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Thread summary:

Human Ancestry: America, football, barbecue, immigrants, house.

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Old 06-21-2011, 05:51 PM
 
Location: Staten Island, NYC
125 posts, read 333,588 times
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I say it's useful if you look a certain way. Otherwise, unless you go to the land of your ancestors every so often, it doesn't mean much. Here on Staten Island, people like to hold on to their Italian roots, and keep typical Italian traditions going. It gets to the point where half of those folks are complete ignoramuses who really know nothing about the Italian culture.
I'm Italian American myself, and my family does cook the typical pasta filled Sunday dinners, but otherwise I really don't focus too much attention on my ethnicity.
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Old 06-22-2011, 05:51 AM
eek
 
Location: Queens, NY
3,574 posts, read 7,730,128 times
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it sure has to a lot to do with how easy it is to get a job...
how much money you'll make at said job. etc. etc.
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Old 06-22-2011, 11:52 PM
 
1,378 posts, read 1,391,522 times
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My ancestry is English, German, French, Swiss, and Cherokee on my dad's side, and English, Irish, and Scottish on my mom's.

I live in the Bay Area, but was born in Sacramento. My grandparents came from four different states, none of them California.

What is my heritage?
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Old 06-23-2011, 12:06 AM
 
Location: Portlandia "burbs"
10,229 posts, read 16,295,747 times
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There are a fair amount of Americans who don't know what their ancestry is, and I have never understood how this is possible. I can understand not knowing all of it, but none??? But they didn't deem it important. I find that just weird.

My parents came from the Azores. My great-great-great-grandmother was from Ireland. We kids were born here in Central California where there's a large European population, and so I grew up experiencing some of my family's culture, and it was fun.

But America does have its own culture, too. Some of it is from other cultures, some of it is truly our own. And, while I've always embraced my family's heritage, I am an American first. This DID wreak some havoc in my relationship with my parents, who had trouble phasing from their ways of "how things are done in the old country". (And this IS a major peeve of mine ~ migrating to the US to start over for a better life, yet insist on doing everything the way they knew it in their homeland.)

Still, every other year I go back home to be among the people I grew up around, and enjoy the many things that are tied in to my family's ancestral culture. It's a break, and I love it. My daughter was embracing that side of her ancestry, too (her father is the Native Indian-Irish-German mix).

I do sometimes wonder if the nation isn't getting too homogenized, though.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:01 PM
 
5 posts, read 18,066 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluesmama View Post
There are a fair amount of Americans who don't know what their ancestry is, and I have never understood how this is possible. I can understand not knowing all of it, but none??? But they didn't deem it important. I find that just weird.

My parents came from the Azores. My great-great-great-grandmother was from Ireland. We kids were born here in Central California where there's a large European population, and so I grew up experiencing some of my family's culture, and it was fun.

But America does have its own culture, too. Some of it is from other cultures, some of it is truly our own. And, while I've always embraced my family's heritage, I am an American first. This DID wreak some havoc in my relationship with my parents, who had trouble phasing from their ways of "how things are done in the old country". (And this IS a major peeve of mine ~ migrating to the US to start over for a better life, yet insist on doing everything the way they knew it in their homeland.)

Still, every other year I go back home to be among the people I grew up around, and enjoy the many things that are tied in to my family's ancestral culture. It's a break, and I love it. My daughter was embracing that side of her ancestry, too (her father is the Native Indian-Irish-German mix).

I do sometimes wonder if the nation isn't getting too homogenized, though.
I know what you mean, I was born in California, an area were everyone was aware of their ancestry and vere proud, you could find some blacks saying that they had Scots-Irish, and that was funny, but when I moved to Northern Utah for a year, I was very surprised that people did not care about their ancestry. I remember that when I had to make a kind of a quiz that I had to submit to my classmates (everyone had to pick up something from the history of the US and teach that for a day to the class and to the teacher and I chose the immigration in the US) I asked in the quiz "What s your ancestry ?" some people answered simple American, or "I dont know". That was crazy, some people doesnt know where his family is from. Of course there are distinctions, like if someone is adopted from someone else, of course doesnt know his ancestry, but if you havent been adopted you should know it.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:46 PM
 
800 posts, read 780,822 times
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Growing up in Cincinnati I know that German heritage is important to many.

My grandmother is from Norway and my mom spent all of her summers there, I can tell you you its incredibly important to us. I'm minoring in Norwegian at IU and I grew up with stories about Vikings and trolls from my grandmother, say Ja instead of yes a decent amount, ski, and love Norwegian food (which is an acquired taste for many)

The winter olympics were also a huge deal to my mom's family.

It might also help that we are all blond, blue eyed, and tall.

My dad on the other hand doesn't know the exact lineage, but Anglo-Scottish and Dutch are about it. However, we have more culture from Florida, where he grew up than his heritage, though my favorite professional sports team is Rangers, stemming somewhat from this heritage.

I think its a really cool thing for everyone.

But I could see natives getting annoyed when people who don't speak the language nor look like the locals come trampling about in Europe etc.
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:53 PM
 
Location: Chambersburg PA
1,738 posts, read 2,077,489 times
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In my dad's family, it mattered. My dad's family is PA Dutch (German) and spoke it clear up till my dad's generation. My mother's family was truly a mix, Irish, French and Native American but didn't seem to give it much thought

Last edited by faeryedark; 07-11-2011 at 05:02 PM..
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:27 AM
 
399 posts, read 820,133 times
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Quote:
That was crazy, some people doesnt know where his family is from. Of course there are distinctions, like if someone is adopted from someone else, of course doesnt know his ancestry, but if you havent been adopted you should know it.
You can understand that some have ancestors in this country since a long time, that's why they consider themselves Americans and nothing else. Especially if their family did nothing to keep track of their original culture and have adapted to American culture. It all depends on education
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Old 07-12-2011, 03:41 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC NoVA
1,103 posts, read 2,260,437 times
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ancestry is not meaningless. your ancestry created you. thousands of years of dna, the only trace left in the world from our long gone ancestors, is left within us. that's amazing to think about.

however, i can agree that the more we mix the less it will mean to look into our ancestry, which is why i try to stick to girls of similar stock to me; german, irish, scottish, english, french, or any northern european descent. i'm one who doesn't want my kids to have 50 different heritages. i want them to have a stronger connection to fewer countries than a weaker connection to more countries.
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Old 07-13-2011, 01:58 PM
 
Location: Center of the universe
24,645 posts, read 38,640,849 times
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I'm an American. Period.

But my origins are very important to me as well.

My children know they are Afro-Cuban (mine) and Native American (my wife's) in origin. Just as their schoolmates know their parents are from India, China, Korea, Russia, the Philippines, Argentina, Bulgaria, Jamaica, England, etc.
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