You may not know this, but my husband is Costa Rican...
Well, he was born there & came here at 3 months old. Technically, he's American (though a naturalized citizen), but he is bi-lingual & bi-cultural, which is very cool.
I guess I never paid much attention to that kind of stuff when I was younger, and no matter what our decent is - most of us here in America are American and our traditions are more native to our geographical areas and not as much to our heritage.
I'm of Dutch & German decent. Growing up, my mother wasn't
To Boonstra's (home made ice cream shop owned by Dutchies), and also Dunkin' Donuts, to show his "Americanization", every Sunday and then come to see us. When I went to visit Pop Pop, he taught me to cook "good Dutch food" & when I went to visit my mother's parents, my grandmother (a fantastic cook) taught me how to cook German foods.
But I digress....
My husband's heritage is Hispanic - Costa Rican all the way. He learned to speak English in school & was only allowed to speak Spanish in the household. They had traditional family values.
When I first met my husband's family, it was really very shocking to me. It was New Years Eve & we stopped off at his parent's house to get something & he said he wanted me to meet his family. Little did I know that they were ALL there! Easily 25 people - aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, in-laws - OMG! And then he left me alone - with all of them. Talk about being a nervous wreck (baptism by fire, perhaps??) Looking back now, it's kind of funny - because I love each and every one of them.
That was something I was definitely NOT used to & where our cultural differences come into play.
I had this dis-functional little existence. Divorced family, which became a blended family once my mother remarried. Step siblings, who always seemed to get more. We never ate together, we never watched TV together, we never even sat around talking - we all just co-existed. Sort of sad, really.
Back to my husband's family, the Spanish version of the Cleaver's. Happily married parents, church going, kind wonderful people who loved each other & others. Extended family gathering together just to see each other. Dad is in charge (or thinks he is) & mom takes care of everyone. She cooks for an army (and really good, I might add) She loves everyone and is just happy just to have her family around. I love that!
I know that there are plenty of families who have similar situations - but for me - cultural doesn't necessarily define heritage - but family traits & values.
I strive to give my own family unit the traditional family values that my husband grew up with; the example of faith, love & togetherness.
Thank you for reading my blog!