In our family, there are several cultures and traditions that play a very important role in defining our family values and cultures. These traditions and cultures have been passed to our parents from our grandparents.
The two most vivid cultural patterns that are present in our family have been inherited by our parents from the blending of the culture from my maternal grandparents and my fraternal grandparents.
The cultural patterns
Every Sunday, our father always prepares supper for the family and he makes sure that we eat together as one family. This tradition has been there in our family for a long period and helps us to bond together as a family unit.
Every night on the eve of my birthday or that of my siblings, our parents usually sneaks into our bed room and fills it with balloons which are stuffed with money and toys. My father usually writes several bunches of poems and leaves the written poems on our table. When we wake up in the morning, our mother usually prepares for us a birthday morning cake which we enjoy together as a family as we read the bunch of poems.
Different roles in upholding the traditions
During our Sunday’s family dinner/supper, my parents dwells on teaching us on the way forward in regards to behaviour and especially the use of courteous words such as ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. They discourage talking when the mouth is full as well as placing of the elbows on the table. Also during this time, my parents taught us the developmental skills like literacy skills when story telling during family conversations. During these conversations, my parents would learn more on our attitudes and interests. From these meals, my parents gauge our moods and needs thus helping us solve our problems in the end. My parents oversee the family to ensure that everybody attends to maintain the unity and stability in the family.
The dinner table or birthday party is a significant place for socialization especially for the children. These act as prime setting for socialization regarding the norms and rules on values of the family and the acceptable behaviour. From the nutritional perspective, the children master what is considered acceptable; basically the foods and non-food materials.
From the family dinners and birthdays, my siblings and I have discovered manners and behaviour restraints that the wider world requires. Through conversations of the family during birthday parties and family dinner, we learned of our parents’ interests and attitudes in relations to the world. We always help our father to prepare for the family dinner on Sundays. As the eldest, I helped my father prepare the foods and especially the desert and vegetables while my other younger siblings have inevitably prepared the table.
As part of our tradition, the family meal is a symbol of a shared family life. On Sunday’s, family supper/dinner acts to bringing us together in the family. This greatly leads to our social well-being at the same time providing predictable structure to our Sundays which is often reassuring especially psychologically. In our family, everybody is involved in this activity and this applies to the buying of food, preparations of food done by my father, making and laying the table, and finally serving of food. With all this participation, it is not a surprise that the provision of this family meal is a classic demonstration that we love and care for our family stability and unity. From the initial stages of shopping to clearing the table, each member of the family participates in this exercise responsibly and this promotes family solidarity.
The Reflection on the Tradition
Though we have a happy family, we also experience our setbacks. At the end of the day, the members of the family who are already exhausted after a busy day at school or work and probably maybe irascible meet for a family meal or party. Hostility may arise perceived at the dinner/party table maybe because of the injustices and behaviour which is unacceptable. Refusal to eat, complaining about bad cooking or lack of appreciation on whatever served on the table are some of the things that can lead to these conflict at the dinning/party table. Therefore, family dinners and birthday parties have many positive virtues that are sometimes fought with strain and negative consequences which greatly depend on the styles of parenting.
As a socially combining role, when we share a meal during birthdays or Sunday dinner, it brings people together in a network of reciprocal commitments and shared social relationships.
As a tradition routine, Sunday family dinner prepared by my father has been most frequent planned ritual activity in our family which usually takes place in our family house.
The family meal and birthday parties in specific have come to represent the dynamics of the family and overtime generations are complaining on its downfall. In the times of change, family meals and parties represented solidity and perhaps the complaint of the lost family may in fact be the response to feared exchange in the arrangements and frameworks of families.
These family traditions still influence me to date. This is due to the fact that they provide a source of identity on top of strengthening the family bond. I believe that the families that engage in frequent traditional practices report stronger relationship and unity than families that haven’t accepted rituals together. I will carry my family traditions in future because I view them as a way of offering comfort and security. This is because our family beliefs and rituals are the cure to the feeling that comes from our world which is fast-paced and ever-changing.
It’s relieving to have a few constants in one’s life. Am also for the idea that these family traditions teach values and this is achieved by for instance through family stories where the value of education, life-long learning and reading is instilled; and through regular family dinners or parties, the centrality of familial togetherness is instilled. With all this in mind, I will definitely carry these traditions in the future.
In this essay I will be discussing family traditions and the reasons behind them. I have noticed that family traditions have evolved and adapted in order to suit the modern day. Media influence has also had an effect on what families do on Christmas day and around the festive season. Many families have the same traditions, or slightly altered versions of them, even when the families do not have any connection. This could be because of the media influence, upbringing, religion and circumstances. I will now look at a few traditions that occur over the Christmas period.
One family tradition at Christmas is that there is a roast dinner that includes a turkey, sprouts and other seasonal vegetables. In the past Goose was served on Christmas Day, however today turkey is the meat of choice. The reason for this is that turkey is more affordable but still big enough to feed a large family. Sprouts are also a staple item on a Christmas dinner; this is due to the fact that they are in season in December. These circumstances have caused eating sprouts and turkey to become a Christmas tradition in the UK.
On Christmas Day it is tradition for families to play games together. Spending time playing games with the family on Christmas Day might be because there were new games brought for Christmas to play. Christmas Day often means that the family is together as there are no distractions, such as shops or pubs open. Families are also brought together with the tradition of present giving which comes from the Christian story of the Three Wise Men giving gifts to baby Jesus. At Christmas we give gifts to loved ones, go out of our way to deliver them and spend time with those people.
Families also tend to watch films on Christmas Day and around the festive period. This is a tradition influenced by the media as many channels put on classic Christmas films that engage the whole family. They might be old classic films such as A Christmas Carol, or they might be a new family animation that has humor to entertain both adults and children, such as Frozen.
Putting up a Christmas tree is a tradition that dates back to 1841 in England when Queen Victoria’s husband brought back a fir tree from Germany. The couple and their children were pictured standing by the tree with presents stacked under it. After this, Christmas tree decorating became a fashion. Today families put up their trees around 2 weeks before Christmas and hang decorations and lights on it. Some families make decorations for the tree where as others buy sets that fit the theme of their house.
Whilst families may have their own take on the family traditions, they all have similar reasons for why they do them. For example, shops and pubs being closed causes families to stay in and be together, where they then watch films and play games that they received as gifts. Some traditions have changed slightly over the years, such as when people used to eat goose at Christmas, however most families adopted the new tradition due to the circumstances of the price of turkey.
Traditions such as the Christmas tree came from a combination of history and fashion. Today families have adapted the tradition by having artificial trees instead of real ones in an effort to save money with a reusable tree and save the earth.