Christmas time is all about family, and in December it was my son Bryson’s desire to study his ancestry as his way to celebrate. The first big step he took was getting a DNA sample taken at a local lab here in town. Bryson took a swab and rubbed the inside of his cheeks three times with different swabs each time for a couple minutes. That was the easy part. The hard part? Waiting for the results!
After 6 weeks of waiting, Bryson’s DNA ancestry lab results were finally finished! And as luck would have it, that very same day there was to be a Winter Multicultural Festival happening in our town. This made it even more enjoyable because not only was I able to tell him who his ancestors were, we could see, hear, taste and learn about their traditions and culture, as well! It felt like a big welcome committee from Bryson’s past saying, “Hello! This is a part of who you are!”
This two-day cultural event was hosted by volunteers committed to bringing the richness of their cultures from all over the world to Wheeler Pavilion of Lane Event Center, right here in Eugene, Oregon. There were performers & speakers that represented the Slavic, European, Scandinavian and African cultures to which we were able to trace our ancestry. In addition to those, we got to experience wonderful bits of Asian, Mexican, Jewish, and Indian cultures, too – while not part of our heritage, they are highly fascinating to learn about, too.
Bryson’s level of interest in these culture’s past was intense! Never have I seen him so engaged with learning, and so captivated with history. Not only was this educational, it was very interactive! Diverse music, dancing, theatrical performances to both watch and participate in; games from all over the world to play with. We sampled the taste of different world cultures through their cuisine. This was a great way to introduce Bryson to new wonders, and to reinforce our connectedness with the rest of the world. For more information on this event or how to volunteer, sponsorship and vendor opportunities contact ArtLinks at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503-919-8273.