American Traditions: The Reunion Essay

1435 Words6 Pages
Abstract This paper examines American traditions, how they are established and preserved. Specifically, I discuss traditional gatherings known as family, class, and school reunions and review ways in which they are augmented by social networks. I remind the reader of the role reunions play in the perpetuation of memories and transference of collective knowledge. It is believed that attendance at family reunions had dwindled in the 90’s but is experiencing resurgence (Baxter, 2005); this is due in part, I believe, to social network sites like Facebook and MySpace. People are reencountering their past and making connections, both old and new. Keywords: traditions, reunion, social networking American Traditions: The Reunion…show more content…
That is in large part what reunions are for, the perpetuation of memories and knowledge. These events happen with certain regularity, some every year, others at longer intervals; a place where birthdays, anniversaries and engagements are celebrated, deaths and other losses mourned, and divorce stands somewhere in the middle. The family reunion has long been a multigenerational—and in my family—multiracial gathering, where time slows down and nothing is hurried. Conversations are not limited, bellies are filled, and fun is had by all! We gather together in one place to share our lives and our stories, we do activities that draw us closer together, and family bonds are strengthened, however; times have changed and it is unfortunate that some of our traditions have changed too. Just one generation back, my mother and many of the other women in my family joined the workforce and fumbled the family reunion ball; my generation did not pick it up. I am hopeful that will change. I believe that family reunions are integral to American culture and I would hate to lose that connection. I want my daughter and grandson to have the same opportunities that I had to find their own fold in the quilt of their lives. According to an article in a Kentucky newspaper, there is hope for that, “…the number of family reunions dwindled during the ‘90s, experts say, there is resurgence in their popularity, especially among baby boomers” (Baxter, 2005). It’s time
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