View Full Version : How many here have maintained cultural ties

01-25-2006, 09:24 AM
An offshoot....
I'm curious...How many formites...although born here....have through the generations maintained and passed on part of their heriditary culture...clothes, food, drink even, songs, stories, language...etc?
Do you still consider yourselves having ties with those countries your families originated from?

Bruce Hooke
01-25-2006, 09:32 AM
I certainly like my clan Fergusson tie... :D

There are probably other things I do that trace back to my ancestory in the British Isles, but it is hard to separate out specific examples...

01-25-2006, 09:35 AM
I guess I was thinking about Smith and Tangiers Islands in the Chesapeake when I wrote this....
And if one googles the internet...the gatherings...scottish specically...are everywhere...as are beer fests., food fests, etc...covering all nationalities....

[ 01-25-2006, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: uncas ]

01-25-2006, 09:39 AM
there is an exceptionally strong and often unnerving connection to our past , well preserved in the outports , it is surreal and vivid in some depictions of culture and in literature and entirely inescapable to say the least

mostly found in art laden with historical recollections and recitations. back in the 17th century , not a whole lot of people could read or write , but they were expert orators , typically shunned if they couldn't spin a yarn


when i look at this , i am near my uncles house , and i can smell the sea


down the path was an old community , long gone , has a few headstones from the time of the French revolution , one of them has my family name. the story goes , the old guy , single handedly, turned back advancing French navy ships , by painting logs black and setting them on their side to resemble a battery of cannons :D

[ 01-25-2006, 12:03 PM: Message edited by: popeye ]

P.I. Stazzer-Newt
01-25-2006, 09:45 AM
E pluribus what?

Chris Coose
01-25-2006, 09:56 AM
It is a pleasure to honor both the historic cultural/spiritual traditions of our families, the present movement and the hope for further wellness and mindfullness development to come.

Another One
01-25-2006, 11:57 AM
I married a guy with the last name of Scott, but figured it was just one of those names they passed out at Ellis Island when they couldn't spell the correct one. But I was wandering the Highland Games in Savannah a few years ago and was surprised to discover the tent for the Clan Scott!

I'm of Dutch heritage myself (and pretty conscious of the traditions passed down by Gerritt, Pieterje and the rest) so it never occurred to me to wonder about the Scottish side of things; but the gentleman in the clan tent says that Clan Scott had a fine tradition of "nipping over the border for foreign wives," so I'm in good company. :D

01-25-2006, 01:15 PM
My Scottish ancerstors stole horses...Monday through Wed...from the English...and Thurs. through Sat...from the Scots to sell them back to the English.
I like the Clan Scott...approach better...

01-25-2006, 01:29 PM
Originally posted by uncas:
My Scottish ancerstors stole horses...Monday through Wed...from the English...and this snippet of cultural identity has been maintained how ..?

01-25-2006, 01:31 PM
By staying as far away from these hay burners as possible.... :D
However, will still go to highlands games, will still eat haggis, will still listen to bagpipes...and STILL wear a kilt in public. :D

pss,,,my earlier statement was in resonce to Clan Scott....by the way... ;)

[ 01-25-2006, 01:37 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]

Cuyahoga Chuck
01-25-2006, 01:41 PM
I notice that most reponses involve tapping into cultures where laguage and politics don't intrude.
Some of my ancestors where Slovaks. Most came here between 1900 and 1924 minus the war years. When the immigration laws where changed in 1924 immigration of my people and many others from Central Europe was curtailed. Then came WWII and 40+ years of the Iron Curtain. Contact between us and them was severly interrupted.
So when Communism failed I made it a point to learn about the Slovaks and their cultre and to visit the village where my mother was born.
The whole affair was a most pleasent revelation.
Despite all the bad things that happened to their part of Europe, the Slovaks battened down the hatches, as smart peasants are want to do, and waited for the bad stuff to blow over.
When I visited in 1991, the village, which goes back to the 1300's was still there and plugging right along. Two churchs, one @ 1650 was somewhat ruined but the other (1775) was in fine order and in daily use. Every house crowded the street so that the backyard could be turned into a little farm, just like in the old days.
When I made contact with a guy who turned out to be my second cousin, the party was on. Out came the "kroj". The beautiful embroidered clothing that says , "I'm from X village and our women sew the best". And booze,everyone expects you to drink their "slivovice" - potent plum brandy. Nut roll, they must have cornered the market on wall nut meats. My brother-in law said that this was the only country he had ever visited where the taxi drivers tried to get you to sample their wive's "orechovnik" before the trip could begin. And songs, every village has their own bundle of songs about how pretty are the "d'evc'i"- girls, the "babic'ki"-grandmas, the "hori"-hills, the "psenicka"-wheat and on and on, from our village.
Prior to 1900 a musicologist spent a year collecting Slovak folk songs. He said he got 10,000 different songs. Not bad for a population of 2.5 million souls. Later another musicologist said he collected 20,000 Slovak songs and he figured there were another 10,000 waiting to be found.
And dancing, the village girls don't keep their shapes by being cheer leaders. They don their "kroj" as do the boys and the grandmas and granpas and do the old czardashes, waltzes and polkas during festivls that are held every summer.
Musical instuments. Bag pipes, not the machine made whizz bangs that we see among the Brits and Bretons but an honest-to-god "gajdy" right out of the 1500's. Goat skin bag, hair side out, usually white, hand whittled, one, two or three voiced pipe and a single drone hooked over the player's shoulder. Every 'gajdy' is a one-off creation. There are also an array of whistle flutes from 5 feet (fujara) to 18 inches (pistalki). In the old days handcrafting 2 string fiddles, viols and basses was common but today everyone can afford the real mccoy. A few areas have become musically more progressive. They favor the button accordian ("heligon").
The misfortunes of 20th century politics had an up-side for the Slovaks. It allowed them to maintain their ancient peasant heritage. The men don't wear the four braid hair styles or the work cloths made from hemp any more but many still perform the age old custom of downing some 100 proof slivovice for breakfast. Things have changed a bit in the bigger towns but village people are uniformly polite.
In modern day culture the Slovaks are well represented in international class opera singers, hockey, soccer, tennis, and they win often in kayaking.
Is this what you were trolling for uncas?


[ 01-25-2006, 05:45 PM: Message edited by: Cuyahoga Chuck ]

01-25-2006, 01:45 PM
No...not really...
I didn't consider it a troll per se...but that is my opinion...
Secondly, I like what you wrote...

I was just trying to see if any of us Americans...and this is an off shoot from another thread...still maintained a cultural identity.or were able to..even if we have assimilated into the Am. culture...
It seems to be a major issue on another thread...
So be it.....

[ 01-25-2006, 01:46 PM: Message edited by: uncas ]