If you do it twice, it’s a tradition

Living in Norway means living with all kinds of traditions, some ancient, like bonfires on Midsummer’s Eve, and some much newer, like Valentine’s Day. Here in Bergen, the joke is that if you do something twice, you’ve created a tradition. Celebrating Halloween is becoming a tradition, one for the 21st century, and has been supplanting Norway’s original trick-or-treating done on Christmas Eve. At Christmas, many Norwegians decorate their trees with tiny Norwegian flags. I thought the flag tradition was as old as the flag, but it started right after WWII. After being denied anything that looked like the flag colors of red, white and blue, Norwegians got a little carried away their first Christmas after the liberation. It’s a tradition that’s dying out, though. I haven’t seen the tiny flags on trees in recent years.

I think that when we think of traditions, we think of something that has survived the generations and is still appreciated. We don’t always realize they may become replaced and die out, and for those of us who remember “the old ways”, it’s upsetting to watch younger generations get other habits, because, you know, “It’s tradition!”

Traditional may be other things besides rituals. The melodies of hymns are often listed as “traditional” since we no longer know who the composer was, but we all know the tune. And another tradition is how you arrange the cutlery in the kitchen drawer. You may call it family habit, but isn’t that just another form of tradition? In my kitchen drawer the knives are on the left, the forks in the middle and the spoons to the right. When I last visited my mother, I noted that was the same order in her drawer. And I remember that was the order in my grandma’s drawer, too. You don’t change tradition.

The Daily Prompt: Traditional

By Keera Ann Fox

I am a bi-lingual American who has lived most of my life in Norway.
Jeg er en tospråklig amerikaner som har bodd mesteparten av mitt liv i Norge.

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