Ah Germany. Land of my ancestors and home to the great beer culture.
My family originally came from Woedtke, in the former German province of Pomerania (now a part of Poland). You would never know because even my grandparents act like we are from Munich. Outside of Bayern, the culture of Germany is quite different. Many of the distinctive traditional dress and icons people know are very much from that south eastern state.
Regardless, all my cousins donned lederhosen (working clothes) or traditional dress. We still have my sister’s dress that is still an endless joke for amusement.
In many respects, my family has probably lost their true heritage. Immigration to Wisconsin by many Germans probably formed a new type of German culture. This has resulted in families like mine adopting traditions from parts of Germany not their own. But it’s a good thing and I’m quite happy to be a part of it.
Possibly the best part about having a German family is the weddings. The best memories I have of my late grandfather is of us polkaing together at celebrations. It’s a bit silly now for my generation to still be doing this, but traditions carry on and it’s not actually terrible to remember where you came from. Polka IS the Wisconsin state dance, afterall.
Polkas are really diverse (there is Polish, Slovenian, Austrian…) – I’ve only played a few in my life so I am by no means an expert. This video is worth a watch if you are interested. The family is pretty funny and probably much more equipped to explain anything more than me: