The heritage I share with my children is an odd one to say the least. In my veins runs Latin, Norse, Germanic, and Anglo-Saxon blood carried over from civilizations as great and proud as any to have existed. Over the years I have tried to keep both of the offspring aware of their Panamanian heritage that I passed on to them. I have tried to teach them as much Spanish as I can remember, I have shared with them the handcrafted artwork of the Kuna people, and I have stressed the importance of knowing their roots and the lessons that can be learned from having a multicultural background. It did not occur to me until recently as I was binge listening to Amon Amarth’s “Fate of Norns” (as I do from time to time) that by nature of my wife they possess more Nordic heritage than Latin. So as any good dad would do, I sat with my oldest and taught her about Yggdrasil, Odin, Thor, Valhalla, and the Norns.
Odin! Guide our ships Our axes, spears and swords! Guide us through storms that whip, and in brutal war!
I did not stop at that. I explained that for every part of her that was graceful, elegant, and charming there was another part that was blunt, headstrong, and fiercely loyal. She is my princess, with a warrior’s heart. I taught her this not to forsake the culture that I was raised to know, love and respect; but to raise her with the knowledge that her roots spread wider than mine do. When my youngest reaches an age where she can discover and comprehend all that makes her unique, I intend to have the same conversations with her. I hope to share the stories of the explorers that navigated the Caribbean in search of new lands, as well as the influence the Norsemen spread across Europe in its infancy. Though I would rather not think of it yet, one day my girls may have children of their own who will also have roots that are unique to them and I pray my daughters will teach them as I have done and will continue to do. History in and of itself has always fascinated me. It is common knowledge that there were people who existed long before my generation, but the intrigue comes from a continued attempt to understand these cultures and apply the lessons learned from their triumphs and failures to my own life. The fact that there is a history behind every person, including myself and those near to me intrigues me even more so. In order for my children and me to understand the lessons others can teach more clearly, I place a great importance on understanding who we are and what makes us unique. I believe we will never benefit from the lessons of others until we have learned what we consist of, from the deepest part of our roots to the tallest part of our branches. \m/ CRB