Saturday, January 9, 2016

I'm a Fourth Generation Canadian!

     Well, you may be wondering "What's he talking about?" Well, you also know that he is going to tell you.

     In my last post I wrote a little about Ukrainian Christmas. What was also on my mind is that customs and traditions are slowly disappearing. 

     Let me use my family as an example. Western Canada opened up and was settled in the early 1900's.  My Great Grandpa, born in 1842 came to Canada  about 1900. He was about 60 and brought all his adult children and their families. Great Grandpa was looking for a place where he could have land, follow his Lutheran faith, speak the German language and not be conscripted into an army as they were pacifists. Western Canada looked like a place that would allow him freedom to follow his way of life. 

     Life was great for the family. They had free land. Life was hard but they happy compared to what they left in the Ukraine.

     Today 110 years later, probably none of great Grandpa's ancestors speak German. Very few of them are Lutherans. Some of his grandsons were in WW II. So most of the traditions and customs have been lost Gradually we mixed with other people. Children went to school and learned English. My Dad's first language was German. We don't eat  the same foods our grandparents made. 

     So when I described Ukrainian Christmas I wanted to tell how traditions have gradually been lost. Most Ukrainians came here after WWI and the Russian Revolution so some of their customs are still practiced. Ukrainians my age do not speak the language. When the language is lost the culture soon disappears.

  Now what in the world has "fourth generation " got to do with this? First of all, we are a very "new" area. 110 years ago there were few Europeans here and the aboriginals had been locked up of reserves. Much of North America has been settled for hundreds of years. Much Europe has been settled for 1500 -2000 years. 

     So by for generations much of the culture was lost.