Family Culture

            My identity as a Puerto Rican woman has great meaning for me. We are a mix of people that is a product of its history.  From the native Taino tribes, the Spaniards, African, and to the more recent American influences on the island, every part of the island contains its own richness and cultural identity (Harris, 2008). There is a shared affinity for the land where farming and fishing hold steadfast in many small communities on the Island and the land is cared for, still today. In speaking of fishing and farming, there are certain cookware that is used to create the marvelous dishes of my native land.  The Caldero.  This generic looking piece of cookware is sometimes passed down through the generations along with the recipes of old can be used on a stove top, or  over a fire and the more you use it the better it gets. This tradition has died down through the ages as more and more families acculturate to the construct of individualistic characteristics of the dominant culture that also orient consumption choice. Music is a central part of the Puerto Rican culture, as we sing and dance to the voices that evoke memories and nostalgia (Harris, 2008).  I’m pretty sure you may have come across a video where music is the motivation for cleaning. These are a few of the things that grounded me within a shared culture within in our own family circles.

            In the hypothetical scenario where moving to a country whose culture is completely different from my own; I would have to draw upon these deep rooted identifiers of my culture, and hold a strong social identity with.  Understanding some of the nuances that are involved in how we perceive ourselves within [in-group] population is no easy feat. Our experiences continue to shape who we are and what we believe, to how we act and assimilate or not. My items would consist of seeds, a Caldero, and if affordable, my hand held device (phone is possible). As I enter the passage of the previous sentence, I have realized that it is difficult to pin point three items that have cultural relevance, as many of the shared aspects originate from the meaning that we give particular concept of the much broader population and dominant cultures (Derman-Sparks, 2020).

            When thinking of only being allowed only one item, I realized that my technological device would be what I would choose.  Our traditions will live on through what we teach the families of the future as they have for centuries. Taking on the challenge of this inquiry means that you have to look at the possibility objectively.  Who I am will probably not change, how I interact, what I learn and what I need will guide the assimilation of the dominant culture in an opportunity to learn (Bronfenbrenner, 1977), and be of use to my new community, and their young. Who I am allows me to integrate the student in me to go and explore, use my experiences and positive nature to continue to grow and challenge myself in the continuous study of my identity.


Bronfenbrenner, U. (1977). Toward an Experimental Ecology of Human Development. Id=APKAJLOHF5GGSLRBV4ZA

Derman-Sparks, L., Edwards, J. O.  (2020). Anti-Bias Education for Young Children and Ourselves, 2nd Edition. [[VitalSource Bookshelf version]].  vbk://9781938113581

Harris, S. R. (2008). What Is Family Diversity? Objective and Interpretive Approaches. Journal of Family Issues, 29(11), 1407–1425.

Published by emijg1015

I began my road to profession during my high school years. I started at a day care center. During my stead, I pursued my love for hospitality and enrolled at the Hudson County Community College Culinary Arts program. Since then, I dedicated a good portion of time in the food and beverage industry. I was always too happy to work and be engaged in every aspect, including doing dishes and mopping to bathrooms and trash. I learned early on that hard work and dedication defined who I was, who I am, and who I will be. During a time of temporary relocation I took on a role as Case Manager for a mostly Hispanic community. Here I fell in love with psychology. Soon after going back home I enrolled in the Psychology program at Argosy University in Sarasota Florida. I applied much of what I learned to how I performed my duties, how I made hiring choices, and more importantly, how to be. On the home front, I applied what I learned when engaging with my family and friends, and in doing so, I have been privileged to inspire my grandchildren to grow up with curiosity and a deep love for adventure. My family is my ultimate love, and my grandkids are my greatest motivators for wanting to pursue an educational path that allows me the opportunity to inspire a young mind. Taking a moment to reflect, I have come full circle. Evaluating the things that I have done, and the strides I have made towards positive professional growth, I return to the place where it all began, school and child care.

2 thoughts on “Family Culture

  1. Hi!
    I think it is great that you would choose to keep your phone with you when traveling to somewhere new. Even if the phone did not work for service, it still holds all your information and photos of your loved ones that might not be with you. It also would be something interesting to share in your new living situation with the natives. If they did not have something similar, it would be a good learning opportunity.
    Thanks for sharing!


  2. Emily, thank you for sharing such a great reason for your selections. I know for me it hard narrowing down three specific items and then emanating two, I also chose to keep my phone for the same reasons. Cynthia


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