My father is from the Netherlands, and my mother is from the (US) South. The closest we ever lived to either place was France and the (US) Northeast respectively, although we visited relatives in both home milieus with varying degrees of frequency. This means that the majority of my understanding of both Dutch and Southern culture has been filtered through my parents and what they consciously or inadvertently passed on to me about their heritage.
The practical upshot of this is that on the one hand, I occasionally find myself delivering an impromptu lecture on the tangled history of the Netherlands and Spain to the bemusement of my coworkers. This is to say, I made an offhand remark about historical antecedents of the Dutch-Spanish rivalry in the wake of the Netherlands crushing defeat of Spain in last week’s World Cup match, then had to explain what I meant when I was met with a panoply of blank looks from the people around me.
On the other hand, I cannot bring myself to wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day (actually in Massachusetts it’s unlikely to be warm enough to tempt anyone into wearing white shoes before Memorial Day, but the principal is the same), and would never put dark meat in my chicken salad. Read the rest of this entry ?