Saturday, February 26, 2011

Learning the Culture

Just read an interesting story that Dad sent to me. He found it on CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/26/forgotten.graves/index.html?hpt=C1

I find it interesting that black families seem to be so much more interested in their past and wanting their descendants to remember, than those in my family. When I tried to ask questions of family members, or have tried to contact distant family members, I have most often been shunned or told that they can’t remember anything. My mother was this way; and Carol, my cousin,  told me the same thing about her mother (my mom’s sister). They could remember very little. Once in a while I could get my mom to talk but it was rare. And when I showed her her name and her family listed in the 1930 census, she wanted to know why she should care about it.

It wasn’t until I saw Rosie O’Donnell on Who Do You Think You Are? that I got a clue about my family history. Although only one line of my family history is Irish, it seems that the celtic philosophy permeated my family’s way of thinking. Rosie mentioned that in her Irish household, the past was forgotten, never spoken of. For some reason, the Irish do not like speaking about their past.

Like many cultures, the Irish have had a hard history. But what makes their history any more difficult than that of the Blacks in America whose ancestors were enslaved, treated like animals and had very difficult lives? What about the American Indians who were forced to leave their homes because of the white man and yet still revere their ancestors. I know little about the Chinese and their hardships, but their ancestors, too, are revered.

Some interesting thoughts. Guess I will have to study this further.

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