Desperately Seeking Culture through Salted Caramel Fudge

It’s cultural tradition month at my daughter’s preschool and guess who is at a loss.

Last week we were supposed to bring in a cultural artifact of some sort. Well, my Grandma on my Mom’s side was from Wisconsin, would cheddar cheese with salami in it work? Someone at some point was German but I don’t think I want to claim anything to do with that. I think my great, great Grandpa from my Dad’s side was Greek, but I certainly don’t have a cultural artifact. Nor do I identify with any of those cultures.

“Well, what are we Mom?” My daughter wants to know. It’s not that simple, I tell her. We are a diluted mix of European that gets categorized as boring, culture-less American. To further complicate it we were born and raised in a very culture-rich environment that we can participate in and appreciate but not claim as our own. Even if there were any cultural ties to hold on to, our family has been broken and rebuilt so many times they are long lost now. “Does that make sense?” I ask my 4-year old. [Read more…]