Children are enmeshed in the context of the family. A child’s culture surrounds him or her and the and every child’s socialization is influenced in every way by his or her experiences with “family”.
My family culture is based in solid connections with extended family. My grandparents came to the US from Norway. My grandfather, although a farmer in Norway, became a fisherman when he joined the thriving Norwegian community in Ballard, WA. He married my grandmother and they moved to San Diego where he continued to work on the large tuna fishing boats until his death (from drowning while at work, at sea) when I was in 6th grade. I will never forget sitting with my large family- aunts and uncles, great aunts and great uncles, my granny and my parents, and a few cousins… I was one of the eldest.
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Some of the adults in my family were Lutheran and some were Protestant. I could never tell the difference, but I knew we were not very religious, per se, as we did not regularly attend church. I do still remember the Lord’s Prayer and we definitely learned “the Golden Rule”. Our main traditions were being together for all the holidays with everyone sleeping all over the house of whoever was hosting… and making KrumKake cookies one by one with my granny, mom, and aunties. Ours was a patriarchal household. My father was kind and fun, but he was the boss!
In a way, I was raised as the “older brother” with responsibilities for keeping my little sister safe and occupied (which I’m afraid I resented and for which I feel guilty, now, as an adult). There was no big brother to do the “boy’s chores”, so in many ways, our nuclear family was egalitarian. And, because my grandpa was often away on the boats, sometimes for months, there was an element of matriarchy. My granny had three daughters with my mom being the eldest. We are all still so very close today. My granny has passed, but we reminisce about her and make sure the younger generations know where we come from.
OKAY! YOUR TURN!
- Describe your family â€œcultureâ€: ethnicity, religion, traditions, boundaries, roles, rules, hierarchy, etc.
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