Culture and Customs.


1. Holidays and other regular events  your family observed.

a. universal observances.  b.  observances. c  minority observances

example: a: Christmas is more or less universally observed in most given American neighborhoods.  There are important exceptions, of course.  In some neighborhoods and in some cultures, Christmas would not be a universal holiday; it would be a minority observance.

example: b: A unique observance could be something only observed by your family.  Grandpa's birthday.  The annual get-together in the forest preserve.  The traditional fight over the income tax refund.

example:  c: A minority observance might be something common to one culture taking place in a alien setting.

Therefore, try one of each, and you choose which is which for you. 

For example, I  might choose as follows:

Universal;  Easter (as celebrated by Catholics)

Unique:   The semi-annual visits to my Grandparents house.

Minority.  The existence of a White Sox fan on the north side.

How to do it.  Warm up by writing a short paragraph on each of the three prompts.  Then choose one for the longer effort.

Begin with a strong declarative sentence. 

Example:  Every family does not celebrate Christmas.

Be specific.  Choose concrete images.  Sounds. Smells.  Objects.  Specific persons.  Try to let us see and here your subject.

Alternative:  Try the prompts in the next column.

Better yet. try both.

What is this man doing?  Where did I get him?  What can we say about this image?



What does this symbol stand for:  How does it affect you?  What can we say about this image?


 Is this a man or a woman.  Or neither?  What can we say about such a person?

costumes and disguises

What is this creature up to?  Why is it green?  What would you do if it crawled beneath your collar?


Suggested readings  . belly dancer speaks about respect

 Begin by choosing either a linear or nonlinear format.  Better, try both.  For example:  You might write about the time  your sister thought she swallowed the bug.  Or you might write about the way people generally react to bugs.  Which would be more fun?  Both, I think.

 click here  to see nonlinear narrative by Paul Pekin