Monday, August 10, 2015

Groundless Roots: a melting pot story

I've joined a women's photography group.  The focus is on using photography as an art form. Our first assignment was "Origin".  I thought I'd go with the melting pot theme. Groundless Roots refers to our all having roots, or ancestors, but in a melting pot society many of our cultural roots have washed away. We have no passed down traditions. Sometimes, without them we can feel lost or disconnected.  I had a friend who was Chinese.  One evening she decided to prepare chicken for dinner.  We were young, both just having our first place of our own. She pulled out a neat, compact looking little cleaver and with just a few practiced chops she had that chicken in five pieces.  She ruefully said, "All the women in my family cut up a chicken the same way.  Even the cleaver is Chinese".  It was the first time that I realized my family had no traditions. No one taught anyone else how to do something "the way we've always done it".  It was my first feeling of having no roots, no cultural identity.

My friend felt tradition was a trap, it was stuffy, it somehow lessened her feeling of independence.  I think it is like knowing the rules so you know how to break them.

In bocca al lupo.  m (no v)

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