Study Guide

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson Tradition and Customs

By Bette Bao Lord

Tradition and Customs

Every culture has its own share of traditions, and in In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, Shirley carries a lot of her cultural traditions from China, like bowing when she meets people, over to America. She has to give up a bunch of these customs in Brooklyn, though, in order to fit in. So rather than playing Chinese games, she picks up stickball, and she starts saying hi instead of bowing. Each culture has its own different traditions, and Shirley has to figure out how to observe both Chinese and American customs at once in this book.

Questions About Tradition and Customs

  1. What customs does Shirley bring with her to America from China? What customs does she acquire while living in America?
  2. How does Shirley fuse her cultural traditions to create her own customs?
  3. Why do you think each culture has its own traditions? How do they develop?

Chew on This

Her family's tradition of strictness is one that Shirley carries prominently with her in America.

Adjusting to a new culture's traditions can be uncomfortable and confusing for people new to them.

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