So as a writer, I sometimes run into some trouble with some research and, right now, my problem is writing characters of different ethnic backgrounds.
My problem is when i look it up, I get pretty much “Well why do they NEED to be any different from how you write other characters, HUH?” or “Whether this person is a 50 year old immigrant from *country* or a 5th gen three year old little girl, they will share all the same experiences, opinions, traditions, and unquestioning absolute knowledge of their culture.”
What I’m looking for is something more in between that, of anyone of any background (mostly in a 2nd/3rd/4th gen American context, but not exclusively).
I would like to know what anyone has to share and use as a reference I can put together for writing purposes. I want to know about the day to day habits you’ve picked up because it’s just that ingrained in your family, what you call your grandparents, foods that are normal to you, habits and practices you might have just realized is unique to maybe you and your family, etc.
For example: I am 4th generation Polish. I’ve referred to my great grandparents as “Babci” and Dziadzi” my entire life (my grammy never went by “Babci”). We don’t eat meat on Christmas Eve, we serve mushroom soup, and we also do the oplatek (a Christmas wafer, but we pretty much just run around in a group breaking the wafer and yelling “Merry Christmas” at each other until we’ve hit everyone in the room. It’s a glorious prayerless mess).
That kind of thing. Basically: If you would be willing to share, I would like to know what aspects of your life, subtle as they may be, can be connected to your family’s background and, if applicable, in what ways it might differ from the regular traditions (as I described). I only want to hear about individual experiences rather than generalizations and I hope this can serve as a good resource in the future.