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Showing posts from April, 2016

Sunday Visiting

In rural Czech Texas, visiting with family and friends on Sunday after church used to be an important weekly activity (probably still is for some families) – a way to stay connected, share news and concerns, and further the cooperative spirit that’s helped Texas Czech culture last so long. I love this description of Sunday dinner by Robert Skrabanek in his book “We’re Czechs” (Texas A&M Press, 1988.)

“Sometimes we went to a friend’s house, along with three or four other families, to eat Sunday dinner and to spend most of the rest of the afternoon. If it was our turn to be hosts, we left [church] as soon as we could so Mama and the girls could get dinner ready as soon as possible. Once dinner was ready, the men always ate at the first table. After they were through, the women ate at the second table, and we kids ate at the third table. While our parents were eating, we passed the time playing games, and by the time it was our turn to eat, we were hungry enough to eat the table. One …

Folklore and Foodways; Connection and Inspiration

When it rains, it pours. I was fortunate enough to participate in three different events in the last three weekends regarding work to highlight and preserve Texas Czech culture. I’m tired, but I’ve been inspired, encouraged, and challenged. Any one of these events deserves its own blog post, but I have a backlog of things I’d like to write about, so I’ll cover all three together in this post. Rather than acting like a reporter documenting the events, I’d like to offer some of the questions I’ve been formulating after listening to and connecting with really interesting and passionate folks the last three weeks doing their own cultural preservation work.

At the Texas Folklore Society 100th Annual Meeting the first weekend in April, I presented a paper I called “Texas Czech Foodways: More Than Kolaches.” I wanted to give the group of folklorists, writers, and historians an idea about the richness of traditional Texas Czech food. My paper was only one of two focusing on foodways at the mee…