Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Rachel Merriam is my youngest sister. She was born and raised here in Cache Valley, she is 18 years old, and she is currently a senior at Logan High School. Rachel has a twin brother, Stewart, who is 7 minutes older than she is. She is a very talented artist and can freehand just about anything. She is an amazing soccer player and has played on Logan High’s Girls Soccer Team for the past 3 years. Rachel is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
I interviewed Rachel on a couch in the basement of my parent’s home during one of the commercials of a Hallmark TV show we were watching. There were a few other family members that were present at the time of the interview, but nobody else was talking. It was a very relaxed and casual interview, since Rachel is my sister and we have a good relationship. When Rachel told me about this tradition, she remembers doing it mainly on birthdays, but has also seen the plate used on my parent’s anniversary. The people that are usually present during this tradition are family members or close friends because those are the people you usually celebrate birthdays and anniversaries with. This a tradition that can be done basically anywhere as long as you have the “you are special” plate.
Okay so the “you are special” plate is a plate that we bring out, only on special occasions, and one person get its it’s not an everyday, every person gets it kind of a plate. So, on - for example on birthdays, the birthday person, the birthday girl or boy gets to eat their dinner, their special dinner on that plate. Or if it’s your anniversary or, something like that and so every time there is a special occasion where you eat a meal, you get to have a - eat off of the “you are special” plate.
Rachel didn’t seem super enthused about this tradition when she I interviewed her. The tone in her voice didn’t change very much and her facial expressions were minimal. She didn’t move a lot during the interview and would look up at me every once in a while, while she was talking. When she was younger, she probably found this tradition more exciting since it only happens once a year. Now that she is older, it doesn’t seem like it’s as big of a deal to her.
Dr. Lynne S. McNeil
Semester and year
G1: Rites of Passage
Jorgensen, Eliza, "Birthday Plate" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 429.