Part 4: Passing on Traditions
In this segment, Valentina describes blessing her tortilla
dough, and how her grandchildren have learned to bless their food
before eating. Marit tells a story about her godmother cutting the
end off a ham before baking because her grandmother always did so.
Food is a common way to pass on traditions and cultural information.
As immigrants become more assimilated into mainstream culture, certain
foods are selected to represent ethnic identity. Often, those foods
are relegated to celebrations and holidays. Many Norwegian-Americans
eat lefse during the Christmas season, but do not prepare it regularly
throughout the year. On the other hand, for many Mexican-Americans,
tortillas are still an important part of everyday life.
It's not just the recipe or the food
itself that is maintained as the tradition is passed from generation
to generation. Stories and jokes, religious beliefs and practices-the
complexity of a particular culture can be revealed through such
simple foods as tortillas and lefse.
Back to Lefse and Tortilla
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