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Part 4: Passing on Traditions

Part4 Redlining
Part4 Redlining Streamed Version
Part4 Redlining

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.

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Last Updated:
January 5, 2009
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