With the many holidays that are approaching us, many families may feel a sense of disconnect as the rapid changes in society have greatly affected the ways in which we celebrate our cultural traditions and pride. Most traditions involve a sense of family togetherness and support through dinners, religious activities, rites of passage, and much more. Unfortunately, due to our society’s most recent changes such as restrictions of intensive gatherings involving more than 10 people, social distancing practices, shutdowns of places of worship, and shift in political climate, ethnic diverse and immigrant families may find it difficult to express their cultural pride and keep alive their homeland traditions. However, just because we are in a time of adversity, this does not mean that our cultural connections have to die out. Although adjustment is not the easiest process, there are many ways to engage in routine cultural traditions while also keeping in mind the different practices our society must adhere to for our safety.
Engage In Storytelling and Rituals With Your Immediate Family
Most ethnic cultures thrive off of family togetherness and gatherings to trade stories of culture and celebrate the pride of their homeland. Many may find, however, that it is difficult to uphold these practices due to strict social distancing guidelines which may put them in a compromising situation as to not offend extended family members or stray from their cultural roots. Although we love and support all family members, celebrating culture through small homebound celebrations with immediate family members can prove to strengthen relationships between parent and child by making homemade traditional dishes with one another or sharing stories of the homeland. Expressing to your immediate family members the deep concern for health and safety may be difficult, but keeping communication via phone call, video call, social media messaging, text, or even mail writing helps in sustaining familial bonds.
Host Religious Practices In The Home
This may be a very modern and mostly unheard of practice, however, it helps in expressing the importance of religious and spiritual rituals that originate in different cultures. Moving to practicing religious ceremonies, traditions, and rituals within the home instead of places dedicated to worship may seem odd, but with places of worship halting their services during this time, it can prove to be a comforting alternative. Attending gatherings virtually, praying within the home, and engaging your family members in the use of religious and spiritual articles can actually improve and sustain the carrying of one culture into another as well as intensify the importance of these practices between families.
Celebrate Through Homemade Meals
Food and the way it is made and consumed are very integral and wonderful parts of cultural traditions. Celebrating certain religious traditions or holidays as well as rites of passage through food is an interactive and engaging way to pass down cultural roots within generations through collecting ingredients together, teaching children old family recipes, and enjoying a family meal as well as each other.
In these times of uncertainty and constant change, it is important that we do not lose sight of who we are as people. When moving between cultures and countries, it can be a struggle within itself, but sustaining traditions and cultural practices in our families is what empowers us as individuals and shines on the wonderful aspects of being able to celebrate within two worlds.