by Lily Watkins
Everyone comes from somewhere. Some people define themselves by their roots, some by their present, others by a combination of both. No matter how they might currently identify, Marian girls have an amazing assortment of roots that make them who they are. Those roots reach to all corners of the world.
Junior Alix Valery is a prime example. Her entire family lives in France save for herself, her parents and her younger brother. Valery keeps up with her French heritage by speaking French with her family whether she is at home, on the phone or in France.
Her family also connects with their heritage by cook particular French dishes, such as bœuf bourguignon and crêpes. “I feel proud and special to be from France. I love it and find it really cool to be able to experience a different culture. It is amazing to be able to observe the differences, both big and small, between Americans and the French,” Valery said.
Sophomore Mary Said traces her family back to Israel. She celebrates the culture with large family gatherings and appreciating being around family. “Family is super super important in my culture. We see each other all the time and if they live far away then we always make sure to phone them at least once a week,” Said said. When together, her family also enjoys making various traditional dishes such as taboole, which is a chopped parsley salad.
Freshman Anna Dailey’s maternal grandfather was born in Lebanon, which in turn makes Dailey and her maternal side Lebanese. Whenever she and her family gather, they cook traditional Lebanese food to celebrate their heritage and bond. “I love being from Lebanon. Not many people in this area are from Lebanon, so I like that it is sort of unique to me,” Dailey said.
She wishes more people knew about the country itself as she is not able to converse with many people about it. Though Dailey readily admits to not knowing everything about Lebanon, she still hopes to travel there one day.
Senior Athena Patsalis traces her immediate roots to Greece. Her family is from Koroni and Lesbos, and Patsalis is even able to speak Greek with her family. She and her family particularly like to connect with their heritage during Easter time, when they attend midnight mass and roast a lamb on a spit the Saturday before Easter.
Patsalis wishes more people were familiar with Greece. “The Greek culture is one of the more unique cultures,” Patsalis said.
Differences in culture can cause division, but they can also facilitate unity. Though their individual roots may differ, students grow and blossom both into their own personalities and together through their heritage and their Marian community.