Colton, our oldest who is now 11, came home from one of his first days of kindergarten with a big announcement! His teacher asked all the kids to tell everyone “what they were.” He went on to tell me how they’d gone around the room; one boy was Samoan, one girl Korean and so on. I started to get the picture. Naturally, I inquired as to what he said when it was his turn.
“That’s the thing, mom! I finally figured out what I am!” he exclaimed with great excitement. “I’m half vegetarian and half Eskimo!”
It seems to fit, so here we are, The Vegetarian-Eskimos!
This blog is a way for me to talk about who my family is and how we find our way through our life in Anchorage, Alaska. There will be many stories to come, recipes to share, Yupik words to learn, questions I have some insight on and many more I don’t have any answers to. More so, it’s about me learning more about Yupik culture and how to help preserve it for my three amazing children.
It turns out that it’s fairly uncommon, statistically speaking, to be married to an Eskimo! Who knew?! What’s not uncommon though is blending cultures. We all have a culture and if we’re going to live in relationship with others, we are all faced with the challenge of trying to blend that culture with another.
Gary, my amazing husband, and I met in college during a social psychology class. The truth is it never occurred to me “what” he was. He was Gary! I loved him from the start. It wasn’t until Gary and I were engaged that we headed north to Alaska for the first time.
The day we arrived in Dillingham, Alaska, Gary’s hometown, was the first time I realized we came from two different worlds. Stepping off that little Saab commuter plane took me into, in many ways, a third-world country. I remember standing at the top of those airplane steps having an “oh help!” moment (refer to “The Sound of Music” for clarification).
And so began our life together; Denise Brown, the vegetarian, and Gary Chythlook, the Yupik Eskimo. That’s our world and you’re welcome to it!