Many people are uninterested in where their ancestors came from…until they start researching the topic deeper. And then suddenly it turns out that their family history was a long and fascinating one, and they become obsessed with finding out everything possible about where their forefather come from that they talk the ear off of anyone even remotely interested. Maybe they were related to a famous person who made a significant discovery or took part in an important battle or other historical event? People have been migrating to all different parts of the world for hundreds of years in search of a better place to live, worship and raise their families, motivated by everything from religious prosecution to hunger and poverty in their own countries, to taking part in great wars that made our world what it is today, so it stands to reason that everyone would find something interesting about their own family history. Your parents, grandparents, etc. and their decisions are what made you who you are today, and had they made different decisions than they did, then it would not have only been their lives that would have ended up affected. Many times questions that have plagued us our entire lives can be answered with some solid family history research, and even spending just a few hours might reveal some valuable information.
The History of Roots Day
One of the most important aspects of Root Day is that it falls directly before Christmas, thus illustrating the importance and meaning of family during these times especially. Holidays are traditionally spent with any and all kinds of family, so it is only fitting that a holiday celebrating or ancestral heritage should fall during the same period. Roots Day has been celebrated by many for over 40 years.
How to Celebrate Roots Day
The best way to go about celebrating Roots Day is to look into your own roots. Almost everyone inhabiting the “New World” is likely related to the thousands upon thousands of European immigrants who decided to leave their homelands for a variety of reasons. Find out who your grandparents or great-grandparents are/were, and why they came to the country you live now. If these relatives are still alive and you can talk to them about this in person, you could learn all sorts of things about what life was like a few decades or generations back, and hear many interesting stories about their adventures coming to their new country, learning the language, etc. If they’re not with you anymore, look as much as you can up on the Internet or go to your local library–there may be plenty of information about the founders of your community there that may not be on the Internet at all. Did your ancestors come to, say, America hundreds of years ago on the Mayflower or another such ship? Or did they flee Europe during one of the World Wars? There is not telling how many interesting facts you can find out about your relatives and the blood that flows through your own veins. Another way you could celebrate your roots is by getting together with you children or other family members and cooking a few traditional dishes of the country your grandparents come from. This is guaranteed to be a fascinating experience that might just result in you learning to make a new dish that may just become a family favorite! Wild mushroom pierogi, anyone? A piece of Cassata alla Siciliana? Or perhaps some shepherd’s pie?