Jodi Carlson’s (Koach Karlssen) paternal grandparents were born to Scandinavian immigrants. Before arriving in Canada, her ancestors followed the Scandinavian tradition of taking one’s father’s name – with the addition of either “sen” or “dotter” – as one’s surname or “Family Name.” Once the Scandinavian immigrants arrived in Canada, this tradition was abandoned.
Jodi remembered this family story when she studied Eric Hobsbawm’s Invention of Tradition in university. As an inspired activist, she often finds herself most intrigued by the excuse of “tradition” from critics to cultural change. A tradition as important as what one calls his/her self seemed to be easily discarded upon the arrival in a new country, but traditions created as recently as 50 years ago seem to be held on to with little critical thought.
As Jodi has observed, choosing our traditions is more emotional than rational. For herself, she hangs on to many traditions she learned growing up in rural Saskatchewan. And, she creates many more traditions for herself and her loved ones as she chooses, too. It is with an activist’s level of consciousness and compassion that she selects one tradition to keep in her life over many others.
In an homage to her ancestors – and a reminder of the core values she received from her family – Jodi has taken on the last “traditional” name of her family as a professional brand. With its embodiment, she will always be reminded of how easily we can change our reality – in turn, changing our world – while also remembering not to discard the quality from which we have already come.