“Who must know the way to make a proper home, A quiet home, a kosher home? Who must raise the family and run the home, So Papa’s free to read the holy book? The Mama, the Mama! Tradition!” Fiddler on the Roof
In 2014 I married into an international family.
I was born of two blue collar workers in Ankeny, Iowa in May of 1990 amongst the corn stalks.
Most people looked like us, sounded like us, and had the same traditions growing up.
All of my family members lived within a 25 mile radius of each other. We celebrated all holidays and birthdays as one big bunch. Squeezed into my grandparents living room.
My husband’s family is different.
Mother from Norway and a nomad of a father … their traditions and home is like a museum from everywhere they have lived and traveled.
When I met my husband his brother lived in Africa, Mother and Father in Norway, cousins in Israel and South Africa, and scattered all over the U.S.
Walking into my in-laws living room for the first time I was captivated by the (what I thought was a menorah) hanukkiah. [A Hanukkiah has an extra arm than the Menorah].
I was shocked that this non-Jewish family would celebrate customs and holidays outside of their cultural and religious beliefs.
Back story my father-in-law lived in Israel for 25 years.
He translates ancient symetic text into modern day Hebrew. (Have I mentioned that I was raised by blue collar parents?)
He is one of 10 people who can do his work in the world. He knows 63 languages.
For my husband’s family it was natural to celebrate the customs and traditions of the places that their family had lived. Norwegian holidays, Jewish holidays, American, and even Christian holidays.
For me Pesach [Passover] quickly became one of my favorites. The rich tradition, beauty of family, and heritage and the hope that this holiday brings is something to behold.
The family all around the table, food, tradition, ancient words spoken, rituals practice. The beauty of Pesach excites me each year, even though I am not Jewish.
What I have come to find is this. The more we take time to appreciate, love, and cherish other peoples heritage and culture the more inclusive we will become.
What am I doing the evening of March 27th?
Sitting around the table with my family singing and enjoying the sacred traditions of some of my favorite people.
Abigail teaches 5th grade science and math to her fabulous kiddos in Cincinnati. She earned her BA at Judson University in Chicago-land and is working on her Masters in Teaching at Miami University through the Ohio Writing Project. She has a passion for integrating writing and reading into all contents. She loves coffee about as much as her husband and baby son… and is a self-proclaimed lifetime learner. Catch up with daily happenings and ramblings on Twitter @mrsablund via email Abigaillund@foresthills.edu or check out other writings by Abigail https://movingwriters.org/category/abigail-lund/