My Family's Culture

September 7, 2008
In my opinion, my family is pretty interesting. We are all from lovely Indiana; well as far as I can remember. Both sides of my family, Mom’s and Dad’s, reside in Logansport, Indiana. My Dad’s side is German. According to my mom, her side is part French. I don’t believe her. As for traditions, when I'm at my Dad's, we go to my Grandma and Grandpa Bender's house for Christmas. Another thing we do at my Dad’s house is he brings all of us kids to at least one Notre Dame football game each year. At my Mom's house, there really aren't any traditions that I can think of.

My name is Anne Louise B., but I prefer to go by Annie. I get my middle name from my Dad's mother. I love this. She lost her battle to breast cancer at a very young age. I don't remember her at all, but I know she was a wonderful woman. My cousin, Danya, also has this as her middle name. It's something we share. This is also a reminder of my grandmother, not that we could ever forget her.

Every December 25th, my family packs up into my Dad’s car and we drive one hour to good, old Logansport, Indiana. I love going to my grandparent’s house. They live on 42 acres of land. Right when I walk into the door, I can expect to be greeted by my grandparent's dogs, Maisy and Fido. Maisy is just a little white dog. Fido is the wild one. He jumps all over you and barks insanely loud. You need to be prepared for that.

My grandma is usually the first person to come up and greet us. She is so lively. She has a very raspy voice. It's incredibly noticeable. The second person to greet us is most likely my Aunt Beth. I am referred to as her "mini-me". I love my Aunt. We get along so well. I never get to see her, my Uncle Chip, or my cousins, Kyle and Danya. They live in Ohio and are always really busy. When the chance comes up to see them, I take advantage of it as much as I can.

The first room we enter is the living room. It smells like dog, but somehow, that's not a bad thing. Every once in a while, the smell of all the food in the kitchen will take over and it will smell miraculous. The tree is a fake one, but it's decorated so well, it looks alive. There is no sight of wood when you look at the fireplace. They have it covered in stockings and decorations. The room is warm, not from the fireplace being lit, but from the family being together all at once. Everyone is loud, but that doesn’t matter. We are all just happy to be together. It’s always a blast.

My family has always been big Notre Dame fans. My dad graduated from there. When football season rolls around, we have our season tickets ready, and attend every home game. Whenever someone in our group can’t go, that ticket is usually handed over to me or one of my brothers, John and Sam. I love these games. They are always fun and it’s a way to get closer to my dad for a day. We always head over to the band for “checks” before the game. It’s really entertaining. The band members aren’t supposed to laugh, so people show up and do crazy things to make them laugh. It’s hysterical. The only downside to this day is waking up at 7:30 in the morning on a Saturday. That’s not so exciting.

When I’m with my mom, we don’t do much “culture-wise”. We don’t really have a culture there. Her father died when she was younger from a motorcycle accident, so she didn’t know him much. Her maiden name was Etnier. Because of this, she believes we are French. My mom pronounces it as, “et-ne-ay”. I don’t agree with her because I am just a stubborn person. As for my mom’s mother, I’m not so sure what her background is. I haven’t really taken the time to learn much about my grandma’s past. I’m honestly not that interested because I know she made many mistakes throughout her life.

Sometimes I wish we had some form of culture to celebrate. I’ll hear a friend mention something their family did and I’ll have no idea what they mean, but it has to do with their culture. As for culture being important, if you have culture in your family, I think it is important. If you don’t, I don’t think there is a problem with it. You still will find other ways to celebrate and make special times with your family. Make your own culture.

Having more than one culture seems interesting to me too. I don’t think there is anything wrong with it. You are given the opportunity to learn about not only one, but two different cultures. You can travel to many different places, try different foods, and learn new things. I think it’d be very interesting and even educational for someone of a younger age. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with having more than one culture in your family.
My family really isn’t into our culture. In fact, I think if you were to ask anyone in my family about culture, they would look at you like you were crazy. We don’t talk about culture or live our lives based off of our culture. We are just, The Bender Family. There is no culture that we study. We just do and believe what we want. That right there is our culture.

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