Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Family Is Where Culture Lives

Below are a few videos from a short series featuring families of folk dancers. They illustrate how tradition is perpetuated in and through the family. Indeed, it is the family that perpetuates culture; it is the place where culture is alive, where its fire burns its everyday, slow flame.

The daily habits of cleaning and washing,...

by József Attila

Source: Hagyomány Háló
For a week now, again and again,
Thoughts of my mother have racked my brain.
Gripping a basket of washing fast,
On, and up to the attic she passed.

And I was frank and released my feeling
In stamps and yells to bring down the ceiling.
Let someone else have the bulging jackets,
Let her take me with her up to the attic.

She just, giving me no look or thrashing,
Went on, and in silence spread out the washing,
And the kneaded clothes, rustling brightly,
Were twisting and billowing up lightly.

I should not have cried but it's too late for this.
Now I can see what a giant she is.
Across the sky her grey hair flickers through;
In the sky's waters she is dissolving blue.

(1934) Translated by Vernon Watkins

... and the Sunday dinner with its courses, its mainstays and desserts; the rhythm of the days, which shapes the child's world. Saturday is Saturday, Sunday is Sunday. Cleaning happens when? The songs we hear, the ones we sing; the prayers we say; the vacations we take; the values we value. The world has an order, time has a structure, the up is up, the down is down - and this order is beauty.

Father and daughter, dancing.

Mother, father, and their two small boys.

Mother, father and daughter.

Three generations.

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