Sunday, June 24, 2007

SSFS #21 - Scrapbooking Your Heritage

All this posting on last weekends Czech Days this week got me thinking that this week's Sunday Spur was simply obvious - scrapbooking your heritage! One's heritage is such an important part of who they are, so why not celebrate it by documenting it in our scrapbooks!

There are so many topics/themes that could be considered for a layout:

*traditional costumes
*traditional foods
*traditions/holidays specific to your heritage
*facts about the 'home country' - past and/or present
*physical or personality traits of those of your nationality

This is just the tip of the iceberg!

I am 100% Czech...and for individuals my age in America, it is quite rare to be 100% anything. So, this is definitely something that makes me feel somewhat unique. When I was in college (we won't talk about how long ago that was), I did a family history project and found the following excerpt describing Czechs:

“As regards their physiological features, the Czechs are of middle height, not fat but muscular, resilient, firm and strong. Their build is excellent, and they are possessed of much sensual agility. The Czechs’ spiritual nature is generally good. Their heart is tender and gentle. A generally prevailing passion which might have Czechs in its grip is not in evidence. Their mental gifts are certainly excellent. Their aptitude for various sciences and art is tremendous. They are well-endowed with natural intelligence. They share their, practically innate, predisposition for music with other Slav nations. As regards their morals, the Czechs are generally religious, often even superstitious, they are devoted to the religion of their fathers, the old monarchy-based system of government, and their old customs and habits; they are industrious and perseverant, they face courageously all adversity, even war, but remain peace-loving, always in good spirits, understanding, charitable, honest, and faithful; in their outward behaviour they are direct, dry, and typically display less refinement. That is the basic nature of Czechs, where it remained pure and untouched…”

This description was written in 1794 by Jos. Ant. Riegger, a knight, German by birth but otherwise an authority on things Czech. Is it a generalization? Sure. Is it still interesting (at least for someone who is Czech)? Definitely! It is interesting to me to here how my ancestors would be described before they ever even set foot on American soil, let alone made a home in the Midwest. It is interesting (and somewhat amazing) to me how much of this description I can still recognize in my family members and myself.

With my daughter, I have broken the chain by marrying a 'DIG' (Dutch, Irish & German) boy, but she is STILL 50% Czech. by gosh, and I certainly hope she we retain all the best of what the nationality has to offer.

Remember the layout I shared last week from the last Czech Days? Well, behind the main photo on the bottom right, you will find the passage above...just one way of keeping the heritage alive!

SSFS #21 - Scrapbooking Your HeritageSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend