Definitions.net defines Cultural heritage as the legacy of physical artifacts and intangible attributes of a group or society that are inherited from past generations, maintained in the present and bestowed for the benefit of future generations.
Cultural heritage is important because it helps people connect with others who have similar backgrounds and provides a sense of unity and belonging. Cultural heritage also provides people with a link to traditions that might otherwise be lost; and within the re-claiming process of the tradition of Norse Heathenry, Cultural heritage becomes THE touch-stone needed to bring together what fragmented information is left to us in historical documents, via the folk arts and the spiritual practices which are still used today. These touch-stones have been handed down in song, dance, and orally transcribed legends or fairy tales; passed down from one generation to the next.
Embracing and implementing your own families Cultural Heritage becomes a bridge-to-the-gap especially when it comes to adopting a Heathen lifestyle that we wish to include in our every day living experience in the 21st century.
According to reference.com; “Two types of cultural heritage can be found throughout the world: tangible and intangible. Tangible heritage is things like artifacts, buildings and landscapes. Intangible heritage includes those things that cannot be touched like oral history, values and traditions.” Moreover we read, “In order to understand cultural heritage, a person must see value in it. By valuing it, people begin to care about it and begin to enjoy their heritage. Once they enjoy it, the heritage becomes much easier to understand. This cycle is called the heritage cycle and the heritage cycle can help people understand cultures that are hundreds or even thousands of years old.”
And that can’t be any more true than when it comes to adopting a modern lifestyle infused with traditions and arts based on ancient Germanic/Teutonic culture, or when we are trying to reconstruct with proficiency the Indo-European form of Pagan spirituality and occult practices.
So how do we go about starting this arduous but worthy task?
The above meme says much to this answer, but of course, there is one element in it’s message I feel is missing: there needs to be a clearing up the confusion that to be fully immersed in ones cultural Heritage, this immersion is viewed as negative, and it makes one “non-inclusive” or worse, (as in our case of Germanic/Teutonic ancestry) one is viewed as “Racist” for taking pride in thier Ancestral Cultural ways.
In my own personal experience, when I began to fully reclaim my ancestral heritage, I looked into trying out many folk crafts, clothing, tools, and spiritual practices my family line did within the Culture they lived, from as recent as just before the industrial revolution, to as far back as the Iron age where documentation can be found.
I then sought out other people who did the same sort of things, and by comparison, I gained sometimes new, life enriching activities or practices that I hadn’t yet discovered.
When I found a Germanic/Teutonic Cultural heritage that I could easily implement, I did so immediately; like the animal husbandry, bee keeping, the honoring of the seasonal traditions and the traditional holidays my ancestral people followed, as well as many folk arts and crafting activities indigenous to the Germanic peoples.
I also began studying many aspects of Indo European Cultural, from the languages they used and still use, to its ancient spirituality, ~as well as its Folk practices; since I could see such a beautiful tapestry of diversity and similarity, all woven within the history and evolution of my Ancestral home.
For myself, there has been nothing more rewarding or fulfilling within this path of re-membering, than learning and implementing what those who came before me did to make thier daily lifes meaningful and memorable.
It gives me that vital link to the past which gives my life substance and breadth, while simultaneously linking me to the future: giving my life inspirational meaning and hope.
To be immersed in your familial heritage isn’t exclusive, nor racist. It is giving honor and life to ALL who have come before you, and ALL who will come long after you are gone.
What better way to be remembered as the Ancestor who linked the Old with the New, keeping treasured (and useful!) traditions alive, while preserving a pocket of still living peoples history life and hope well into the next thousand years.