Cuban Health Perception and Cultural Heritage

The family member that is being interviewed for the assignment is my husband’s uncle. He is a 77-year-old male who was born in Cuba. He came to the United States when he was 52. His parents were also born in Cuba, but they chose to live there instead of coming to the United States with him. His maternal grandparents were born and grew up in Cuba; however, his paternal grandparents were born in Spain and came to Cuba later in their life. My husband’s uncle grew up in Santiago de Cuba, which is among the largest cities in Cuba. Other family members, such as uncles, aunts, and cousins lived in the same neighborhood. His mother and father separated when he was eight years old, and he stayed to live with his mother and two brothers. When he still lived in Cuba, he used to visit his family members weekly and went to a public school.

After moving to the United States, he maintained contact with all of his relatives, including aunts, uncles, cousins, brothers, and parents, as well as his children. My husband’s uncle never changed his family name after getting married and moving to the United States. His wife is also from Cuba, and they share a Hispanic background. In addition, they have the same religious beliefs and are both Baptist. Baptism is a popular religion in South America, and it is notable for its emphasis on evangelism. Today, he lives in a diverse neighborhood with various religions included. For instance, he noted that some of his neighbors are Catholic and some are Jehovah’s witnesses. However, the neighborhood is not as ethnically diverse, with most families being Hispanic.

My husband’s uncle is an active member of a local church. He goes to church on a weekly basis every Sunday. The church is served by one pastor, who also encourages members to practice religion in their home. Religious practices that my husband’s uncle performs at home include praying, bible reading and celebrating religious holidays. He mentions that he reads the Bible each day at midday and has great confidence in it, seeing it as the revealed word of God. Some examples of religious holidays celebrated in his home include Easter, Good Friday, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and water baptism. In addition, my husband’s uncle celebrates the anniversary of his church.

Furthermore, my husband’s uncle says that he practices some ethnic traditions. For example, he often prepares Cuban food and celebrates Cuban holidays. The Hispanic day is an important celebration for him, as it offers an opportunity to dress in traditional clothes and prepare traditional meals. As most Hispanic people living in the United States, he speaks both English and Spanish and enjoys reading in Spanish. My husband’s uncle usually speaks Spanish to his close friends and family who know the language. He also shared that has a wide circle of friends that includes Cuban, Indonesian, and Philippine people, as well as those with mixed backgrounds. The religious background of his friends is mostly Baptist, although some are also Roman Catholic.

The interview has helped me to gain valuable insight into some religious and ethnic practices that are performed by people who were born in a different country. It is evident from the answers that my husband’s uncle identifies with his traditional heritage. Also, by learning more about the family member’s background, I could connect his experience as an immigrant to his social and religious customs. I feel that the interview was useful, as understanding the sources and features of diverse communities can help nurses in caring for patients from other cultural, ethnic, or religious backgrounds.

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