Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Cultural Heritage Project

Marxo had to do a cultural heritage project for school this week.  It's due today, in fact.  She had to answer a bunch of questions about our family and then do the "art component" of the project. (It's a Fine Arts Magnet School, which means that they actually get to do art in school like I did when I was growing up, unlike a lot of schools now who have cut everything extra out of their curriculum.)

For the art component, she was supposed to choose a medium (in her case, she chose playdough), make the project, and then write a two-paragraph essay about it.  The first paragraph was supposed to describe why she chose her medium and the second was to describe how it relates to our family culture.

Being of basically mixed-breed ancestry on both sides, or in other words, "American", this type of project is always difficult for our kids.  But we have a couple of traditions in our families that help to save the day.

My mom's heritage is the outlier in our case - she was born and raised in a town that was settled by Danish people and she therefore happens to be able to trace her entire heritage back to Denmark.  I bet she's in a small minority of 4th generation Americans who can claim only one country in their heritage.  Hmmm...

Anyway, as I was saying, my mom's heritage is Danish and when I was little, she decided to introduce a delicious custom to our family: eating Aebleskiver (pronounced, in my mom's hometown, as "Eb-a-skyoo") on Christmas Eve.  Back when she did this, the only place to get an Aebleskiver pan in Nebraska was her hometown hardware store.  I think they're a little more common now, but mine also came from Ace Hardware in Minden, Nebraska.

(As an aside, there's also this card game called Some R Set that I'll have to tell you about sometime - those cards could only be bought in one special store, too)

Anyway (again) Marxo loves Aebleskiver and she looks forward to Christmas Eve so she can eat her fill of blueberry Aebleskiver.  Soon, we may have to start tripling the recipe to keep up with her!

The only other "tradition" our family has is that we are sort of required to attend Mardi Gras in New Orleans every year because the entire husband's side of the family gets together for that.

So, Marxo decided to combine these two traditions into her art project.  (drum roll, please...) Presenting King Aebleskiver riding his Mardi Gras float!

King Aebleskiver on his Mardi Gras float