Sunday, 21 February 2016

Cultural Night

So my church group is having a Cultural Night, where people from the congregation set up educational booths with displays, food, and flags from their culture or country and share their backgrounds with each other. These are always fun events, because our group includes people from probably about twenty countries, from China and Peru to Angola and Poland. The food is always amazing, the talents are beautiful, and it's a great social night.

However, I always run into the same quandary whenever we do these sorts of things. I had the same problem in school when they said, "Bring a traditional food to class." My family has been in the States for centuries, and in Utah since 1847. What's my native costume? Blue jeans? And what would my native food be, Jell-O? Funeral potatoes? Somehow that pales beside the colourful garb of Africa or the spicy curried goat my friends will be bringing.

I suppose I could hark back to my distant ancestors and come wearing a kilt, but that isn't really my culture handed down through my family. It's one I have adopted as part of being a piper. I could put up a Welsh flag and sing Welsh folk songs to people, but I learned the language in university---my family technically hasn't spoken Welsh since the early 1800s. I may as well wear animal skins and put up a booth demonstrating fire-starting with flint, because at some point my ancestors likely did that too.

Well, I suppose I know a lot of Mormon pioneer folk songs. I could bake sourdough and serve it with home-preserved crabapple jelly. I could try to find a Utah State flag somewhere and set out a display of silk worm cocoons. And I could wear the traditional clothing of Utah: maternity clothes.

Where I lived then:

Where I live now:


Pictures courtesy my family and the Internet 

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