This whole week at work I’ve been focusing on the 4th of July. We’ve made maracas, fireworks with cereal, and read lots of books about the holiday. We’ve learned why we celebrate the 4th, and the children have been excited to discover new things. Honestly, I’ve been impressed with what they’ve already known about July 4th.
Wednesday we read a book called Apple Pie 4th of July. It’s a cute little story about a girl who is sad that she has to be in her parent’s shop, while everyone else is out celebrating at a parade. She also thinks that no one will want Chinese Food, and that’s what her family is making. Eventually the parade ends, people start to come into the store, and soon everyone is ordering Chinese Food. Towards the end of the evening, the girl and her family eat apple pie and watch fireworks on the rooftop of her building.
This got me thinking about customs and traditions. I asked the children what kinds of things they do on the 4th of July. What kinds of food do they eat? Where do they go to celebrate? What I learned from the students is that some of their traditions are the typical things you would hear about on the 4th of July. The students shared that they go and see fireworks, watch parades, hang out with family, and eat yummy food. All of these things are pretty common, right? The only differences amongst my students was the different types of food they eat. When I asked my students to tell me what kinds of food they had I heard a variety of answers. Pizza, hot dogs, hamburgers, tacos, and posole. “Posole,” I asked? He said, “We’re Mexican, we eat Mexican food.”
And that’s when I had hoped it would hit home for everyone. America is made up of so many people who have many different traditions. This is part of the reason why I chose to read this book to the students. Yes, people will want to eat Chinese Food on a day that celebrates America. We are diverse in that way.
Fresno, I feel, is diverse in this same way. I love the culture of this city. Some people may say that we don’t have much diversity, but I disagree. I know where I can get good food that represents many parts of the world. I’m sure there are better places in bigger cities, but I couldn’t be happier with what we have. (I take that back, I’ll be happier when they bring back Krispy Kreme. Funny how I just posted about donuts last week, and this week they announced Krispy Kreme will come back. It’s like they knew. Whoever “they” are.)
So, people of FresYes, tell me about your 4th of July traditions! What do you like to do? Do you have a block party? Do you go to a parade? Do you hang out at the park? Go to a ballgame? What kinds of foods are a must at your BBQ? I’d love to hear from you all!
For me and my family….Well, we don’t have specific traditions, other than I like to take my kids to see fireworks. I will say, however, that our favorite event is going to the waterpark for the day, and then watching fireworks when it’s time. Other years we have hung out with friends, which is what makes my heart most happy. As with all the things I do in Fresno, what rings true with me, is that the company I keep makes the event that much better.
With that, I say, whatever you do on 4th of July, I hope you have a great day with friends and/or family. I hope you celebrate our nation’s birthday with lots of fun making new memories, and eating good food!