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Family Traditions Essay

How does The Keeping Quilt help you understand traditions and what they mean to families? The Keeping Quilt by Patricia Polacco shows how immigrants came to a new country and passed down traditions to their family overtime. It also shows how traditions are integrated with other cultures to create a new culture. The Keeping Quilt demonstrates how historical and cultural traditions, teaching children social themes through children literature in the classroom can effectively increase cultural values in children’s social skills in reality.

In reading the story The Keeping Quilt the author Patricia Polacco reflects on when her great grandma Anna came to America from Russia were grandma came to with only her old dress a babushka and old coat. Grandma later decides to use the old coat and pieces of other family members clothing to make a quilt. “ We will make a quilt to help us always remember home” Anna’s mother said. ” It will be like having the family in back home Russia dance around us at night. ”(4).

Here, the quilt was a significant symbol to the family to always remember their native land. It was used for the birth of family members to the family and used as huppa in weddings. Later the quilt was even used as a tablecloth and covering for caskets at funerals. The quilt became a symbol of the love and family values. The story The Keeping Quilt demonstrates to readers how some traditions and customs from our ancestors are embedded within individuals. These traditions help shape and influence our ideas values and beliefs.

However in reading the story The Keeping Quilt it emphasizes some characterics of the historical values in the black African American cultures as to the movie or novel Roots by Alex Haley whereas the family kept their traditional heritage alive with jumping the broom as a symbolic union in marriage during their struggles through slavery. Another example is Escaping slavery: Sweet Clara and the freedom quilt by Sue Ann Miller, were a slave girl, Clara goes on her journey to freedom using the quilt as her symbolic inspiration from slavery.

These stories and The Keeping Quilt shows readers how tradition customs individuals inherit from their ancestors used to remind them of their heritage such as the quilt was significant because it served as a piece of history passed down through generation to generation. Although Grandma Anna migrated from Russia she did not abandon her homeland once arriving in America, instead she tried to capture the memories by creating a quilt from different family members clothing each scrap of a family member clothing told a story.

In creating the quilt grandma Anna kept her family history alive because it represented every significant moment in the family’s life. The Keeping Quilt also shows how cultures when migrating to a new country bring their own traditions and values. “Carle was given a gift gold, flower, salt, and bread to welcome her into the world each having a symbolic meaning. Whereas the gold represented she will never know poverty, a flower so she would always know love, salt so life would give her flavor, and bread so that she would never know hunger.

However the story also shows how cultures bring their own traditions from their homeland they also create new traditions. Patricia Polacco stated” at my wedding men and women danced together, whereas in the pass they were not allowed to dance together (10). Although some traditions had changed in The Keeping Quilt overtime, the quilt remained an important tool used to connect the families past to the present. It also served as something used to preserve traditions the author Patricia Polacco states “ I too will be a grandmother, and tell the story of The Keeping Quilt to my grandbabies”. 32)

In addition, The Keeping Quilt is great example to express it is important to pass the torch of family traditions, this imparts a sense of continuity, bonding and more importantly love. It is incumbent on each generation of parents to keep the family tradition up and running. Family traditions are valuable instruments for child rearing because they install social values and contribute to creating close family ties.

Whereas quality family time can help to build and maintain strong family ties sharing is the key ingredient for creating quality moments. On the other hand traditions make sharing easy for offering a common ground of knowledge and experiences. Teaching the new generation to honor the old family traditions through the years can help preserve encouraged interaction through shared activities. Many of most meaningful traditional activities revolve around food, with families gatherings eat and celebrate different events or holidays.

In telling her story Patricia Polacco says that she come from past of storytellers, quoting” My fondest memories are sitting around a stove or open fire, eating apples and popping corn, while listening to the old ones tell glorious stories about their homeland and past. ” In celebrating, traditions are highly important to welfare of many diverse families were Jews celebrate Passover and Hanukah, African Americans enjoy Kwanzaa, christens honor the birth of Jesus Christ at Christmas, but all giving thanks on Thanksgivings and etc.

Traditions help people feel a sense of identity and belonging from a generational perspective, family traditions are practices or belief, they also pave the way for the good times and good memories. They create a connectedness with the past and hope for the future. This book is well integrated into History and Social Studies the study of families ethic religious, occupational and so forth. In reading this book illustration The Keeping Quilt emphasizes the family value and encourages children that valuable tools of family traditions ensure them with warmth and closeness family bondage now.


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