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Posted December 18, 2007
Not just for Norwegian-Americans
This book is a valuable addition to the collection of anyone who enjoys reading about Christmas traditions. Stoker traces the Roman and Viking roots to Christmas celebrations in Norway and their evolution among Norwegian-Americans. She emphasizes the importance of preserving ethnic heritage: ¿Americans find in ethnicity an antidote to the isolation that has grown increasingly acute in the wake of the massive suburbanization that began in the 1940¿s¿. Ethnicity fulfills the particularly American need for origins and belonging¿¿ Christmas is an ideal time to reconnect with one¿s cultural roots. As Stokker writes: ¿Incorporating change while retaining everything that makes it so beloved, Christmas holds within its vast and monumental embrace diverse individuals, families and cultures, allowing each a means of self-expression.¿ The ¿authenticity¿ of ethnic celebrations, however, is open to interpretation. Stokker writes: ¿When people no longer fear that their ethnicity may threaten their life chances, they can express it more freely. With greater time separating them from the Old Country, they can also feel less constraint about the way they choose to express their attachment to it. As a result, individuals and families increasingly create the content of their ethnicity, picking and choosing the items that they themselves find meaningful¿.¿ This book is a great read for Christmas or any time of the year.
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Posted January 9, 2010
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