6 Fun Ways to Connect With Your Ancestral Heritage | A long time ago, the ancient Greeks had the idea of autochthones, the mythological figures that, unlike nearby settles have sprung directly from soil, rocks, and trees. They eternally belonged to the land they were born from and drew their power from the connection with it.
In this day and age, this idea may sound a bit outdated but that is exactly what makes it so comforting and cool. We are living in a globalized, shifting world full of haste and uncertainties. If you want to find some solid footing in it, is there any better way to trace your roots and, like ancient Greek heroes, draw power from your heritage?
Hardly. So, let’s take a look at a couple of ways you can do that in a fun and engaging way.
Learn the native language
Let’s get one thing straight from the get-go – there is not a bad time to learn a new language and there is no bad new language to learn. Aside from presenting a great mental exercise that will keep your brain in top shape in years to come, new languages also make you a worldlier person with broader horizons. With all that in mind picking the native language of your ancestors will allow you to sink deeper into its history, customs, and literature, but also get a taste of what they thought, how they sang, what scared them, what they considered a good fortune and many other things you can’t find on Wikipedia.
Eat your people’s food
Food can tell you volumes about the history, mentality, geography, and customs of some people. Good meals are also a universal language of our civilization so you can’t really go wrong with this one. So, pay a visit to a restaurant that is serving your ethnic cousin and see what you like. Also, try researching the meals and learn how they came to be and what makes them so special. Or even find a recipe and get yourself a killer conversation starter for your next party. When it comes to delicious regional or ethnic food, any approach you take is a guaranteed success.
Research your genealogy
If you are not familiar with the term, genealogy is the line of descend traced from some ancestor – a family tree of sorts. Now, we have all probably heard a bunch of good stories from our grandparents and have an idea about our immediate ancestors. But, that’s only the surface. If you, for example, try running professional genealogy research, you may uncover people, places, and names you could never dream of being a part of your family’s history. And not only that, these in-depth studies can often lead you hundreds of years into the past giving you a much better idea about who you are and where you came from.
Soak in the native culture
The more things you manage to check the better. But, let’s say that movies will give you a particularly good and easy to consume crack at the pop culture, humor, history, and mind-frame of your native people. This is also a great way to get access to some top-tier filmmaking that would otherwise stay off your radar. Once you finish this journey you will be able to do other art forms like music and literature. All of these things are also a great way to learn the language so feel free to dive as deep as you want.
Travel to your native country
Learning more about your heritage is great – experiencing it first-hand is a completely different and more profound experience. So, use your next vacation to go where it all started and pay a visit to the country of your ancestors. You will get an opportunity to meet tons of interesting people (maybe even some distant relatives), try out the local cuisine the way it was meant to be served, visit the beautiful landmark and participate in local customs. Sure, you can Google these things up and see them from afar. But, they won’t truly mean that much to you unless you experience them first-hand.
Bring back some ritual to your home country
A journey to the land of your ancestors is nothing more than a journey to rediscover your heritage, your identity, and your true self. This road of self-exploration doesn’t have to end when you come back to your country – you can keep walking it your entire life. One of the best ways to keep that connection with your ancestors, distant relatives, and countrymen alive is to simply bring back some special ritual from your land of your predecessors and continue to practice it in your new country. Keeping the cultural heritage of your people close to your heart means you will never lose the touch with it again.
These few tips are only the tip of the iceberg – as we said above, exploring your heritage is a lifelong journey and you push ahead as far as you want. But, they are a great way to make a couple of first steps. And believe us your efforts will be rewarded. We all need something to keep us centered and grounded. Rediscovering your roots and walking in the steps of your ancestors is probably the best way to get that special something.