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Thread: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

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    Post Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    I know that many of us are wondering how we can work to be better mothers and how to incorporate Germanic things into our everyday lives in order to pass Germanic culture on to our children. As I was thinking about this I remembered something my mother would do for my sister and me each night before we went to sleep. She would sing Brahm's Lullaby to us in German. My mother was born in Germany and it was something that her mother would sing to her when she was younger. Hearing this each night before I drifted off to sleep not only gave me feelings of comfort and love but also made me very aware of my heritage. It was just a little thing, but made me all the more proud to be German. Even now when my mother and I get together we will sing this song together, me on soprano and her on alto. You can imagine what it's like when my grandmother, mother, and I are together and singing it with one another. The song ties us together in a way that only music can.

    I don't know if this helps bring anymore ideas or memories to mind for those of you currently working to teach your children what it means to be Germanic, but I hope it helps.
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    Post Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    It is said that we women are the tradition keepers in the home. There are so many things that we did growing up that I cannot even recall them all off-hand. My mom would make certain German foods and taught me how to cook. She would talk about our heritage and all the proud German people we came from. We would go to places like Wurstfest (we still go together each year), and go to other celebrations in various places we lived.

    It's sad, but over the past several years, when she has discovered how I have grown to embrace my heritage and also my political leanings towards NS, she has ceased talking about our heritage and has even tried to lessen it. She is reacting against who I am. We still go to Wurstfest together, but that is about all we do and even then she doesn't even speak about it to my children or to us while we are there. My husband had a similar thing with his mother-- where after she discovered what he was, she began telling him that he was less German and trying to make him feel bad about who he is. It's like, it is okay to know where you came from, but don't dare be proud of it.

    I hope to always instill in my children pride for who they are and where they come from. Like a good mom, I always make them try the sauerkraut, because I know that one day they will eventually like it. I used to hate it as a child also, and now I love it with just about everything. My husband is also part Polish (although he is predominantly germanic) and we also incorporate some Polish culture into my children's upbringing. Maybe some on this forum will think it atrocious that we do that, but it works for us. For example, when we have sausage, we usually buy authentic Polish sausage that is made here in a neighboring city by a Polish family.
    "I do not know what horrified me most at that time: the economic misery of my companions, their moral and ethical coarseness, or the low level of their intellectual development." Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

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    Post Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    I love sauerkraut! When I was younger, my church would hold a culture night where people would sign up to set up booths about the different countries they came from. My parents always did the booth for Germany. My mother and I would make sauerkraut & sausage and serve it with potatoes. Leofric really likes that meal and sort of (without my permission) said that I would make some for friends of ours who have beem wanting "foreign food" lately. I don't mind making it. I love the smell that cooking sauerkraut and apples together creates in our little apartment.

    I failed to mention earlier that my mother and I would also go to our community's Oktoberfest together. We did so for about three years once we discovered that they actually held one in our community. Although the fest was more of an art and wine festival it was still very enjoyable to go and listen to the music and watch the dancing. Now I'm so far away from my mother and in school so I can't go with her, which makes me sad.

    I can understand the sadness that comes when people try to silence your pride for who you are. My mother's mother is somewhat strange on the topic of pride in being German. She has some very harsh things to say about the way Germany was before she immigrated to the U.S., yet she is still very proud to be German as well as tickled that so many of her grandchildren are trying to learn her native language.

    Good luck with all of the traditions you celebrate in your home Jennifer. I think it's great that your husband's heritage is represented in your home, it seems only fair. When Leofric and I have children we will not only have to incorporate German and Swedish traditions because of my heritage, but also English traditions because of his. I think it's a wonderful thing to learn and know who you are, where you come from, and especially WHO you come from.
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    Post Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    It was definitely my mother that taught me the most about my Germanic heritage — my mother taught me more who I was and my father taught me more how to view, direct, and channel that knowledge. Some of the things my mother did:

    • Taught me English, the language of most of our ancestors for the past 1500 years, as my native language.
    • Told me all the old stories about Robin Hood, Saint George & the Dragon, all the simple Jack stories, and all the old nursery rhymes that date back to pre-Norman times.
    • Introduced me to Tolkien, which is probably why I'm going into historical and comparative Germanic linguistics today — I first read The Hobbit when I was five (she taught me to read, too )
    • Introduced me to a host of great English writers: Chaucer, Shakespeare, Milton, Pope, Dickens, and so forth.
    • Told me stories about the kings and queens of England, starting with Alfred the Great and going all the way up to Elizabeth II, as well as about important men in the history of our nation, like Drake, Cook, Cromwell, and even Guy Fawkes.
    • Told me stories about our Puritan ancestors who came to America (in addition to the obvious Mayflower ancestors, we have an ancestor who was a judge in Salem during the witch trials), our ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War, and our ancestors who came out West and carved an existence out of the harsh land itself.
    • Taught me about our family's history. In fact, she was the one who taught me more about my family history on my father's side, although my father would sometimes tell me stories about our ancestors.
    • Taught me about the history of the English nation generally, starting at Hengist and Horsa and going all the way to the present.
    • Taught me about the history of the English language. Now I've studied it even more than she has, and I get to teach her — she loves it!
    • Taught me that even though I was born in America and my ancestors had been here for four centuries, I was English, and that even though we disagreed politically during the late 1700s, I should respect and cherish England, as well as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and all the other English colonies, because we're all the same people, no matter what.

    I don't think I realized before writing this list just how much she had done to teach me my heritage. I guess I didn't see it as "teaching me my heritage" at the time — it was just learning about life. I want to write her a letter and thank her now.

    Oh, and Godiva my love, about the following:
    Quote Originally Posted by Godiva
    Leofric . . . sort of (without my permission) said that I would make some for friends of ours who have beem wanting "foreign food" lately.
    You know I wouldn't have done this if we hadn't already been planning on making a big batch of this for ourselves sometime in the near future But thank you very much! I love you! And by the way, I'm glad that you're the one who'll be teaching our children

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    Post Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    When i left Germany via Brooklyn I was raised in an institution in tennesse from 2nd grade until 5th grade and a few other places for run aways such as group homes church school or ( prison farm ) is a better way of putting it when i wasnt living on the streets not nice places.It is great the way you were raised and cherish all the memories and pass them on to your children.Fucken Ah

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    Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    Wow, Leofric you are really lucky to have had a mother who had both the time and desire to teach you so much about your heritage. That list is really impressive. I wish my mother would have done the same for me. Unfortunately, she is a sad product of the women's lib. feminist movement and that gained so much influence over young women of that generation and has had neither the desire to nor the free time, nor the knowledge to teach me such things. Most kids these days are raised in day care by uneducated non-whites that can't even speak proper English. That is why mothers need to stay home and vigorously educate their children in both the value systems and heritage of our people. That is the only way our people will have a future.


    Sý ðé gesund!

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    Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    You are so lucky. Due to circumstances beyond our control I was only raised by my mom for 7-9 years. I lost all contact with my father's side when I was 7. I didn't regain contact until I was around 20. They aren't the least bit interested in this sort of thing, so they're no help. My mom was only raised by her mom for 4. Any cultural knowledge from my maternal line has been lost. Culture and heritage wasn't that big of a deal in my family. Family was a big deal for us. Ethnic culture? What the heck was that? It wasn't until I got into genealogy that I found out where I come from. I've taken it upon myself to figure out the countries and even towns my ancestors came from. I hope to find out the cultures of those places in order to find a way to incorporate it into my own life. It's slow going, but it's a start.

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    Sv: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    Maybe there is a difference in importance of being tought about your heritage if you are born in the United States, having ancestors from across the Atlantic. Although it is still very important no matter where you are from, I would guess the feeling of "belonging" etc., comes more naturally if you live where you know your ancestors also lived.

    As in my case, I know very well that my ancestors have lived in this area of Sweden for at least half a millenium (and before that, maybe some place a couple of miles further north or south), and never doubted it in my youth. You just knew. No one needed to tell you very much about it, although I have heard many stories of people of my line.

    Regarding the upbringing of children, I think a good start would be folktales (or Volksmärchen) that are entertaining, but also very symbolic and close to your ancestry, like the tales of the brothers Grimm or the Icelandic sagas. Read them yourself first, analyse their true meaning (http://www.northern.edu/hastingw/fairytale.htm, http://www.theosociety.org/pasadena/odin/odin-hp.htm) and pick the best ones to read to your children.

    And of course, celebrate the holidays of your ancestors. The memories of all those evenings of jul (Yule) and celebrations of Midsummer, with all their embedded symbols, will never leave a child's memory.

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    Re: Sv: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    It was a collective effort on the part of my family to teach me about my heritage. My grandmother and aunt would tell me of the Meekins family going back 13 generations (dying out, the name anyhow ) from North Hamptonshire, Mayflower passengers! England. My aunt informed me of my Scottish heritage (Monroe, and Muir.. highland) and my grandmother told me of the Romaines and their flight from France to Holland, persecuted for being Hugonauts.

    All's I learned from my father was that I was Irish, Welsh, and German. I had to educate myself about the dark-haired Milesian Irish who migrated from Spain in archaic times. I still do not know where in Germany my paternal great-grandmother came from, but there apparently are many Kleins in Stuttgart of the Baden-Wuertemburg region.

    I have found out that the name Western, an ancestor in the house of commons, was a Norman name. My surname Turner is English from the French Tornor related to Letourneau etc..

    Overall, my family especially my aunts have contributed to my learning. I am largely self-educated but I wouldn't have developed my interests in ancient religion, philosophy, and history had my aunt not taken me to a library and gotten me books on Greek myth.
    SVMDEVSSVMCAESARSVMCAELVMETINFERNVM

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    Re: Things our mothers did to teach us about our Germanic heritage.

    My grandmother and my mother came from Norway to this country in 1916. We always sang the Norwegian Christmas carols before, during, and after Christmas. We usually had some sort of approximation to a Norwegian Christmas dinner, even, for a while, including lutefisk. My grandmother remembered many of the Norwegian songs she had learned as a girl and used to sing them in the evening. My brother and my cousin Helen(a) had no interest in "that old-country stuff", but I was avid to learn all I could about my Norwegian heritage. I still sing the Norwegian Christmas carols, in Norwegian, both at Sons of Norway meetings (I joined in 1968 and am now a life member.) and at home, even when no one else is here, which is usual. I didn't learn any of the Norwegian folk-tales, and had to settle for the Danish tales of Hans Christan Andersen, but they have much in common with the Norwegian folk tales. Because the Norwegian I learned from my mother and grandmother was bondespråk, a rustic dialect, and that of the turn of the 20th century, I find it difficult to understand modern Norwegian, but I can, at least , read it well. My brother had the same opportunities as I to learn about ourt heritage, but couldn't be bothered. I'm glad that I listened and learned.

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