Friday, May 20, 2005

Where are you from?

My recent post about country of origin, and my brother-in-law Andrew's comment about it got me thinking about the fact that most Americans don't know their origin. It's false to say, "I'm just an American" because in actuality, we are all something-American. Aside from native Americans, all of us emigrated from somewhere else.

Me, I'm a mutt like most. My father's side is Norwegian. My mother's father was German, my mother's mother traces her roots back to the Mayflower. Literally. So I could join that hoity toity society if I wanted - Daughters of the Mayflower. As a child, my grandpa would sometimes speak phrases in German to us, but that was the extent of our exposure to his culture. My grandparents might be said to have Norwegians accents, but they could also be classified simply as classic Minnesotan accents (Yah, sure, you betcha!). But at their house I ate lefse, lutefisk and krumekaka - traditional Norwegian foods. I suppose I was influenced by other aspects of their culture that were less identifiable.

I think it's tragic that people don't know where their families are from. I think this because the stories my dad has gathered from our genealogy give me appreciation for what my ancestors went through to get to the States, and a greater appreciation for the freedoms and privileges we have as Americans.

I have a good friend whose family is from Luxemburg. That's awesome, if for nothing else than a trivial fact about herself. Where are you from? Do you know. If you don't, find out.


Michelle said...

I remember your dad's long sheets of paper with all the family trees on them. It seemed like a neat passion of your families.
I just posted something similar to this in a writing called genogram. Its in my archives. Yep.... I have an archive now. And I owe it all to you guys.

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