America is commonly referred to as a cultural melting pot. People from all over the world gather here in search of a better life. One predominant force affecting culture is Americanism, the ideology that a set of United States patriotic values aimed at creating a collective American identity. With all of these cultures melting together and values being shared, one has to wonder if Americanism is actually destroying the individual values that make America unique. My blog is going to focus on my self-exploration of food culture into Panay, Ojibwa, and German culture in an effort to reconnect with the cultural heritage of my grandparents.
On my father’s side of the family, common dishes we would eat include calamari, chicken adobo, and lumpia. My grandmother immigrated from Panay Island in the Philippines, and this was the predominant part of her culture that she brought to America and passed on to her children. I grew up in a split household where my mother raised me. I was not taught any Panay dishes and have lost that part of my family’s food culture. My first few blogs will be on cooking Panay dishes in an attempt to reconnect with my family in the Philippines through food. Picture provided from http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_1_jlQkNFP-s/TRf2V_5QfuI/AAAAAAAAC1U/ryFdg_5osms/s1600/lumpia_shesspicy.jpg
On my mother’s side of my family, my grandfather use to cook some traditional Ojibwa foods. He was unable to teach my mother his death, however in an attempt to reconnect with the this part of my family’s history I will attempt to learn some traditional Ojibwa dishes. In help in my research on this topic I can contact my cousins and aunts on my grandfather’s part of the family and I can also research dishes from the White Earth Reservation where my grandfather was from.
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A predominant part of my family is German. Although my family can trace its lineage through to the founding fathers of our nation, German dishes have been predominant at family gatherings and on the dinner table. Things like sauerkraut and German sausages are typical foods, and in my future blog posts I will be able to ask my mother and grandmother on my mother’s side of the family for help in these recipes. I am hoping that the last few posts in my blog will contain contents of traditional German dishes.
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In general I am going to attempt to connect to my family better by asking for traditional recipes from my cousins in the Philippines, or from Panay Island, from my native family in Livingston, Montana, and my German family members. I am hoping that connecting to these far split parts of my family will help me to better respect my cultural heritage and my personal identity in an increasingly Americanized nation.