May 12, 2012

Family Culture & What it Means to Me

The Scenario:
A major catastrophe has almost completely devastated the infrastructure of your country. The emergency government has decided that the surviving citizens will be best served if they are evacuated to other countries willing to take refugees. You and your immediate family are among the survivors of this catastrophic event. However, you have absolutely no input into the final destination or in any other evacuation details. You are told that your host country’s culture is completely different from your own, and that you might have to stay there permanently. You are further told that, in addition to one change of clothes, you can only take 3 small items with you. You decide to take three items that you hold dear and that represent your family culture.

My Response:
Only 3 items??? That is a really difficult decision! The first item would be a photo collage that I would quickly put together of all the people most important in my life. The photos on it would be everyone from my immediate family and dear friends that have had a great impact in shaping who I am today. The second item would be the rosary that my grandfather gave me. It reflects the religious beliefs I grew up with and also my faith. He passed away 8 months ago to the day and he meant a lot to me. I even had the privilege of him walking me down the aisle on my wedding day last April! The last thing would be my purse, carrying all of my important documents and identifications. I feel this would be important to have in any emergency situation as it has been such an integral part of my life.

If upon arrival to the new destination, we were told that we could only keep 1 item, mine would have to be the photo collage of all the people most important in my life. Since many of my family members may have not survived the devastation, it would be important to have the photo memories.

This assignment makes me come to a realization of how important my family and my husband's has been in shaping my family culture. Without my grandfather in the picture, I wouldn't have learned about the Polish culture and traditions that shaped his life as well as mine. It's also important to note how I've learned new family traditions in my recent marriage into my husband's family. There are many people that have influenced what has become my family culture.


  1. Hi Clara, I really enjoyed reading your post. It was very difficult to think three items that you would take along after you have accumulated so much over the years from a child. The one important thing that I came to realize is the memories, because we will always have those and no one can ever take those away. Thanks for your post.

  2. Clara,

    I didn't even think of my purse! lol I really enjoyed your post, and agree that picking 3 items was difficult. I think I was thinking too much of my background, as far as culture, rather than just who I am as a person. I think if I looked at it from that standpoint, my choices would have been similar. Great post!