Sunday, March 11, 2012

Going Texan

Everyone thinks that Halloween is in October, but in Houston, it seems to come around every February. That's when all the city folk (kids and adults alike) dress up like cowboys and cowgirls for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. To kick it off, we even have a day called "Go Texan Day" when everyone is encouraged to put on their blue jeans, boots, and cowboy hats. When we first moved to Houston and heard about "Go Texan Day," I thought it was so weird. Why did I need to "Go Texan" when I had already been Texan my entire life? It felt a little silly. But 12 years later, I think I'm starting to get it.

For many years while giving tours of M. D. Anderson to national and international guests, I would usually mention that while Houston was a nice city, it wasn't like the rest of Texas. Houston is an international and multicultural city (47% of
Houstonites were born outside of Texas). These are two of its strengths. However, in our big
melting pot where we get to observe or experience multiple cultures on a daily basis, many of us feel culture-less. So rodeo time is a chance for all of us to unite and feel like we are a part of Texas culture. We get to walk amid real cowboys and cowgirls, stroll down aisles of farm animals, learn about Texas agriculture, watch rodeo events that get our hearts pumping, and eat homemade beef jerky. While we are there, we can almost feel like we've left the big city, and we are a part of the rest of Texas. Small-town Texas. The Texas some of us were born in and the Texas that many of our grandparents knew. The Texas of our dreams.

(For information about the wonderful impact the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has on Texas and our future, visit

1 comment:

  1. How fun! Everyone looks like they're having a great time. You look beautiful as always!!!