Embracing Your Culture
by Alexis Baro
When it comes to culture, my family will likely go down in history as the least traditional family to ever exist. I’m half Mexican, with my dad being first generation American, and half German, with my mom’s mom being raised by her German immigrant grandmother. Needless to say, at one point, my family was deeply rooted in cultural traditions. However, as time went on and my parents married, things began to change.
The days in which my dad celebrated Las Posadas and my German side made potato pancakes were gone. With the new generation of my siblings and me, my family began to establish their own way of celebrating the holidays. Up until this year, I didn’t understand our way of celebrating.
When most people envision Christmas, they think of grandiose festivities, a sprawling assortment of homemade baked goods, and a sweet grandmother prompting everyone to join hands for prayers. This is certainly not a vision of my family. Our one established tradition is this: we eat Jack in the Box every Christmas morning because it’s the only place open and no one wants to cook. Yes, every year of my life I have had Jack in the Box on Christmas morning—it’s definitely not your standard holiday meal!
For years I urged my family to change our unorthodox ways; I even offered to cook the whole meal myself, but no one ever seemed to be on board with the idea. This year I realized that my family truly likes the way we do things. I began to see the value in our odd way of celebrating. No, we don’t spend hours decorating or cooking, but we’re together. We’re not a family of typical cultures—we’ve developed something that is entirely our own.
Think about your own family and culture. Are you rooted in tradition, or would you be deemed unconventional by society’s norm? No matter how you identify with cultures or traditions, consider why your family practices what they do. There are reasons behind your culture, and it’s important to recognize them. By thinking about who you are and where you come from, you can better understand where you are now. Ultimately, we all have a responsibility to embrace our own culture, in whatever form that might be.