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Franklin-Randall Community:
Family Culture

Nick

Family Cultural Expressions
In this essay, I will be telling you about my family's cultural expressions. Now, I will introduce my family to you. My mom is 33 years old. She works in the big University of Wisconsin. My dad is 29 years old. He also works at the big University of Wisconsin.

First I will tell you about how my family behaves when we are invited to someone's house.

Being a Guest
If my family is invited to somebody's house, we do some Russian cultural things, like when I come into the house, I always take my shoes off (I don't take my shoes off if the host insists on it).

Another cultural thing is, if the host says something, I should answer "yes" or "okay." For example, "Okay, the food is ready! You can come up to the table." So I should come to the table and eat.

An another cultural thing is, if I want to drink something, no matter how thirsty I am, I can't just ask the host if he or she could give me something to drink, nor can I just take something to drink. I should wait until the host offers me something to drink. Only then I can drink something. If the host doesn't offer something to drink at all, there is nothing you can do about it. If that happens, you should wait until the party (or whatever you were doing) is over then you can go back home and drink something there.

Now I will tell you about how my family and other people decorate their apartments.

I live in an apartment building. On the manager's door there are always medium-sized stickers. There is one big sticker that is a bear holding one huge candy.

If it is Christmas, that management door has a decorative tree with artificial ornaments on it. On the bottom of the door, there those presents that have nothing but a box in it. There is also that artificial large oven with artificial fire in it (that oven is on the bottom of the door, just like those presents are).

My family decorates our own apartment with pictures. We have nature pictures, which include forests, trees, grass, and water. We also have Egypt pictures, which includes old Egypt humans, and Egypt masks. We also have New York pictures, which include big buildings, water and huge bridge.

On Christmas, we have a tree with ornaments on it. The tree is small, so we put I on a table.

Now I will tell you about some different food my family eats on holidays or special occasions.

When we celebrate holidays like Christmas or New Year, we usually eat several traditional dishes. One of them is pirozhki. Pirozhki is like egg roll, only it is kind of flat, and it has a shape of a very fat cylinder. Pirozhki usual are made out of dough and meat or cheese.

When we have holiday dinners, we use a traditional tablecloths called a Rushnik. It is usually homemade white fabric with bright red flowers and birds on it. But that is only the traditional design. There can be a lot of different designs. But there is one important thing about the Rushnik - if you were going to make the Rushnik, you have to have the same design on both sides.

Now I will tell you about toddlers and a Russian toy called Matroshka. If any family has a toddler, the toddler will play with a Russian doll called Matroshka. Matroshka is a round doll. On Matroshka, there is a drawing of a person. This is how you can play with Matroshka - you open that round doll, and inside there is a smaller doll, with another person drawn on it. And you keep on opening Matroshka until it gets too small to open. Then you can go backwards, put little dolls into big dolls. And you can play like that over and over again.

Some people play with Matroshka, others keep it in one place. The drawing on the dolls might be real people. I have a Matroshka with pictures of presidents on it. Other dolls have imaginary people on it (people that nobody has seen before).

Now I will tell you about my great grandma's needlework. She sewed a lot of cool stuff. When my great grandma was young (that was in the beginning of the 20th century), she did embroidery and sewing. It was a hard time for Russia, because it was a world war. All the grocery stores and supermarkets were destroyed, so people had to alter old clothes for themselves. My great grandma had to sew dresses for herself; she had to sew and embroider pillowcases, sheets, and comforters in order to sleep. She also sewed and embroidered curtains for the windows and she placed curtains on her windows (but of course you know where curtains go). She usually used white flax and embroidered red flowers.

I hope you have learned some cool stuff form my essay. It was very much fun telling you about Russian traditional stuff.

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This page last updated on October 2, 2002