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LJ Idol Season 10, Week 7 - Where I'm From

Where am I from?

Ok. A loaded question. Genetically? Physically? Culturally? Ethnically? Depending on who I am talking to, how well I know them, and what the situation is, my answer might be quite different.

I grew up in a suburb of St. Louis in a middle class neighborhood, in the stereotypical family home with two kids, a dog and a cat – and other than going away to college and for a semester abroad, I still live there. St. Louis is a funny town. The first question you are likely to hear if you tell another St. Louisan that you are also from the Lou is – “Where’d you go to high school?” Some people judge one another by where they attended high school – public vs, private, and how exclusive and hard to get into that schoo might be. The Missouri History museum even did a full exhibit on the topic last year. I was a public school girl all the way through, your average Midwest suburban childhood.

Genetically and ethnicity wise, I am a Heinz 57 variety mutt. I had my DNA done a few years ago. Mom did hers first, and on the maternal side I am 79% Western European and 13% Scandinavian. I couldn’t convince Dad to do it (yet) and my profile came up with a mishmash - 95% European (48% Eastern, 15% Scandinavia, 9% Western Europe, 6% Great Britain), and less than 1 percent northern Africa, Native American, Middle East and South/Central Asian. I know from Dad’s side of the family I am half Hungarian, but that is all I knew for sure on either side of the family – Mom’s family had a mishmash of German, French, Polish, etc but no one main ancestry.

Culturally? I’m an American, from St. Louis. I am not a sports fan by any means, but I keep tabs on how my home team is doing, love toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake and other “St. Louis” things – hot dogs, ice cream cones, cotton candy and other foods are other things with St. Louis roots. Like a Midwesterner, I like my food! I’ve kind of made myself some new traditions based on research of the cultures I am genetically from and those I just find meaningful that I have celebrated with friends. So you really can’t tell much about where I’m from from what holidays I celebrate and don’t. I’m culturally pluralistic.

History and culture have been subjects that have always fascinated me. Where someone comes from plays such a part of who they become, good or not. Things I had no idea were an influence for years. Until you go away from where you are from, you don’t think about a lot of it. This is why I firmly believe that if all possible, everyone should travel. Experiencing things out of your comfort zone and other cultures are the best way to help you figure out who you are and appreciate where you are from. No matter where you roam, there is no place like home.

Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
kajel
Feb. 2nd, 2017 02:39 am (UTC)
Nicely done.
halfshellvenus
Feb. 2nd, 2017 07:57 am (UTC)
Experiencing things out of your comfort zone and other cultures are the best way to help you figure out who you are

I agree, completely. Contrast sometimes is one of the best ways of defining something, and without travel, the range of contrast can be fairly limited. Travel might be other cities, countries, cultures, or ideas, but knowing who other people are (and you perhaps could be) and who you definitely are _not_ can give you a much clearer picture of yourself. And allow you to embrace new things you might never have otherwise discovered!
morettaallstar
Feb. 2nd, 2017 04:22 pm (UTC)
Absolutely agree. Going somewhere where your culture clashes shows you how much of it is internalised even if you didn;t think it was.
adoptedwriter
Feb. 2nd, 2017 09:23 pm (UTC)
Well-said! St. Louis and my town, Cincinnati seem to have a lot in common.
rayaso
Feb. 3rd, 2017 11:38 pm (UTC)
It must be wonderful to have stayed in one place like that. I have to know, what is toasted ravioli? It sounds delicious. I am glad that you appreciate your home so much.
quiltingdragon
Feb. 6th, 2017 08:33 pm (UTC)
It is delicious. Here's a recipe - basically it is just ravioli that you bread and fry, and then dip in marinara. http://www.food.com/recipe/toasted-ravioli-26820
eternal_ot
Feb. 4th, 2017 07:09 am (UTC)
I like the message in the end. Nice knowing about you through this :)
penpusher
Feb. 5th, 2017 04:34 pm (UTC)
If we don't travel, we have nothing to compare our lives to and we would never fully understand/appreciate them. That's a good thought.
murielle
Feb. 5th, 2017 11:23 pm (UTC)
Love learning about places and the people who're from there!

Kudos!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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