From South Africa To West Texas: Local Family Blends Multiple Traditions (Transcript) | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Transcripts

From South Africa To West Texas: Local Family Blends Multiple Traditions

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:03
Our next two stories are about the traditions of families. More particular, families working to blend different religious or cultural customs and beliefs. We begin with Neeraj and Allison Hodges Mistry. They live in D.C.'s Petworth neighborhood with their two daughters, three-year-old Nayna and eight-month-old Zayne. While Neeraj's family originally hails from India, he grew up in South Africa, during Apartheid.

MS. REBECCA SHEIR

00:00:27
Allison had quite a different upbringing. She was the daughter of a rancher in western Texas. Now, the Mistrys are trying to teach their kids about all of their family traditions and even make up some new ones of their own. Rebecca Blatt stopped by the Mistrys' house as the family was making dinner and sent us this audio postcard.

MISS NAYNA MISTRY

00:00:48
Can I do it with you?

MR. NEERAJ MISTRY

00:00:49
Okay. Let it cook a bit more and then we can flip it. These are chapattis, also known as rotis. And we grew up eating this in South Africa and they are wonderful to have with curries. But we've also found other ways of actually using it. So we have grilled chapattis, as we have like grilled sandwiches. So we've just found different ways of using traditional foods that we have and creating new dishes.

MS. ALLISON HODGES MISTRY

00:01:20
So, Nayna, do you want to do your advent calendar? Yeah? We have a little advent calendar and we just put it on a little piece of string, like we have these little envelopes and inside every envelope we wrote kind of a different thing that we're going to do that day. And so tonight it was to light our angel chimes.

MISTRY

00:01:37
Okay. And then these angels…

MISTRY

00:01:39
They hang off the triangle. How cool is that, Nayna?

MISTRY

00:01:45
Wow.

MISTRY

00:01:47
You know, I had one of these when I was your age. Okay. We're going to leave it and then we'll light it…

MISTRY

00:01:51
When I do things that I did as a kid that my mom did with me, I see her. I kind of get misty. And I don't think you ever know what it is that your kids are going to--what's going to like transmit or really going to go through them.

MISTRY

00:02:11
Nayna, you could make the wish now. What do you wish for, babe?

MISTRY

00:02:15
I wish you a merry Christmas. I wish you a merry Christmas. I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy new year.

MISTRY

00:02:25
Yay, that was so great.

MISTRY

00:02:26
I just hope--and I think it's already starting to show--that irrespective of who they're with or where they are, they're just going to be loved by people because they're going to exude this openness to everyone. And then irrespective of their vocation or profession that they choose, they'd apply those values and that sort of inner-heart and emotion to whatever they do. And that would make me the happiest father.

SHEIR

00:03:01
The Mistry story was produced by Rebecca Blatt and comes to us through our Public Insight Network or PIN. If you missed our plug for PIN earlier in the hour, you can learn more about it at metroconnection.org/pin.
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