Heritage Assessment Essay

1429 words - 6 pages

MARCH 24, 2013

Culture is the foundation of all social distinctiveness and advancement. Culture heritage is the legacy that each generation receives and passes to the next generation. It includes all the aspects of a community’s past and present that is considered valuable and desires to pass on to future generations. People have different beliefs concerning health, illness, diseases, life and death; which are guided by cultural beliefs. This essay will discuss the usefulness of applying a heritage assessment in evaluating the needs of the whole person. Also, I will expound on interviews conducted with three ...view middle of the document...

Other families in the community played an important support role in my up-bringing; everyone knew each other. During holidays, especially Christmas, was a time of great celebration for the year; with plenty of food, fun and gifts.
In protecting health, there were no special foods eaten after childbirth; and a woman could not wash her hair for a month. The explanation is unknown. In restoring health, there were many special folk remedies. For example:
* Watkins liniment was used to alleviate pain.
* Horse mint tea was used to treat colds.
* A mixture of garlic, honey and apple cider vinegar was used to treat high blood pressure, diabetes and cholesterol.
* A coin, such as a quarter, was applied to the navel of a newborn baby to prevent umbilical hernia from developing.
* When a baby began teething, a necklace made of cotton seeds or nine of the thread salve roots were worn to prevent problems from teething.
The second family interviewed was from the east African country of Eritrea. The inhabitants are known as Eritreans. She grew up in a nuclear family on a small farm in rural Gundet. She arrived in the United States at the age of 22. Her native language is Tigrinya and religious preference is Greek Orthodox.
In maintaining health the men wore loose clothing made of cotton; and the women wore chiffon dresses draped with a cotton shawl. They wore special clothing, called zuria, for weddings and baptisms. They were not permitted to eat pork; but ate lamb, fish and chicken. A staple in their diet was injerra; a pancake-like bread. Their main source of exercise was plenty of walking; with no reliance on cars or buses for transportation. Music was a big source of entertainment. During ceremonial occasions such as weddings, plenty of food and beverages were served. They enjoyed drinking a traditional beer made in the village called Siwa. The kids played wooden and rock games. Spirituality was an important practice; whereby praying and fasting were commonplace in their way of life. The longest fast lasted 40 days during lent.
In protecting health, foods eaten after childbirth was a dish called gahat. Gahat is similar to barley, and was made into a thick broth. Special butter and herbs were added, which gave it the resemblance of mash potatoes. A spice called berbere, eaten with yogurt, was used to help relieve back pain during childbirth. They were told to avoid the Tebebti people. This superstitious belief professed that by looking into the eyes of these people would make one sick. Special religious customs consisted of kissing a wooden cross held in the hands of a priest.
In restoring health, the church is often a place for discussions about health, community and social issues. Eritreans do seek medical care from health providers; but they believe in the healing powers of different plants.
The last family interviewed was from northern India. She lived in a nuclear family with five sisters and...

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