Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Culture & Gratitude

When my cousin Kate got married 10 years ago, she had a mixed ceremony honoring both traditional and Macedonian customs. Her husband Boris is Macedonian and comes from a very large, extended family. I LOVED the Macedonian part of the wedding, in particular the "bread dance." There really is a bread--it's a large, sweet, yeast-cake, about two feet in diameter and made from a recipe similar to Easter Bread and it's heavy! From what I can recall, the bread dance goes like this: First, the Best Man performs a circle dance with the bread holding it up high over his head. Then he stands in one position, still holding the bread high in the air, and the bride and groom dance under it. Shortly after this, relatives and ushers dance with the bread. Nobody from the general public starts leading the dance or even participating in the dance until the families have had their complete swing of it. I remember watching and clapping, then being so excited when it was my turn to join in. I had a ball! Well..Boris' family still talks about it til this day. "Annie--the girl who joined in our bread-dance." But the thing is--I wasn't trying to earn points with them; I just genuinely found it interesting, festive and FUN! I have developed a close relationship with Boris' family over the years and I adore them. I find their culture to be so warm and loving and giving. They would truly give you the shirt off their back! So, this Thanksgiving I got to host them at my house. We had Kate's parents and brother along with Boris' parents and grandmother who we affectionately call "Babo." It was sooo nice; truly the best Thanksgiving I've had in years! It was so comfortable and warm and yes it was loud with 5 kids, but nobody seemed to mind. It was fun to combine our traditions as well. Boris' mom, Babo and Kate spent the entire day before baking with phyllo dough. There were trays and trays of Baklava...my favorite! It was fun to have this in place of the traditional Pumpkin Pie. I loved hearing Babo speak in Macedonian to Boris and watching my children's faces. I think it's great to expose them to different cultures and traditions; that's what makes them well-rounded. Anyway, I hope your Thanksgiving was as nice as ours and now I am off to eat more Baklava...


  1. It's nice to see you blogging again. We missed you. Delighted to hear your holiday was so warm and festive. You had a truly great bunch to share it with.

  2. Baklava...yummy! What a nice Thanksgiving...and the wedding sounds like it was SO much fun! ( :

  3. Annie, they love you like a daughter, truly. You are so loving and welcoming to them and it means the world to Boris and myself. I will be sure to forward this to Christina! She will love it!