Cultural Family Background of My Family


Cultural Family Background
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The paper explains my cultural family background in the context of race, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation, and religion. The paper will also expound about my family background whereby my mother is an Indian, and my father is an African-American. However, much of this paper is about my family cultural background and the impacts it has on us as a family, both professionally and personally. The paper will also present an interview with my family members beginning with my mum, dad, uncle, and aunt to expound on the family cultural background knowing that it has its roots from two different nations that are, from the United States and India. It is aslo imporrant to present the forefathers of my family generation from both parents which entails my grandparents from India and grandparents from the United States of America. Additionally, the paper will provide an in-depth analysis of both the Indian culture and the American culture from where the parents emanate. An extensive focus in this paper will be given to the career paths taken by every member of my family considering that they each had their motivational factors that led them to adopt to such profession. Finally, a genogram depicting the family generation right from the founding forefathers from India and the United States is presented.


Cultural background is a term that relates to any subculture or culture that a person refers to as his or her background or roots. In the context of this assignment, culture is seen from the perspective of race, ethnicity, disability, gender, sexual orientation and religion. Cultural background is a very expansive area of research and can also specify a person’s nationality irrespective of whether or not they have socialites or the physical attributes that are specific to the specific that I belong to. Culture is flexible as it adapts and is subject to change as collective groups of people change (Craver, 2011). Subcultures are cultures that exist within big cultural groups for instance in the United States the subgroups are for example African –Americans, Irish-Americans, Mexican-Americans, and Chinese-Americans among other cultures. I come from a family background where my mother is an Indian while my dad is an African- American. From my dad’s side, his father was an African-American, and my grandmother was American. From my mother’s side, her parents were native Indians who moved to the United States through the American green card sponsorship program. I have three siblings. Through the three generations of my family, there have professional inclinations towards some professions that have been seen in the parents and have been passed down from one generation to the other. My father is the only siblings in his family while my mother has three siblings, that are my two aunts and one uncles as demonstrated in the below genogram. Often, a genogram is more detailed than a family tree since it gives the users the ability to examine the inherited patterns and mental factors that define relationships.

Paternal grandparents

maternal grandparents

My main objective of using a genogram in this assignment is to describe the background of my parents about my family culture and how this impacts us a family professionally and personally. My mother is an accountant by profession, and my father is an engineer. My mother’s career was influenced so much by her family background she came from a business family. This can be attributed to the Indian culture as most of them engage in business and thus build business empires that are managed and operated by family members and it is from this influence that my mother trained as an account so as to be absorbed in the family business and help in managing the business(Cortazzi, 1996). Indians are said to be conservative in their sexual orientation as they are not seen to intermarry with other cultures as this is the case with maternal grandparents who are both Indians and in most cases discourage Indians against being intermarried into other cultures. It is for this reason that the number of Indians according to recent statistics in the same-sex relationships in America and other cultures to be on the rise. However, this is not the case from my family background as my dad and mom met in the course of their work duties and started dating and finally settling down in marriage. At first, the relationship between my dad and mom was hit by major storms through lack of acceptance and approval from my mother’s side, but this was defeated at times due to the advent of the modernization and the freedom of association entrenched in the constitution in the democratic societies. There is a major difference in religion between both my grandparents and this was a major hindrance that almost to lead to the breaking of the relationship between my parents as they were in the courtship period.

This was later solved by creating a consensus between the two parties as each of the partners was left to practice his or her religion. It is for this reason that my siblings and I practice different religions with my brother following the Christianity religion as my dad and my sister following the Hinduism religion as my mother and me. Sometimes during the year, my mother and my sister fly for some Hindu festivals which my dad is okay with and sometimes attend Indian religious activities with the Hindu community living in the United States. In the Indian culture, there is discrimination regarding gender as most of the ladies are relegated to wife duties as the men are the ones considered fit to take the white collar jobs and manly jobs such as engineering (Reme, 1993).

However, this gender discrimination has continuously been fought serious, and now Indian women are considered for employment in any opportunity, and others are absorbed in the family businesses as managers. Some of the attributes that are seen to be passed on from my grandparent’s generation to my parent’s generations and finally to my generation are some physical attributes such as light skinned with long Indian hair as is for the Indian girls such as is the case for my sister. My two siblings have also followed career paths similar to those of our parents with my brother being an engineering student and my sister joined the Harvard business school as an economist. I am the only exception in my family background as regards to my career path as am neither an engineer nor a business professional. The importance of a genogram, for instance, is that it can be used in tracing the relationships and the inherited characters from my three generations.
As regards to the family background of my father, his mother is American while his father is African who moved to America from Africa to further his studies. After completing his studies, my grandfather was absorbed by one of the major oil companies in America, and at this point, he applied to be an American and luckily was granted citizenship and settled in America as an African-American. While working as an engineer, my grandfather met my grandmother as they were workmates and they fell in love and began a family with my father as their first and only child. In comparison with mum parents, Indian families are culturally perceived to having big families. However, my mother only had three siblings. This is not the case in American family which tends to be small with one sibling or two or sometimes childless families’ altogether. This can be seen from dad’s family as he was the only sibling in his family.
The engineering profession and the professional business inclinations are seen to be running through the family generation and are passed on from one generation to the other. My siblings and I have embraced both cultures but with some inclination to one culture as the preferred one to the other as I have explained above. The black subculture also known as African-American subculture is unique to the United States as it comprises of people mostly from the sub-Saharan Africa ancestry and they have lived in the United States for many years (Gorospe, 1999). They first arrived in America as slaves, and after the struggle to outlaw slavery all over the world they became free and thereby became American citizens, and they intermarried with the Native Americans so as to give rise to the African-American subculture. The African-American subculture main food is known to be fried chicken, cornbread, grape soda and watermelon as is part of some of the meals that are part of our diet on a daily basis (John, 2014). Similarly, Indian cuisines are also part of our meals, and this is influenced by my mother’s background where the Indian cuisines entail a wide range of dishes with hot spices and herbs which are a must for all Indian dishes. The cooking techniques in the Indian culture vary from one region to the other. The majority of the Hindus are vegetarians. However, lamb and chicken are ordinary in main dishes for non-vegetarians. Reports indicate that between 20 percent and 40 percent of India’s population is vegetarian (The Guardian, 2016).
As I conducted the interviewed, I discovered that in the Indian culture, there are different ethnic groups that are estimated to be over two thousand in number in India and that are every major religion is represented among the various ethnic groups. The ethnic groups in India are categorized into four major families of languages that are Sino-Tibetan, Dravidian, indo-European and Austro-Asiatic. There are some hereditary diseases that are passed from one generation to the other as a result of their genetic composition and the lifestyle that they practice. The Hindu culture spiritual ceremonies are conducted through the year to honor their Gods, and these ceremonies are taken very seriously (Dyer & Mckean, 2016). Particularly, my mother flies to India with my sister to commemorate such ceremonies. In regards to marriages, my aunts and uncles argue that most Indians are married through pre-arranged weddings that make it hard for an Indian to marry from another community as was the case with my parents.
Appendix A


Me: Mum tell me about your cultural background?

Mother: the Indian culture is very wide and among the most upheld cultures in the world over many years.

Me: how about you dad?

Dad: my fore fathers moved to the united states through the slavery business long before the advent of civilization and after we fought to end slaves we were assimilated as American citizens and intermarried with the natives and other immigrant communities to what we are today the African American subculture

Me: what do you know about the Indian culture aunt?
Aunt: In the Indian culture there are different ethnic groups that are estimated to be over two thousand in number in India and that are every major religion is represented among the various ethnic groups. The ethnic groups in India are categorized into four major families of languages that are Sino-Tibetan, Dravidian, indo-European and Austro-Asiatic.
Me: I hear there are some diseases passed down from one generation to the next.

Uncle: There are a number of hereditary diseases that are passed from one generation to the other as a result of their genetic composition and the lifestyle that they practice.
Me: How spiritual is the Hindu community?

Aunt: The Hindu culture is very spiritual and ceremonies are conducted through the year to honor their Gods and these ceremonies are taken very seriously your mother flies to India to with your sister to commemorate such ceremonies with the rest of the family. Me: how about marriages?

Uncle: As regards to marriages most Indians are married through pre arranged weddings that’s makes it hard for an Indian to marry from another community as was the case with your parents.


DYER, W. G., & MCKEAN, A. E. (2016). Learning to “Know Oneself” Through an Intellectual Genogram: A New Approach to Analyzing Academic Careers. Academy Of Management Learning & Education, 15(3), 569-587. doi:10.5465/amle.2014.0360

Gorospe, M. G. (1999). Overcoming Obstacles and Improving Outcomes: American Indian Children with Special Needs. Bilingual Review, 24(1/2), 95-105.
John, A. (2014). Making Fried Chicken and Watermelon Racist. The Atlantic. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from
The Guardian (2016). The best countries in the world for vegetarians. Retrieved 2 December 2016, from
Reme, E. (1993). Every Picture Tells a Story: Wall Decorations as Expressions of Individuality, Family Unit and Socio-Cultural Belonging. Journal Of Popular Culture, 26(4), 19-38.










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