“Once upon a time when Father was a little, little boy” I wonder how many times I heard this growing up. All stories started this way and usually went into some elaborate tale about Aunt Martha Ann and Aunt Ella Rose and Aunt Thelma Jean and the hero, of course, the fearless only brother. But I learned a lot through those stories, of life when my dad was younger. About his family, their area and what meant the most to them. And though lots of things have changed, the memories don’t. And neither does the reality- I still love stories.
I’m not sure when I first noticed different cultures… My parents hosted Fresh Air Children before I arrived so my world was interspersed with that from the beginning. Our church sponsored several Ukrainian families in the early 90s. Their daughters always wore such beautiful bows in their hair, and they gave us a number of these beautiful silky red and pink bows. We would BEG mother to put them in our hair… But somehow they always looked a lot more dismal on us than they did on them. Regardless we wore them with pleasure. (Mother is just telling me that once she relented and let me wear a bow to church and everybody wondered who that new Ukrainian girl was- so she must have gotten the art down pat eventually- lol)
Our family hired one of the young men to help on the farm. Victor K. We girls loved him, which brings me to what I think is my first cross cultural memory: Victor’s parents made it to America several years after their children had arrived. And our congregation gathered in the church basement to welcome them and celebrate. Somehow Victor’s mom figured out who my dad was and everybody stood around and smiled as she met him. Apparently she was grateful for his influence in Victor’s life, because she grabbed his face and kissed one cheek and then the other back and forth until her head covering (the Ukrainian ladies wore a thin scarf) fell off… As a young girl I was wide-eyed… And falling totally in love with the beauty of different cultures.
So in order to celebrate this on a local and international level- Paradise Mounting Musings is hosting a story time. I want to hear from you. What has been your cultural experiences with your neighbor down the road or on the foreign field? I’m planning to post a story a day until we are out of stories- so email me- firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s learn together and celebrate as we share how beautifully unique God has created us! Looking forward to hearing from you! Blessings- Kendra