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Congresswoman Dingell Looks Back On Her Family's Fat Tuesday Traditions

Feb 13, 2018

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell
Credit Wikipedia Media Commons / wikipedia.org

Today is Fat Tuesday, which is the day before the 40-day period where Catholics make personal sacrifices known as Lent.  This time of year is particularly special to 12th District Congresswoman Debbie Dingell.  She talks to WEMU's Patrick Campion how she and her family have celebrated Fat Tuesday over the years.


Rituals and traditions are an important part of our community.  A Dingell family tradition for many years has been to celebrate Paczki Day, a Polish tradition the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.

The Dingell family immigrated to the United States from Poland, and Paczki Day is a Polish tradition of Fat Tuesday, the last chance to indulge before the fasting days of Lent.

Rep. Dingell celebrates John Dingell's heritage on Packzi Day with friends each year as a reminder to the community that our heritage is important and binds us together generation to generation.

As a proud Dingell, this is a tradition she wants to keep with friends on a day that everyone is an honorary member of the Polish community.

It is also a day she reflects on what it means to follow in the tradition of John and his father.  They served our country with a belief that our nation is strongest when we work together and with an understanding of the importance of respecting other cultures and how that understanding pulls us together as a broad community.

This year, it seems more important than ever to remember that America has always been a country of opportunity.

This Packzi Day seems a good time to remind all of us that we are stronger when we work together and when we focus on what unites us instead of what divides us.

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— Patrick Campion is the WEMU Program Director.  You can contact Patrick at 734.487.3363, on twitter @WEMUPC, or email him at pcampion@emich.edu