Hello There! VivBounty here with a wonderful experience. Now whether you call it culture, custom or tradition, doesn’t matter. I’ve seen definitions that tradition is part of culture, or “an inherited pattern of thought or action”, or custom: a specific practice of long standing.
In my attempt to share with you the wonderful cultures and traditions I have been blessed enough to experience in my extensive travels, I’ll just call it fun! This Labour Day weekend is the last long weekend of the Summer in North America. We have had perfect weather; sunny, warm, with a cooling breeze to keep things temperate for a week now and loving every minute of it!
The highlight of the weekend was our invitation to a pig roast on Saturday which essentially amounted to a large family reunion. Our hosts had a guest list of 200 people, mostly family, and a few close friends. The venue was a beautiful spot on the shores of the Northumberland Strait. My mother calls this space their “boma”, a Swahili word, meaning homestead. Our hosts and their family have nine opulent trailers arranged in a circle-the-wagons fashion all facing the shore. They are not roughing it by any means. Satellite TV, decks built around each trailer, minimum 2 bedrooms each, roll-out awnings over the expanse of each deck, sliding screen doors to keep insects out are just a few of the comforts of home to note.
For occasions such as this, where family and friends travel long distances, there is plenty of room for tents, parking for 30 cars, a large shed with fully equipped kitchen, 2 fridges, shower, toilet, and even a circular enclosed gazebo which comfortably sleeps 4 people close to the facilities. Each family has brought playground equipment for the children and all sorts of aquatic gear to enjoy amenities of the coast.
We arrived to find this delicious pig still roasting, little tots keeping cool sliding on a toy water slide, the long plastic sheet kind, clusters of people on various decks and seated on around tables on the grass. There was a tented buffet table with wine and glasses, another stand with hot water pots for tea and coffee, a barrel cooler full of beer and pop. We dropped wine and my 4-cup salad off in the kitchen shed and began the rounds of meeting and greeting.
Soon one of the 11 or so siblings arrived with catering van from his restaurant, and dinner was being announced in both French and English. Too many varieties of pasta salad to count, green salad, baked chicken, more desserts than salads, rolls, dips and pickles accompanied the many large trays of carved, tender delicious pork.
One in-law provided live music, folk and country in French and English, singing and playing guitar. Again a little tent had been set up as a little bandstand, strung with lights, for as the sun set, the bonfire was lit and the entertainment began. Folks aged from 6 to 86 years and beyond danced on the grass around the fire circled by guests on lawn chairs.
How wonderfully precious the memories this family made at this pig roast. As we were leaving, about 6 hours after we arrived, making the rounds to thank our hosts and bid adieu to the wonderful family which had welcomed us so warmly, our hostess, who owns this little piece of heaven, shares with me, with tears in her eyes, how it means the world to her parents, now too elderly to travel much, to have this place where their family, (5 generations came), can all gather to bond and celebrate life.
Call it culture, tradition or custom. I call it love and feel very blessed to have been a part of this Canadian family’s celebration of generations of it making me again grateful that we chose to live here now.
Until next time, hug your family and tell someone you love them.
Safari To Success