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How Do You Keep Family Traditions Alive?
5 Ways You Can Keep Family Tradition Alive
Did you know that immigrants make up 13.7% of the U.S. population? If you’re curious to look into your family’s history, you’re likely to find that your family lived in an entirely different part of the world at one time or another.
So how did they manage to maintain family traditions in a new place, where people speak a different language, and practice different customs than their own? And how can you continue keeping those customs in the future?
Here are 5 ways people keep their family tradition alive.
1. Cooking and Food
The way to the heart is through the stomach, right? And so it only makes sense that cooking and food help connect us to our family’s past.
“I learned some recipes by sitting by my grandmother’s side and watching her prepare them. I think of her every time I make them for my family.” Carole Alalouf tells us — and she isn’t the only one. Several people commented on how food brings their families together, with family recipes connecting those around a table today with their ancestors.
It’s not always easy to remember a family recipe, especially if you have chefs in your family who don’t feel the need to measure ingredients and cook a dish simply by tasting as they go. This is why documenting recipes and the methods for making the meals is so important!
Some may have written recipes down on notecards, while others have them saved in the form of a photo or digital document.
Music often accompanies families as they’re enjoying delicious meals together and so you might not be surprised to hear that many keep family customs alive by learning the music played by earlier generations.
Steve Ryan went so far as to take bagpipe lessons in honor of his family’s Scottish heritage.
Others may teach songs to their children or include music from their home country in special celebrations or ceremonies, like wedding receptions.
3. Routines & Practices
Of course, some of the family customs we keep alive are built around routines that family members for generations have practiced.
Some families with Jewish heritage may practice lighting candles for Shabbat; people with Portuguese heritage may recognize family tradition by taking part in ceremonial celebrations. For example, Mark Alves served on the committee of the Feast of the Blessed Sacrament, as did other men in his family.
4. Language & Storytelling
Coming to a new place often means learning how things are done there, but many families maintain their native tongue by continuing to speak the language with family members at home. Some even go so far as to have their children attend classes or schools that teach the curriculum in that language,
For many though, it isn’t just the language—it’s what’s said. Storytelling often ties people together. Karina Becerra loved hearing about her great grandmother’s childhood cultivating chocolate and raising goats in the mountains. Allison Grinberg-Funes loved hearing about her grandmother’s childhood in a British school in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Some stories share harrowing tales of perseverance and resilience, while others are silly stories meant to make listeners smile and laugh. All have value.
5. Connecting with Community
Finally, another way of keeping family customs alive is to find others who may have similar traditions. Especially in urban areas, you may have access to different communities with similar histories to your own.
Gisela shared that since she’s in a new city, she’s immersed herself with the Latinx community to help keep family and cultural traditions alive.
Recording It All with Lalo
There are many ways to keep your family traditions alive, but these 5 ways all have one thing in common: it takes an effort to carry on customs and keep memories alive.
Unfortunately, as time goes on and lives become busier, it gets more difficult to work to keep family traditions alive. Luckily, we don’t have to worry about them ending up in some time capsule. Now we’re able to keep them vibrant and share them with others by using Lalo.
Lalo helps record your family’s traditions, whether that’s a written recipe, a recording of a song, or a video of a story being told. You don’t have to worry about memories being lost because you can share these traditions within your own family and among your community within the app.
Sign up for Lalo’s beta so you can start saving your family memories!