Our family members are often the first people we lean on during hard times. A recent case we took on at the firm involved the wrongful death of a 20-year-old man. While working on the case, I saw how this young man’s family members supported each other during their difficult time. It was heartbreaking to watch the pain these people were in. You could clearly see how important family was to them. They shared many stories about himwith me, wanting to honor his memory. This young man had a large family with roots in Mexico. Whenever they got together, he would cook up all the food. Many of my clients have taught me how important preparing and sharing food is to their cultural tradition. It’s a pillar of both the current family dynamic and a connection to past family members. Losing a loved one left a mark on the family, and in addition to leaning on each other, this family utilized their cultural traditions to help in the mourning process. With St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaching, I have been thinking about family heritage and how our origin influences who we are today. My mother-in-law’s side of the family hails from Italy and Norway. Meanwhile, ancestors on my father-in-law’s side and my own came to the United States from Ireland. For a long time, the most we did to celebrate our Irish heritage was eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. But while I was in college, my momwent back to school to get her Ph.D in Irish studies at University College Dublin. CULTURAL TRADITIONS CELEBRATE OUR HERITAGE WHO WE ARE
of hospitality in Ireland. The people we met in Dublin were incredibly welcoming and friendly. They have even come to visit us in the years since our first visit.
I also loved the pub culture of Ireland. There’s a sense of community in an Irish pub that you don’t often find in American bars. People in Ireland aren’t holed up at home every night. They go out to the pub to engage with their neighbors over a drink and to talk about government, life, and sports. While in Ireland, we stopped by a pub in this tiny town in the middle of nowhere. It was full of people from the surrounding farms, gathering to decompress after a long day and connect with each other through stories. We can learn a lot about a person by listening to their cultural traditions, from the food they enjoy to how they mourn the loss of a loved one. There is something completely beautiful about the traditions we inherit from our family. They are so integrated into who we are as human beings. Our traditions keep us
My mom always had an interest in her Irish heritage, and I thought it was amazing of her to become fully committed to the subject. Her passion inspired
connected to the family who came before us and to the family who will come after we’re gone. Shared values and traditions remind us we’re part of something greater, and whatever culture you come from, that’s worth celebrating. –Case Barnett
the rest of our family to embrace our roots a little more. While in Ireland, my mom got to know a lot of wonderful people, and we were able to meet some of themwhen we visited. I was blown away by the tradition
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