Belonging to a particular cultural group often explains the traditions and habits of people, their way of life, and, in particular, their attitude towards health. When assessing the heritage of representatives of different nations, it is possible to learn much about their opinions regarding religious, ethnic, linguistic, and other preferences.
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For these purposes, researchers often resort to the help of a special tool that allows evaluating the attachment of different cultural groups’ members to their traditional customs and everything related to their ethnicity. As the rationale for the effectiveness of the heritage assessment, the responses of three families from different cultures will be analyzed. It is supposed that the origin of family members and their traditions play an essential role in forming opinions on habits related to health and its maintenance.
Families’ Heritage Assessment
In order to successfully conduct the analysis, the interview method is used. The members of the families of the three cultural groups are invited to answer questions about their lifestyle. In particular, such topics are discussed as the relationship with parents, siblings, and other close and distant relatives, religious, linguistic, and food preferences, as well as participation in various ethnic events dedicated to the native culture. As the objects of research, three families are represented – Hispanic, Afro-American, and Asian. All the participants in the survey have distinctive features and differ not only in their origin but also in race, which adds additional interest to the study. These three families’ heritage assessment is the tool that allows comprehensively analyzing their attachment to traditional culture.
Hispanic Family’s Heritage Assessment
The family of Hispanic origin is large and includes the father, the mother, two adult sons, and three daughters-schoolgirls. The children confirm that they have grandparents both from the sides of their father and mother. In addition, they have cousins who live outside the country, as well as uncles and aunts. Family members regularly communicate and meet several times a year to celebrate Christmas, boys’ and girls’ Birthdays, and other important holidays. Both adults and children adhere to the Catholic religion and visit a local church every month. The parents are fluent in two languages, and the children can understand and read in Spanish but prefer to speak English.
Afro-American Family’s Heritage Assessment
The family under consideration consists of the father, the mother, and two daughters-schoolgirls. All of them emigrated from Senegal when the girls were very young, and unlike their parents, they are completely assimilated into a new environment. The interviewed participants confirm that they have relatives in their homeland, but children do not have grandparents. A number of changes have occurred in their lives; in particular, they had to change their hard-to-pronounce family name.
The parents know their native language, but children do not understand it, and all communication is in English. The family does not follow a particular religion, although all the members celebrate Christmas and other Catholic holidays. The children go to a regular public school. None of them take part in any ethnic events.
Asian Family’s Heritage Assessment
In this family, there is no father who stayed at home in Malaysia and temporarily cannot leave it. The mother lives with her son and daughter. The children constantly communicate with relatives from their homeland and have contact with their father. Due to the fact that the boy and the girl go to school, they speak English well, but their mother has a pronounced Asian accent. All their relatives stayed in Malaysia, and the family members do not have an opportunity to see them.
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The mother periodically takes the children to various shows devoted to the Asian theme where children have fun, sing, and dance. Very often, they all cook various dishes of their national cuisine. The family members do not attend any of the local religious institutions. However, they like Catholic holidays and prefer to celebrate them at home. The mother constantly teaches the children their native language so that they could freely understand the relatives and read on it.
Common Health Traditions
Conducted interviews can be useful when comparing common traditions related to their native culture. Due to work carried out, it is possible to consider the way of life of the three families regarding their attitude to health, its maintenance, and restoration. Thus, the members of all three cultural groups regularly spend time together, which indicates their affection for one another and good relationships.
The evaluation strategy used makes it possible to comprehensively analyze the habits of these people and draw conclusions about their attachment to a particular culture (Kilic, 2015). According to Schwartz et al. (2015), taking into account the lifestyle habits of Hispanic emigrants who are the object of the authors’ research, it is possible to effectively develop interventions aimed at preventing stressors. The same approach can be applied to the representatives of other cultures.
Based on the fact that the parents regularly spend time with the children, it is possible to develop a special plan that will include maintaining their health and restoring it in case of problems. Regular examinations at doctors can become a family tradition. Also, protection plays a significant role. As Loyd and Williams (2017) remark, programs to promote the cultural identity of African-American youth include not only the training of national values but also the dissemination of information on health protection. In all three families, preventive procedures, for example, vaccination, can be proposed.
In case of problems, the restoration of health should be mandatory. Regardless of cultural background, it is essential to seek help, especially if the children are sick timely. For example, the Asian family cannot afford permanent consultations since the mother temporarily brings up children alone. In this case, the help of visiting nurses will be useful. The same applies to the other families who can experience health problems.
The usefulness of Applying a Heritage Assessment
The conducted analysis can be a good basis for developing a health plan. The attachment of all the participants of the study to native cultures makes it possible to determine the degree of their involvement in specific habits and, as a result, to develop a plan that will be aimed at maintaining health. According to Radzuan, Mansir, and Ahmad (2017), the preservation of cultural traditions is an important aspect for emigrants since it allows them not to forget about their native culture and promote it. From the medical point of view, there is also a benefit of such an assessment because specific habits mentioned by the members make it possible to develop a plan for protecting, maintaining, and restoring health.
The heritage assessment of three different cultures makes it possible to assess the degree of the families’ attachment to their national traditions and, at the same time, to develop a special plan for the protection, maintenance, and restoration of health. All the participants are united by a common habit of spending time with their loved ones. It gives them an opportunity to watch for one another and timely apply for help if necessary.
Kilic, G. (2015). Using advanced NDT for historic buildings: Towards an integrated multidisciplinary health assessment strategy. Journal of Cultural Heritage, 16(4), 526-535.
Loyd, B. A., & Williams, B. V. (2017). The potential for youth programs to promote African American youth’s development of ethnic and racial identity. Child Development Perspectives, 11(1), 29-38.
Radzuan, I. S. M., Mansir, D., & Ahmad, Y. (2017). Exploring training factors as incentive tools in safeguarding the cultural heritage of traditional Malaysian settlements. Journal of Heritage Management, 2(2), 189-201.
Schwartz, S. J., Unger, J. B., Baezconde-Garbanati, L., Zamboanga, B. L., Lorenzo-Blanco, E. I., Des Rosiers, S. E.,… Szapocznik, J. (2015). Trajectories of cultural stressors and effects on mental health and substance use among Hispanic immigrant adolescents. Journal of Adolescent Health, 56(4), 433-439.