a certain ethnic background does not mean that you have to be part of that race, but you have to practice the common cultural traditions of that subculture. So based off of my name some people might think that I was English.
I grew up with a few household traditions that I consider to be a part of my ethnic background. To begin with, I would consider my family to practice Irish traditions. We always have huge St. Patrick’s Day party at my house that turns into an all-day drinking and eating celebration. I might not know all the reasons behind this celebration and what I consider a part of my family tradition, but it is still a part of my ethnic background in my opinion. Drinking is a big part of being Irish and in my family most celebrations do involve some type of alcohol.
In Irish culture it is normal to introduce alcohol to children before the actual drinking age, I think this is good because we grow up with this around us and never take consumption of alcohol to extremes because it such a part of everyday life. I am would also consider myself to be of German ethnicity. My family has a good luck tradition for New Years. We eat pork roast and sauerkraut in hopes that the next year will be filled with lots of happiness and joy. I personally love this tradition and get upset when I sometimes only get to eat this meal once a year.
It is one of my top five meals to eat that my grandma cooks. Being from the United States of America I do think that I have picked up so many different traditions from all of the friends that I have had throughout my life. This is why I love living in this country I get to experience so many different cultures and ethnic backgrounds. My boyfriend is of the Catholic religion, his family maintains this culture by attending mass for Christmas, Easter, and whenever they feel the need strengthen their relationship with god.
This is the way that they maintain their ethnic background. They are a common group of people who believe the idea that they all share the share cultural heritage. This stems from his Irish background where Catholicism is the main religion practiced in that country. So to me this is the way to stay in touch with being from Ireland even though they now live in America. My cousin Rachael is half Mexican. Her mom was an immigrant and came to this country to start a better life. I love getting to go to their house in Texas; her mom makes the best Mexican dishes.
What I have noticed from her Mexican culture and ethnicity is that food is a way of bringing the family together, it is a time of bonding in their household. I believe that by cooking traditional Mexican food it keeps her in touch with her roots and makes her feel better connected to her homeland. After doing this assignment I am very interested in doing more research on my family roots and discovering more about who and where I came from. Like it says on the Ancestry. com commercial, “you don’t have to know what you’re looking for; you just have to start looking. So that’s what I am going to start doing. Also, I would like to conduct interviews with the elderly people in my family and possibility start filling out my family tree, which would be an easy way to connect the dots of my family history. I will still continue to maintain my Irish and German background by drinking on St. Patrick’s Day and eating pork roast and sauerkraut. I am very proud to be an American and I wish I didn’t take all of the rights that I have in this country for granite.