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Cultural Heritage and Health Traditions

Common Health Traditions Based on my Cultural Heritage

Nigerians prefer taking healthy food, particularly vegetables. Food is grown naturally and has to be served hygienically because the handshake is a common greeting method. Nigerians believe in sex after marriage and not before. This makes the elderly be against boy-girl relationships. The youth are supposed to abstain from sex until marriage. The elite in the community often goes for medical checkups and health screening. Besides, sexual promiscuity is not condoned.

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Nigerians believe in an extended family setup (Barak, 2000, p. 147). Every member of the family plays a significant role in decision-making that may affect another family member. For instance, the extended family ought to agree before someone’s decision to marry. We prefer being friends with people with whom we share a common ethnic background. We also prefer participating in festivities and celebrations organized by them.

Moreover, Nigerians are active. This makes them prefer walking to driving especially during short distances. In addition, Nigerians are committed religious people, with every family practicing their own religion (Onibere & Adogbo, 2010, p. 3). There are idol worshippers who seek refuge in objects and other substances. However, my family does not worship idols, but rather believes in God and expresses this through prayer, bible reading, singing and dancing. Besides, native herbs are used to combat different diseases.

Differences in Health Traditions among the Nigerian, Hispanic, and Philipino Cultures

Health Maintenance

In my own Nigerian culture, health maintenance is observed in several ways. First, people are required to dress according to the prevailing weather conditions. For example the dressing during sunny weather is different from that during rainy seasons. Secondly, a balanced diet should be taken. This is achieved by eating three meals in a day. Third sanitation of the environment is important and as such the area is kept clean. Besides, hands are washed before meals. We also pray two times a day and lastly, people rest and sleep for adequate time.

In the Philipino culture, people maintain their health by eating simple foods such as fruits, vegetables and fish (Larison, 2009, p. 111). They rarely eat foods like meat. It’s believed that eating such simple meals enables people to live long. People also eat in moderation. Hard labor maintains someone’s health thus enabling them to live for long. Such labor includes activities such as carpentry, farming, and fishing. The Philipino men who have engaged in these have lived for long. On the other hand, women like having a positive and joyful outlook towards life. They link up with other family members to attend community celebrations. In addition, they have a religious life that centers around attending church and bible reading.

The Hispanic people use natural food such as fruits and vegetables (Grodner, Long & DeYoung, 2004, p. 29). They also have adequate rest and sleep. Their dressing is by the weather. Apart from this, they are involved in physical activities and also attend frequent health check-ups. To maintain their mental health, the Hispanic read books, watch movies besides dancing and socializing. Spiritually, they go to church, pray and read the bible.

Health Protection

In my Nigerian culture, this is enhanced through environmental cleanliness, avoiding activities that may result in diseases, going for frequent health checkups, driving cautiously, eating a well-balanced diet with moderation and avoiding sexual promiscuity. On the other hand, the Philipino culture encourages the taking of vitamins, health screening, adequate rest and sleep, immunizations, and antioxidation. They also believe in God’s protection against sicknesses. Similarly, the Hispanic live right, believe in God’s protection and go for health screening.

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Health Restoration

In Nigeria, traditional herbs are used in the treatment of common ailments (Odugbemi, 2008, p. 21; Aginam, 2005, p. 97). The Philipino also uses native herbs to cure common diseases. For example, garlic heals toothache, Guaba is used to heal wounds and warm salted water is used to heal a sore throat. On the other hand, the Hispanic culture does not encourage the use of conventional medicine in treatment of sicknesses. Rather, they prefer the use of herbs (McEwen, 2002, p. 176).

How my Family Subscribes to these Traditions and Practices

To avoid infections, I wash my hands before eating; I eat in moderation and ensure that food is of a balanced diet. Besides wearing clothes that fit the weather, I do pray before eating. My mental health is enhanced by spending time with other family members, reading books, and listening to music. My spiritual health is maintained through active involvement in church activities besides daily prayer and reading the bible. Through putting our hope in Christ, our health is protected. Although powers of witchcraft can afflict people with sicknesses, we believe that believing in God can protect one against such forces. As a Christian family, we do not protect ourselves against sicknesses using objects and substances. Instead, we use God’s word.

Therefore, my family believes in the use of native herbs to cure sicknesses. It also believes that proper mental health is achieved through socializing with other family members, interacting with written information in our language and listening to music. The family’s spiritual health is enhanced by putting our trust and belief in Christ and using God’s word rather than objects and substances for protection. The food prepared is from our ethnic background and we do not have any special diet (Spector, 2000).

How I deeply identify with my Professional Heritage (Nursing)

Nursing refers to showing care to people of all ages, whether they are sick or not, and in every setting. “Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness and the care of the ill, disabled and dying people” (Funnell, Koutoukidis & Lawrence, 2008, p. 4). My culture identifies with the nursing profession directly. Exercising promotes our physical health. Other activities that we engage in to prevent sicknesses are eating a balanced diet, driving cautiously, and maintaining cleanliness. Spiritual health is enhanced through believing in God, praying, and reading the bible.

Reference list

Aginam, O. (2005). Global health governance: international law and public health in a divided world. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. Retrieved on 28 May 2011

Barak, G. (2000). Crime and Crime Control: A Global View. Westport: Greenwood Press.

Funnell, R. Koutoukidis, G. & Lawrence, K. (2008). Tabbner’s Nursing Care: Theory and Practice. Chatswood: Elsevier Australia.

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Grodner, M., Long, S., & DeYoung, S., (2004). Foundations and clinical applications of nutrition: a nursing approach. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health sciences.

Larison, G.T., (2009). Snafu Snatchers: Air Sea Rescue Featuring Pby Catalinas – Philippines 1946. Bloomington: AuthorHouse.

McEwen, M., (2002). Community Based Nursing-an Introduction. Philadelphia: Elsevier Health sciences.

Odugbemi, T. (2008). Outlines and pictures of medicinal plants from Nigeria. Lagos: University of Lagos Press.

Onibere, S.G., & Adogbo, M.P. (2010). Selected Themes in the Study of Religions in Nigeria. Lagos: Malthouse Press Limited.

Spector, R. E. (2000). Cultural Care: Guide to heritage assessment and health traditions (5th Ed.). Pearson Education/PH College.

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