Hobbies Learned — and Kept — From Older Generations

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When Dr. Kathryn Bingham, CEO at LEADistics LLC, was young, her great-grandmother taught her how to quilt. “The first key in passing on a skill or hobby is to match the project to the ability of the learner and, whenever possible, involve the student in the design,” she tells CircleAround. “Give learners a chance to do every step, and embrace imperfection.”

Today, she creates quilts as gifts for the special people in her life. She understands the skills she learned as a young girl are important to continue passing on, as a way to bond with new generations and to keep the art of quilting going.

Sewing To Save the Planet

Photo Credit: Rio Wolff

Rio Wolff, co-founder and COO of Big Heart Toys, also learned to sew from an older female figure in her life.

“My grandmother taught me to sew, and it’s a skill I’ve used a lot more often than I thought I would,” Wolff says. “It seems crazy now, but it used to be that personally tailored clothing was the norm and only the well-to-do could afford to go to department stores.”

These days, most shoppers experience the opposite — choosing clothing off the rack, and hoping it fits. Wolff’s grandmother gave her the skills to help her alter ready-to-wear clothes so they fit better. 

“She’d laugh as she told me how she and her sisters wished they could buy the dresses in the shops, not realizing the personalized, hand-stitched clothes they had were the true luxury,” she says.

Wolff understands sewing is more than a hobby — knowing how to make and mend clothing can help combat climate change and reduce consumption of fast fashion, as well.

Swingin’ Fore Tradition

Others, like Grace Baena, Director of Brand at Kaiyo, learned how to play golf from older generations. “My grandmother made it her business to teach all of her grandkids how to swing a club,” she tells CircleAround. “She did this so we could all gather and compete around her property.” 

Baena states that golf used to be a male dominated sport, but her grandmother was taught by her father. “The familial aspect of the game made it much more fun, as we didn't have to respect the golf etiquette rules that a country club would have preferred.”

“I think the best way to teach someone something is with an open mind and a lot of patience,” she shares. “It was through my own volition that I wanted to please her, impress her, and spend time with her. By being a gentle teacher, you are more likely to have success in your teaching methods.”

The Art of Coffee

Photo Credit: Jovana Durovic

“The most valued hobby I have today is the hobby passed down to me from my mother and passed down to my mother from her mother, my grandmother, and that hobby is brewing coffee,” says Jovana Durovic, editor-in-chief of Home Grounds, a website dedicated to all things coffee.

“Yes, coffee brewing doesn’t require a big chunk of time nor is it too much of a big deal to many people,” she says. “But, for me, it is a big deal.”

Durovic grew up in Serbia, where Nescafe designates all instant coffee ever made, and where domestic coffee is mostly consumed. “We have so many brewing recipes that have turned me into my own barista,” she adds.

In Durovic’s opinion, we don't necessarily need to teach people hobbies, we can make them a tradition. “When you do something consistently,” she says, “it is only normal for it to become part of you and those around you.”

The Future of Generational Hobbies

Hobbies that have been passed down generations are extremely special. If there is one you love, consider telling the younger generation the history behind it, to help attach more meaning to it and keep the traditions alive.

Tags: DIY, Environment, Hobby

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Written By

Katka Lapelosová

Katka is a writer from New York City, currently living in Belgrade, Serbia. See Full Bio

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