I recently discovered a new blog which I think is going to get added to my rounds because I find it both amusing and informative. (It's really hard to find a blog that does both well) Recently, Seraphic wrote a couple of posts on British culture, because she is moving to England (well, Scotland).
Whenever anyone talks about culture and traditions, I always feel like a bit of an orphan. Ethnically speaking I'm German, Irish, maybe English, and goodness knows what else. But those Germans and Irishmen and Englishmen came over here so very long ago that I've lost whatever culture they had. Hence the feeling like a cultural orphan.
Seraphic (who is Canadian) pointed out that America has its own culture. That's something that I want to explore more, but not over at her blog because that's not nice; one shouldn't derail the conversations the moment one introduces oneself on a blog. So I'll ponder it here.
I'm a bit stumped as to what American culture is. It seems like we're just too big to have any real cohesive culture. I mean, certainly we share a lot of the same ideals (freedom is one that leaps to mind) but when I feel like a cultural orphan I don't want lofty ideals. I want food and music and books and pretty dresses.
As I was pondering that, I realized that I do have something that's part of my culture as a Midwesterner. Barn dances. Out where I live, we still have those; there's an annual barn dance a little ways away that my family has been attending since we moved here 4 1/2 years ago. I have no idea where or when or how barn dances originated, but I do know that they are part of this culture I live in, this culture of living simply and looking out for your neighbor. We dance. (And we eat. If you're not actively dancing you should be eating. The two main food groups in Midwestern Culture seem to be Casserole and Dessert.)
So, my not-so-deep conclusion is that if I want to stop feeling like a cultural orphan, I should learn how to square dance. Next November I am definitely going to get the Cobbler up here for the barn dance. Partly just because I just like having him around (and I think he'd enjoy it) and partly because men tend to be a bit scarce at these dances and it's a lot easier to infiltrate a square if you have a partner.