Heritage has been described as the way in which individuals identify, reflect and subscribe to their shared way of life through the lifestyle they lead. A heritage assessment tool is a dependable tool that can be used to analyze, restore, protect and maintain a person’s cultural beliefs. Factors such as beliefs, norms, and values that an individual acknowledges and practice are subjected to study in the assessment of peoples’ heritage. This paper will offer a discussion on the appraisal of culture assessment as a cultural study tool on researching different families alongside their health traditions. The evaluation to be done on the different cultures, American, Hispanic and Indian differences and similarities to identify the different cultural perspectives on health restoration, maintenance, traditions, and promotion.
The awareness of a culture is the person’s cognizance of their cultural values, attitudes to health and their backgrounds. The Heritage Assessment Tool is an instrument that can be used in the healthcare industry to understand the patients’ beliefs and cultures before treating them hence an important tool to understand and analyze. The assessment tool comprises of 29 questions which have been answered by three different people from different cultures. They are from Guyana- Hispanic culture, Indian culture and American culture. The main issues being addressed include their childhood lives, their religious practices, their family attachments with relatives and how they live with their neighbors. It has also focused on beliefs and values at adult life.
One of the cultures identified within the heritage assessment tool is the American culture, the author’s culture. The origin of the individual is Georgia as both parents were born there. The grandparents on the other side are from Ireland and the United States. The person, therefore, is linked to different ethnic cultures which can be linked to different health traditions. The individual has grown up in an urban setting which indicates that she is used to the scientific norms of attending hospitals and health centers to seek proper health attention. There is the use of medication to maintain, promote and restore. In our family, we were raised to believe that good health is fostered by physical activity, good nutrition as well as thinking positively. As a child who has grown up in an urban setting, there is more emphasis on living healthily, eating food with the right nutrition and participating in exercises to keep one’s body fit and healthy. Additionally, the preference of being a Protestant indicates that there are Christian beliefs and values followed. On religion in the American culture, has been practicing religion at home and practices Bible reading as well as praying at home. A Christian religion indicates that there are beliefs on with a spiritual view on health restoration, maintenance, and promotion. Positive thinking, trusting in God, meditation and prayer are some of the cultural views the American culture has (Albala, 2011). There is also a traditional view of health as our culture has focused on the preparation of the foods from the ethnic community. It is believed that most of these foods are healthy and have positive impact on one’s health hence can maintain and restore one’s health when you are unwell on need medical attention.
The assessment of the Guyana culture which is a blend of Indian, African, Dutch, Portuguese and Spanish cultures with a South American decent (Kittler, Sucher & Nahikian-Nelms, 2012). The person has both parents and grandparents born in Guyana and has grown up in the rural settings. The family later relocated to the US when he was 17 years old and has maintained a close relationship with the extended family members such as the aunts and cousins majorly because raised in the rural area. He has no religious preference and has married a spouse with similar religion beliefs which would be easy for his family to have common health values and beliefs that are important in the restoration, maintenance, and promotion of health. Despite the lack of attending any religious institution, the religious practices done at home include Bible reading and good nutrition through proper diets. The individual claims that there is the preparation of food from his ethnic community which can be fostered by the need to maintain the nutritional values of the traditional foods for good health. Additionally, the Guyana’s are Native Americans, and some of their common practices include purifying rituals, use of herbal remedies, and consultation of healers to treat any illnesses. There is a spiritual belief on health as Bible reading is practiced. Therefore, the Guyana community have a belief in healing from God through healings encounters from various people in the Bible. It is clear that despite having the same ethnic background with the friends, they have different religious backgrounds thus the Guyana community has different beliefs on the spiritual perspective on health.
The final assessment was from an Indian whose parents and grandparents are from India hence have an Indian culture. According to the Indian community, the older people consider health and wealth to be hugely related to the soul, body and mind hence can influence an individual’s health. They have both traditional and modern perspectives of health maintenance, restoration, and promotion. The traditional ways the community focuses on health maintenance could be the use of yoga, participating in refreshing activities and flexible daily life routines (Doron & Broom, 2013). The traditional beliefs on health include use of herbal medication and healing through shine while there are the modern culture where people seek medical attention today to seek health restoration and maintain good health. The relocation to the US at the age of 21 shows that the person had learned the cultural traditions all through his previous life where they lived with the parents, siblings, and grandparents. The religious preference is Baptist which indicates that there is a Christian perspective on health restoration and maintenance from God. Unlike the American and the Guyana assessments, this assessment shows a strong belief in religious practices as the participant is an active member of a religious institution and attends it weekly. On the other hand, there are religious practices practiced as home including celebrating religious holidays, Bible reading and praying. There is also a traditional maintenance on ethnic foods, and they can foster the health of the individual.
The review of the different cultures discussed above reveals that the Americans, Indians and Guyana’s have differences and similarities in cultural beliefs on health practices. All the cultures ensure their maintain their ethnic food preferences, practice religious practices such as Bible reading and speaking and reading their native languages indicating that they are well-versed with the traditional values of their different cultures. Religious practices indicate that they have spiritual perspectives on a supreme being taking care of their health and restoring it when they are not well. However, the Indian culture seems more bonded to religious practices than the Guyana and American participants because he occasionally attends a religious institution, unlike the rest who practice it at home only.
Conclusion on Differences of Cultures
In conclusion, the Heritage Assessment Tool has enabled one to understand and analyze the different culture beliefs the Americans, Indians and Guyana’s have on health practices. Despite having similarities such as a focus on ethnic foods and practicing religious beliefs for the three cultures, the Indian seems more focused on the religious practices as the Indian participant is active religiously unlike the rest. The health practices of the three cultures are influenced by the traditional practices, the modern cultures and the religious practices of the different communities.
Albala, K. (2011). Food cultures of the world encyclopedia. Santa Barbara, Calif: Greenwood.
Doron, A., & Broom, A. (2013). Health, culture and religion in South Asia: Critical perspectives. Routledge.
Kittler, P. G., Sucher, K., & Nahikian-Nelms, M. (2012). Food and culture. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning.