Greek Culture, Hindu Culture and Cuban American Culture Essays

Greek Culture, Hindu Culture and Cuban American Culture Essays

Greek Culture
This show presents two groups of people with Greek heritage.
The first group refers to those or their ancestors who emigrated from Greece, the second group originated in Cyprus.
Both groups have a common history, language, and religion.
The largest Greek community outside Greece is in the United States.
The largest Greek Cypriot community outside Greece is in Britain.
The core values of philotimo (honor and respect) and endropi (shame) are key when considering the experience of Greeks and Greek Cypriots.
Philotimo is a Greek’s sense of honor and worth that is derived from one’s self-image, one’s reflected image (respect), and one’s sense of pride.
Philotimo is enhanced through courage, strength, fulfilling family obligations, competition with other people, hospitality, and appropriate behavior.
Shame results from deviant conduct.
All Greeks, whether in Greece, Cyprus, or the diasporas, use the same form of written language, although there are regional and country variations in spoken Greek.
Diasporic Greek communities regard the retention of the Greek language as an essential part of their identity.
Greek and Greek Cypriot people tend to be expressive in both speech and gesturing.
They use their hands frequently while talking.
They embrace family, friends, and others to indicate solidarity.
Whereas inner-most feelings, such as anxiety or depression, are often shielded from outsiders, anger is expressed freely.
Eye contact is generally direct, and speaking and sitting distance is closer than that of other European Americans.
Patients often appear to be compliant in the presence of the health-care worker, but this may be only superficial to ensure a smooth relationship.
Greeks are oriented to the past as they are highly conscious of the glories of ancient Greece.
They are present-oriented with regard to philotimo, family life, and situations involving family members.
However, they tend to be future-oriented with regard to educational and occupational achievements.
Greek Americans differentiate between “Greek time,” which is used in family and social situations, and “American/clock time,” which is used in business situations.
Greek time emphasizes participating in activities until they reach a natural breaking point, whereas American/clock time emphasizes punctuality.
For Greeks and Greek Cypriots, having a Greek name is an important sign of their heritage.
Honorific titles might be given to members of the community who are elders or otherwise respected.
Terms such as Thia (aunt), Kyria (Mrs.), or giagia (grandma) may be used.
First names come either from the Bible or from ancient Greek mythology and history.
Ideally, first daughters are named for the mother’s mother and first sons for the father’s father.
Following tradition, middle names are the first name of the father.
Family Roles and Organization
The father is considered the head of the household in Greek and Greek Cypriot families.
The complexity of household dynamics is noted in the well-known folk saying, “The man is the head, but the wife is the neck that decides which way the head will turn.” This acknowledges the primacy of fathers in the public sphere and the strong influence of women in the private sphere.
Family Roles and Organization
The roles of husband and wife are characterized by mutual respect (a partnership). However, their relationship is less significant than that of the family as a unit.
Fathers are responsible for providing for the family, whereas women are responsible for the management of the home and children.
Family Roles and Organization
Greeks are often friendly but somewhat superficial and distant with those considered “outsiders.”
Traditionally, the cleanliness and order of the home reflect the moral character of the woman.
Children are included in most family social activities and tend not to be left with babysitters.
Family Roles and Organization
The child is the recipient of intense affection, helpful interventions, and strong admiration.
The child may be disciplined through teasing, which is thought to “toughen” children and make them highly conscious of public opinion.
Adolescents, particularly young women, tend to reside with their parents until they get married.
Family Roles and Organization
Girls have considerably less freedom in dating than their brothers, and it is common for girls to be prohibited from dating until they are in the upper grades of high school.
Suppression of personal freedom by parents is a major risk factor for suicidal attempts in Greek and Greek Cypriot adolescent girls.
Family Roles and Organization
Additional areas identified as high-stress for Greek adolescents include extreme dependence on the family, intense pressure for school achievement, and a lack of sexual education in the home.
Families feel responsible to care for their parents in old age, and children are expected to take in widowed parents.
Family Roles and Organization
Failure to do so results in a sense of dishonor for the son and guilt for the daughter.
Treatment of the giagia (grandmother) and the pappou (grandfather) reflects the themes of closeness and respect emphasized in the family.
Grandparents tend to participate fully in family activities.
Family Roles and Organization
If the older person is ill, living with the family is the first preference, followed by placement in a residential care facility.
The basis of social status and prestige is family philotimo and cohesiveness.
Social status is also received from attributes such as wealth, educational achievement, and achievements of its members.
Family Roles and Organization
Greek and Greek Cypriot communities tend to be relatively conservative.
As a consequence, alternative lifestyles encompassing premarital sex, divorce, and same-sex relationships are considered sources of concern for family members and the community.
Workforce Issues
In the United States, the high achievement orientation and work ethic have resulted in Greeks’ serving as a “model” ethnic group.
Greeks stress self-reliance is sometimes seen as reluctance to be told what to do.
Eye contact is generally direct, and speaking and sitting distance is closer than that of other European Americans.
Biocultural Ecology
Greeks and Greek Cypriots are most commonly of medium stature, shorter than northern Europeans, but taller than other populations of southern Europe.
Although some Greeks have blue eyes and blond hair, usually from the northern provinces of Greece, most Greeks have dark hair and dark skin.
Biocultural Ecology
Common health conditions of Greeks and Greek Cypriots include cardiovascular disorders, cerebrovascular disorders, thyphoid, hepatitis A and B, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, thalassemia, lactose intolerance, Tay-Sachs disease, malaria, and tuberculosis.
Most women choose to have an abortion if they are found to carry a fetus with thalassemia.
High-Risk Health Behaviors
Alcohol is most often considered a food item and is consumed with meals.
However, losing control by being “under the influence” engenders considerable gossip and social disgrace, focused not only on the individual but also on the family.
Obesity among both sexes and smoking among men are high among Greeks.
High-Risk Health Behaviors
Greeks and Greek Cypriots tend to disregard standard health promotion behaviors.
Safety measures for adults, such as seat belts and helmets, are often viewed as infringements on personal freedom and are frequently ignored, particularly by the older generation.
Greeks describe their culture as an “eating culture.” Food is a centerpiece of everyday life as well as of social and ritual events.
Fasting is an integral part of the Greek Orthodox religion.
During fasts, it is forbidden to eat meat, fish, and animal products such as eggs, cheese, and milk. General fast days are Wednesdays and Fridays.
Greeks and Greek Cypriots base their diet on cereals, pulses, lentils, vegetables, fruits, olive oil, cheese, and milk.
They are also relatively high consumers of sweets and snacks.
For adults, dairy products are consumed in the form of yogurt or cheeses such as feta, kopanisti, kefaloteri, kasseri, and halloumi.
Fats are consumed in the form of olive oil, butter, and olives.
Meats include chicken and lamb or, in the United States and Britain, beef adaptations.
Eggs; lentils; and fish such as shrimp and other shellfish, whitefish, and anchovies are additional sources of protein.
Vegetables such as potatoes, eggplant, courgettes (zucchini), spinach, garlic, onions, peas, artichokes, cucumbers, asparagus, cabbage, and cauliflower are common Greek food choices.
Bread choices include pita, crescent rolls, and egg breads. Other foods include rice, tabouli, macaroni, and cracked wheat (bourgouri).
Fruit preferences include grapes and currants, figs, prunes, oranges, lemons, melons, watermelons, peaches, and apricots.
Pregnancy and
Childbearing Practices
In North America, Greeks have deliberately limited family size so children can be adequately cared for and educated.
A wide variety of birth control measures, such as intrauterine devices, birth control pills, and condoms are preferred.
The strong pro-life Greek Orthodox church condemns birth control while silently accepting the reality.
Pregnancy and
Childbearing Practices
Abortion is condemned as an act of murder except in circumstances that threaten the life of the mother or when a young woman becomes pregnant as a result of rape.
In practice, a number of women, particularly those who are unmarried, have legal abortions because of the negative consequences of having a baby out of wedlock.
Pregnancy and
Childbearing Practices
Pregnancy is a time of great respect for women and a time when women are given special considerations.
Proscriptions include not attending funerals or viewing a corpse, refraining from sinful activity as a precaution against infant deformity, and praying to St. Simeon.
Pregnancy and
Childbearing Practices
Pregnant women are encouraged to eat large quantities; foods high in iron and protein are particularly important.
If a pregnant woman remarks that a food smells good or if she has a craving for a particular food, it should be offered to her; otherwise the child may be “marked.”
This is the usual explanation for birthmarks.
Pregnancy and
Childbearing Practices
After delivery, most traditional Greeks consider the mother ritually impure and particularly susceptible to illness for 40 days.
During this time, she is admonished to stay at home and not attend church.
At the end of the 40 days, the mother and child attend church and receive a ritual blessing.
Pregnancy and
Childbearing Practices
For breast-feeding mothers, early showering is sometimes thought to result in the infant developing diarrhea and becoming allergic to milk.
Newborns are generally breast-fed, and solids are not introduced early.
When relatives visit an infant in the hospital, silver objects or coins may be placed in the crib for good luck.
Death Rituals
A klama (wake) is held in the family home or, more commonly in North America today, in a funeral home.
All relatives and friends are expected to attend.
The wake ends when the priest arrives and offers prayers.
Pictures and mirrors may be turned over. During the wake, women may sing dirges or chant. In some regions, people practice “screaming the dead,” in which they cry a lament, the miroloyi.
Death Rituals
In Greece and Cyprus, the kidia (funeral) is held the following day at the Orthodox church, with internment in a cemetery.
After internment, family and friends gather for a meal of fish, symbolizing Christianity; wine, cheese, and olives in the family home or a restaurant.
Death Rituals
On the basis of the Orthodox belief in the physical resurrection of the body, Greeks and Greek Cypriots reject cremation.
The extent of adherence to this precept varies in North America, but Greeks and Greek Cypriots in Britain do not practice cremation.
Black is the color of mourning dress and is often worn by family members throughout the 40 days of mourning; for widows it may be worn longer.
Death Rituals
While black armbands are still worn in Greece and Cyprus, that custom is virtually nonexistent in immigrant communities.
After death, family and close relatives, who may stay at home, mourn for 40 days.
Close male relatives do not shave as a mark of respect.
Death Rituals
A memorial service follows 40 days after burial and at 3 months, 6 months, and yearly thereafter.
At the end of this service, koliva (boiled wheat with powdered sugar) is served to participants, and mourning is conducted with joyful reverence.
Most Greeks in America are affiliated with the Greek Orthodox church, whereas Greeks and Greek Cypriots in Britain are affiliated with the Archdiocese of Thyateria and Great Britain.
The central religious experience is the Sunday morning liturgy, which is a high church service with icons, incense, and singing or chanting by the choir.
The Greek Orthodox religion emphasizes faith rather than specific tenets.
The Greek faith does not emphasize Bible reading and study.
Some parishioners attend church services weekly; others attend only a few times a year.
Easter is considered the most important of holy days, and nearly all Greeks and Greek Cypriots in America and Britain attempt to honor the day.
There is a strong belief in miracles, even among second and subsequent generations of Greeks and Greek Cypriots in America and Britain.
Daily prayers may be offered to the saints.
Family members may make “bargains” with saints, such as promises to fast, be faithful, or make church donations if the saint acts on behalf of the ill family member.
They may call on an individual’s namesake or a saint believed to have special affinity with healing.
A distinctive feature of the Greek Orthodox religion is the place it assigns to icons, such as paintings of saints, the Virgin Mary, and Christ.
These icons have sacred significance as sources of connection to the spiritual world.
In the homes, holy vigil candles are often kept burning.
To ensure safety and health, many begin each day by kissing the blessed icons and making the sign of the Greek cross.
When a person is ill, the icon of the family saint or the Virgin Mary may be placed above the bed.
Many Greeks and Greek Cypriots also may sprinkle their homes with holy water from Epiphany Day church services to protect the members of their household from evil.
Health-care Practices
The amount of acceptance and use of biomedicine is highly related to one’s level of education and generation of immigration.
Greek immigrants tend to be anxious about health, to lack trust in health professionals, and to rely on family and community for advice and remedies.
Health-care Practices
To be healthy means to feel strong, joyful, and content; to be able to take care of oneself; and to be free from pain.
Threats to health result from a lack of balance in life; departure from family; neglect of education or work; and failure to demonstrate right behaviors, such as respect toward parents, sharing with family, upholding religious precepts, and staying out too late.
Health-care Practices
Problems are considered originating outside the individual’s control and are attributed to God, the devil, spirits, and envy or malice of others.
The family generally assumes responsibility and care for a sick member and works to control interactions with health professionals.
Health-care Practices
Three traditional folk healing practices are particularly notable: those related to matiasma (bad eye or evil eye), practika (herbal remedies), and vendousas (cupping).
Matiasma results from the envy or admiration of others. While the eye is able to harm a wide variety of things including inanimate objects, children are particularly susceptible to attack. Common symptoms include headache, chills, irritability, restlessness, and lethargy; in extreme cases, matiasma has resulted in death.
Health-care Practices
Greeks employ a variety of preventive mechanisms to thwart the effects of envy or evil eye, including protective charms in the form of phylactos, amulets consisting of blessed wood or incense, or blue “eye” beads, which “reflect” the eye.
In particularly severe cases, the Orthodox priest may recite special prayers of exorcism and use incense to fumigate the afflicted person.
Health-care Practices
Practika are herbal and humoral treatments used for initial self-treatment.
Chamomile, the most popular herb, is generally used in teas for gastric distress or abdominal pain, including infant colic and menstrual cramps.
It is also used as an expectorant to treat colds.
Health-care Practices
Liquors, such as anisette, ouzo, and mestika, are used primarily for colds, sore throats, and coughs and are consumed alone or in combination with tea, lemon, honey, or sugar, either alone or in some combination.
Occasionally, liquors are used for treatment of nevra (nerves).
Raw garlic is used as prevention for colds, and cooked garlic is used for blood pressure and heart disease.
Health-care Practices
Vendousas, a healing practice, is used as a treatment for colds, high blood pressure, and backache.
It consists of lighting a swab of cotton held on a fork, then placing the swab in an inverted glass, thereby creating a vacuum in the glass, which is then placed on the back of the ill person.
The skin on the back is drawn into the glass. This procedure is repeated 8 to 12 times.
Health-care Practices
Self-medicating behaviors are common, with herbal remedies and over-the-counter medications used widely for specific symptoms.
Mental illness is accompanied by social stigma, with negative consequences for the afflicted person as well as the family and relatives.
Shame originates in the notion that mental illness is hereditary; afflicted people are viewed as having lifelong conditions that “pollute” the bloodline.
Health-care Practices
Individuals with mental illness often present with somatic complaints such as dizziness and paresthesias on initial visits to health-care practitioners.
Recent immigrants tend to have higher rates of mental disorders, which perhaps result from the stress of culture change.
A folk model for nevra is a socially acceptable and culturally condoned medium for the expression of otherwise unacceptable emotions.
Health-care Practices
Ponos (pain) is the cardinal symptom of ill health and an evil that needs eradication.
The person in pain is not expected to suffer quietly or stoically in the presence of family.
The family is relied on to find resources to relieve the pain or, failing that, to share in the experience of suffering.
In the presence of outsiders, the lack of restraint in pain expression suggests lack of self-control, and therefore it is considered endropi.
Health-care Practices
The key aspect of the sick role is for the sick to fully rely on the family for sustenance.
When an individual is ill, it is particularly important that he or she not be left alone.
When hospitalization occurs, family members expect to stay with the individual, even during examinations and therapeutic procedures.
Protection includes shielding the sick from a serious diagnosis.
Health-care Practices
On the basis of the Christian Orthodox belief in the physical resurrection of the body, some Greeks and Greek Cypriots may reject the concept of autopsy and do not readily accept organ donation.
However, the Greek Orthodox church is strongly pro-life and more recently has been encouraging organ donation as an act of love.
Blood transfusions are wholly acceptable and are common for people with thalassemia.
Health-care Practitioners
A woman who cures, particularly one who cures the evil eye, is known as a magissa, which is usually translated as “witch” but means “magician”; she may also be called doctor.
In the US and Britain, “wise women” from one’s own family conduct most lay healing.
The priest may also be called on for advice, blessings, exorcisms, and direct healing.
Health-care Practitioners
Many Greeks and Greek Cypriots display a general distrust of all professionals and le shopping around for physicians and other professionals to obtain additional opinions is relatively common.
The use of several physicians simultaneously may result in untoward drug interactions from conflicting interventions or overdoses.
There is also a fear that the sick person may be used as a subject for experimentation.
Health-care Practitioners
Hospitals are a particular source of mistrust both for Greeks and Greek Cypriots.
When hospitalizations occur, the family may be perceived by staff as demanding or “interfering” as they enact their protective advocacy roles.
Mothers may demand to sleep with their children and fear that the children may not receive appropriate care.
The parents bring their 14 month old baby to the clinic because herbs have not adequately treated matiasma which is

a.Evil eye.



d.Sunken fontanelle.

Correct Answer
Correct answer: A

Matiasma is evil eye.

The family has been treating their teenage son with vendouses, cupping which is traditionally used to treat


b.Nervous disorders.



Correct Answer
Correct answer: C

Vendouses, cupping, is used to treat colds, high blood pressure, and backache.

Greek Culture, Hindu Culture and Cuban American Culture Essays – Hindu Culture

Hindu Overview/Heritage
More than a billion people inhabit India.
Eighty percent of the population are Hindus, followers of Hinduism.
Other significant religious groups include Sikhs, Moslems, and Christians.
Hindu Overview/Heritage
Different religious sectors share many common cultural beliefs and practices.
Immigrants to the United States come predominantly from urban areas, including all major Indian states.
Hindu Overview/Heritage
Most recent immigrants are highly educated.
More than 1,600,000 Asian Indians are living in the United States.
Most come to the United States to attain a higher standard of living, better working conditions, and job opportunities.
Hindu Communication
Asian Indian languages fall into two main groups: Indo-Aryan in the north and Dravidian in the south.
Hindi, with 1,652 dialectical variations, is the national language along with English.
Women often speak in a soft voice, making it harder to understand what they say.
Hindu Communication
Men may become intense and loud when they converse with other family members.
Women avoid direct eye contact with men.
Direct eye contact with older people and authority figures may be considered a sign of disrespect.
Hindu Communication
Touching and embracing are not acceptable for displaying affection.
Even between spouses, a public display of affection such as hugging or kissing is frowned upon, being considered strictly a private matter.
Temporality is past-, present-, and future–oriented.
Hindu Communication
Punctuality in keeping scheduled appointments may not be considered important.
Older family members are usually not addressed by name but as elder brother, sister, aunt, or uncle.
Hindu Communication
A woman never addresses a man by name because the woman is not considered an equal or superior.
Strangers are greeted with folded hands and a head bow that respects their personal territory
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
No institution in India is more important than the family.
The hierarchical structure of authority is the patriarchal joint family based on the principle of superiority of men over women.
The male head of the family is legitimized and considered sacred by caste and religion, which delineate relationships.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
Central relationships are based on continuation and expansion of the male lineage through inheritance and ancestor worship, related to the father-son and brother-brother relationships.
A matrilineal system exists in a few areas in the southwestern and northeastern regions of the country; however, power rests with the men in the woman’s family.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
A submissive and acquiescent role is expected of women in the first few years of married life with little or no participation in decision-making.
Strict norms govern contact and communication with the men of the family, including a woman’s husband.
Parents strongly encourage and emphasize scholastic achievement in fields that promise good employment and a high social status.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
Although many parents expect and accept the Westernization of their children, the question of marriage is still a concern for parents who have opinions about how their children should be married, whether “arranged” or partly arranged.
Hindu parents or Indians from all religious traditions want their children to marry other Indians.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
Arranged marriages at a young age are considered most desirable for women.
The practice of an arranged marriage continues in the United States in order to minimize the stress associated with differences in castes, lifestyles, and expectations between the male and female hierarchy.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
The two major types of transfer of material wealth accompanying marriage are bride price and a dowry.
Bride price is payment in cash and other materials to the bride’s father in exchange for authority over the woman, which passes from her kin group to the bridegroom’s kin group.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
In the joint family structure, Hindu women are considered “outsiders” and are socialized and incorporated in such a way that “jointness” and residence are not broken up.
A close relationship between the husband and wife is disapproved because it induces favoring the nuclear family and dissolving the joint family.
A marriage is regarded as indissoluble.
Hindu Family Roles & Organization
Older family members are held in reverence and cared for by their children when self-care becomes a concern.
Single-parent, blended, and communal families are not well accepted by Hindus.
Homosexuality may cause a social stigma.
A male nurse is giving dietary discharge instructions to Mrs. Mukhopadhya. She she does not maintain eye contact with the nurse. This means she is


b.Does not understand.

c.Demonstrating respect.

d.Does not care.

Correct Answer
Correct answer: C

Out of respect, traditional Hindus do not maintain eye contact with authority figures, nor do females maintain eye content with men.

Hindu Workforce Issues
At work, Hindus adopt American practices and cultural habits.
Hierarchies of age, gender, and caste prescribe transactions among Hindus.
At work, relationships are a reproduction of the authority-dependence characteristic of family and social relationships.
Hindu Workforce Issues
In seeking to establish a personal and benevolent relationship, Hindus may be seen as too eager to please, ingratiating, or docile, all antithetical to the task of assertion and independence.
Women avoid direct eye contact with men.
Direct eye contact with older people and authority figures is a sign of disrespect.
Hindu Biocultural Ecology
Indian diversity of physical types and can be divided into three general groups according to the color of their skin:
White in the north and northwest,
Yellow in areas bordering Tibet and Assam, and
Black in the south.
Hindu Biocultural Ecology
Indids (whites) have a light-brown skin color, wavy black hair, dark or light brown eyes, are tall or of medium height, and are either dolichocephalic (long-headed) or brachycephalic (short-headed).
Hindu Biocultural Ecology
Melanids, often referred to as the Dravidians and are the population of southern India, have dark skin ranging from light brown to black, elongated heads, broad noses, thick lips, and black, wavy hair.
They are usually shorter than 5 feet 6 inches tall.
Hindu Biocultural Ecology
Common health conditions of Asian Indians include malaria, filiariasis, tubersulosis, pneumonia, cardiovascular diseases, rheumatic heart disease, sickle cell anemia, dental disease, lactose intolerance, cancer of the cheek, nose, and mouth, breast and stomach cancer, ichthyosis vulgaris, beriberi, thiamine deficiency, goiter, osteomalacia, dropsy, and flurosis.
Hindu Biocultural Ecology
Many individuals require lower doses of lithium, antidepressants, and neuroleptics, and they may experience side effects even with the lower doses.
They are also more sensitive to the adverse effects of alcohol consumption, resulting in marked facial flushing, palpitations, and tachycardia.
Hindu High-risk health Behaviors
Alcoholism and cigarette smoking among Hindu Americans, especially among men, cause significant health problems.
Hindu Nutrition
Dietary habits are complex and regionally varied. Most believe that food was created by the Supreme Being for the benefit of man.
The influence of religion is pervasive in food selection, customs, and preparation methods.
Classification of regional food habits can be two-fold based on the types of cereals and fresh foods consumed.
In the first category are rice and bread eaters; in the second category are vegetarians and non-vegetarians.
Hindu Nutrition
Vegetarianism is firmly rooted in culture.
The term non-vegetarian is used to describe anyone who eats meat, eggs, poultry, fish, and sometimes cheese.
Many Brahmins in North India consider eating meat to be religiously sanctioned.
In some parts of India, eating fish is acceptable to Brahmins, whereas in other parts eating meat is sacrilegious.
Hindu Nutrition
Dietary staples include rice, wheat, jowar, bajra, jute, oilseeds, peanuts, millet, maize, peas, sugarcane, coconut, and mustard.
Cereals supply 70 to 90 percent of the total caloric requirements.
A variety of pulses or lentils, cooked vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products are also consumed.
Hindu Nutrition
Heavily spiced (curry) dishes with vegetables, meat, fish, or eggs are favored, and hot pickles and condiments are common.
Spice choices include garlic, ginger, turmeric, tamarind, cumin, coriander, and mustard seed.
Vegetable choices include onions, tomatoes, potatoes, green leaves, okra, green beans, and root vegetables.
Hindu Nutrition
In North India, wheat is the staple food. Other cereals are jowar, bajra, and ragi, consumed in porridges, gruels, and rotis (baked pancakes).
People from Punjab do not favor fish, and people from the south generally dislike the idea of meat of any kind.
In Saurashtra in the south, fish, fowl, flesh, and eggs are taboo practically everywhere.
Hindu Nutrition
Women generally serve the food but may eat separately from men.
Women are not allowed to cook during their menstrual periods or have contact with other members of the family.
Foremost among the perceptions of Hindus is the belief that certain foods are “hot” and others are “cold,” and therefore, they should only be eaten during certain seasons and not in combination.
Hindu Nutrition
Geographic differences in the hot and cold perceptions are dramatic.
Many foods considered hot in the north are considered cold in the south. Such perceptions and distinctions are based on how specific foods are thought to affect body functions.
Failure to observe rules related to the hot and cold theory of diseases results in illness.
Hindu Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
Birth control methods include intrauterine devices, condoms, and rhythm and withdrawal methods.
Grandmothers, mothers, and mothers-in-law are considered to have expert knowledge in the use of home remedies during pregnancy and the postpartum period.
Many older women frequently travel to the United States to assist new mothers in antenatal and postnatal care that is consistent with traditional customs.
Hindu Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
The birth of a son is a blessing because the son carries the family name and takes care of the parents in their old age.
The birth of a daughter is cause for worry and concern because of the traditions associated with dowry, a ritual that can impoverish the lives of those who are less affluent.
Hindu Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
No taboo against the father being in the delivery room exists, but men are usually not present during birthing.
Because self-control is valued, women suppress their feelings and emotions during labor and delivery.
Hindu Pregnancy & Childbearing Practices
Certain “hot” foods like eggs, jaggery, coconut, groundnut, maize, mango, papaya, fruit, and meat are avoided during pregnancy because of a fear of abortion caused by heating the body or inducing uterine hemorrhage.
Pregnancy is a time of increased body heat; hence, “cold” foods, such as milk, yogurt, and fruits, are considered good. Buttermilk and green leafy vegetables are avoided because of the belief that these foods cause joint pain, body aches, and flatulence.
Hindu Pregnancy & Childbearing Practices
Burning sensations during urination, scanty urine, or a white vaginal discharge are considered serious signs of significant overheating.
Overeating and consumption of high-protein foods, including milk, are avoided because such foods result in an exaggerated growth of the baby that may lead to a difficult delivery.
Hindu Pregnancy & Childbearing Practices
Morning sickness is caused by an increase in body heat.
Anemia caused by iron deficiency is one of the nutritional disorders affecting women of childbearing age. This condition may be aggravated because of the practice of reducing the consumption of leafy vegetables to avoid producing a dark-skinned baby.
Hindu Childbearing Practices
After the birth, both the mother and the baby undergo purification rites leading to the 11th day.
The baby is officially named on the 11th day during the “cradle ceremony,” and several rituals are performed to protect the baby from evil spirits and to ensure longevity.
Hindu Childbearing Practices
The postpartum mother is considered to be impure and is confined to a warm room and often keeps the windows closed to protect her against cold drafts. Exposure to air conditioners and fans, even in warm weather, may be considered dangerous.
The pollution lasts for 10 days. This period of necessitated and mandatory confinement assists in bonding between the mother and the newborn. It provides the mother with adequate rest and time to tend to the baby’s needs.
Childbearing Practices
A sponge bath for the newborn is recommended until the umbilical cord falls off.
Soft massage to the extremities is recommended before bathing the infant.
Washing the infant’s hair daily is believed to improve the quality of the hair.
Childbearing Practices
During the postpartum period, hot foods, such as brinjals, drumsticks, dried fish, dhal, and greens, are good for lactation.
Cold foods, such as buttermilk and curds, gourds, squashes, tomatoes, and potatoes, are restricted because they produce gas. Cold foods are thought to produce diarrhea and indigestion in the infant.
Childbearing Practices
Abstentions are primarily practiced for the baby’s health; harmful influences might be transmitted through the mother’s breast milk. Some believe that colostrum is unsuited for infants. Most women think that the milk does not “descend to the breast” until their ritual bath on the third day and, as a result, newborns are fed sugar water or milk expressed from a lactating woman.
Childbearing Practices
Breast milk is commonly supplemented with cow’s milk and diluted with sugar water. A child’s stomach is considered weak as a result of diarrhea; therefore, the child is given diluted milk.
Sources of protein, such as eggs, curds, and meat are avoided because they might adversely affect the baby.
Childbearing Practices
The mother’s diet the first few days is restricted to liquids, rice, gruel, and bread.
Boiled rice, eggplant, curry, and tamarind juice are added to the diet between 6 months and a year after the birth of the baby.
Hindu Death Rituals
A tenet of Hinduism is that the soul survives the death; death is a rebirth.
The death rite is called antyesti, or last rites.
The priest pours water into the mouth of the deceased and blesses the body by tying a thread around the neck or wrist.
The eldest son completes prayers for ancestral souls, but all male descendants perform the rites; each offers balls of rice on behalf of the deceased ancestor.
Hindu Death Rituals
The body is usually cremated rather than interred.
The ashes are immersed or sprinkled in the holy rivers. Such immersions are of great benefit to the souls of the dead.
Hindus may save their family’s ashes to later scatter them in holy rivers when they return to their homeland.
Hindu Death Rituals
Women may respond to the death of a loved one with loud wailing, moaning, and beating their chests in front of the corpse, attesting their inability to bear the thought of being left behind to handle situations by themselves.
Hindu Spirituality
Hinduism, the largest religion and oldest tradition practiced in India, represents a set of beliefs and a definite social organization.
Hinduism denotes belief in the authority of Vedas and other sacred writings of the ancient sages, immortality of the soul and a future life, existence of a Supreme God, the theory of karma and rebirth, theory of the four stages of life, and the theory of four Purusarthas, or ends of human endeavor.
Hindu Spirituality
Orthodox Hindus view society as divinely ordained on the basis of the four castes: (a) Brahmin, the highest caste, priests and scholars, emerged from the head of God; (b) Kshtriya, warriors, from the arms; (c) Vaisya, merchants, from the waist; and (d) Sudra, menials, from the feet of God.
Hindu legal codes are based on the caste system.
Hindu Spirituality
Women often fast one day a week or for a lunar month to fulfill a vow made to a deity in supplication for a particular blessing.
Wives frequently fast to secure the continued health of their husbands and families.
Shrines may be set up in the living room, dining room, or in a back room or in a closet.
The shrine typically contains representations or symbols of one or more deities.
The wife of Mr. Ganganna ask the nurse to arrange antyesti for her critically ill husband. The nurse recognizes that antyesti is

Last rights.
A Hindu religious leader.
A traditional Hindu healer.
A strength enhancing special drink.
Correct Answer
Correct answer: A

Antyesti is last rights among Hindus.

Hindu Health-care Practices
Physical examinations are especially traumatic to women who may not have experienced or heard about Pap tests and mammography exams.
Most individuals believe that illnesses attack an individual through the mind, body, and soul.
Some believe that too much sexual activity and worry are associated with tuberculosis.
Hindu Health-care Practices
Suffering of any kind produces hope, which is essential to life.
To maintain harmony between self and the supernatural world, the belief that one can do little to restore health by oneself provides a basis for ceremonies and rituals.
Worshiping goddesses, pilgrimages to holy places, and pouring water at the roots of sacred trees have medicinal effects in healing the sick person and in appeasing the planets to help prevent illnesses and misfortunes.
Hindu Health-care Practices
In Ayurveda, the traditional system of medicine in India, the primary emphasis is on the prevention of illnesses. Individuals have to be aware of their own health needs.
One of the principles of Ayurveda includes the art of living and proper health care, advocating that one’s health is a personal responsibility.
The key to health is an orderly daily life in which personal hygiene, diet, work, and sleep and rest patterns are regulated.
Hindu Health-care Practices
A common health problem is self-medication.
Those migrating to America are accustomed to self-medicating and may bring medications with them or obtain medications through relatives and friends.
The traditional healers use Ayurvedic, Siddha, and Unani medical systems all of which are based on the Tridosha theory.
Hindu Health-care Practices
The Ayurvedic system uses herbs and roots; the Siddha system, practiced mainly in the southern part of India, uses medicines; and the Unani system, similar to the Siddha, is practiced by Muslims.
According to the Tridosha theory, the body is made up of modifications of the five elements: air, space, fire, water, and earth.
Hindu Health-care Practices
Because of their religious beliefs of karma, Hindus may attempt to be stoic and may not exhibit symptoms of pain.
Pain is attributed to God’s will, the wrath of God, or a punishment from God and is to be borne with courage.
Family may not want to disclose the gravity of an illness to the patient or discuss impending disability or death for fear of the patient’s vulnerability and loss of hope, resulting in death.
Hindu Health-care Practitioners
The sick role is assumed without any feeling of guilt or ineptness in doing one’s tasks.
The individual is cared for and relieved of responsibilities for that time.
Psychological distress may be demonstrated through somatization, which is common, especially in women.
Hindu Health-care Practices
Because of the stigma attached to seeking professional psychiatric help, many do not access the health-care system for mental health problems.
Mental illness is considered to be God’s will.
No Hindu policy exists that prevents receiving blood or blood products.
Donating and receiving organs are acceptable.
Hindu Health-care Practitioners
Although Hindus in general have a favorable attitude toward American physicians and the quality of medical care received in the United States, relatives and friends are usually consulted before health-care professionals.
Physicians are considered omnipotent because God grants cures through physicians.
Clients tend to be subservient and may not openly question physicians’ behavior or treatment.
Hindu Health-care Practitioners
Physician is also viewed like an older person in the family; a protective, authoritative, and responsible relationship; and a parent-child relationship.
Mental health traditional healers such as Vaids, practice an empirical system of indigenous medicine; mantarwadis cure through astrology and charms; and patris act as mediums for spirits and demons.
Women are especially modest, generally seeking female health-care providers for gynecologic examinations.

Greek Culture, Hindu Culture and Cuban American Culture Essays – Cuban American Culture
Cuban American Overview/Heritage
The Republic of Cuba is a multiracial society with people of primarily Spanish and African origins.
Other ethnocultural groups include Chinese, Haitians, and Eastern Europeans.
Spain, the United States, and the Soviet Union significantly influence Cuba’s history and culture.
Cuban American Overview/Heritage
Mistrust of government has reinforced a strong personalistic tradition and sense of national identity evolving from family and interpersonal relationships.
Cuban American Overview/Heritage
Desire for personal freedom, hope of refuge, political exile, and promise of economic opportunities prompted migration.
Cubans in the United States take great pride in their heritage and tend to be conservative, Republican, and anticommunist.
Cuban American Overview/Heritage
Many possess a strong ethnic identity, speak Spanish, and adhere to traditional Cuban values and practices..
The highest concentration of Cubans is in Florida, although significant numbers live in New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and California.
Cuban American Communication
Many Cubans live and transact business in Spanish-speaking enclaves.
While the second generation speaks Spanish, many converse with friends or peers in “Spanglish,” a mixture of Spanish and English.
The highly educated are more likely to speak English at home.
Cuban American Communication
Many value simpatía and personalismo in their interactions with others.
Simpatía, the need for smooth interpersonal relationships, is characterized by courtesy, respect, and the absence of criticism or confrontation.
Personalismo, the importance of intimate interpersonal relationships, is valued over impersonal bureaucratic relationships.
Cuban American Communication
Choteo, a lighthearted attitude with teasing, bantering, and exaggerating is often observed in their communications with others.
Conversations are characterized by animated facial expressions, direct eye contact, hand gestures, and gesticulations.
Voices tend to be loud, and the rate of speech is fast.
Cuban American Communication
Touching, handshakes, and hugs are acceptable among family, friends, and acquaintances and may be used to express gratitude to the caregiver.
Touch is common between people of the same gender; older men and women rarely touch in public.
Cuban American Communication
Most tend to emphasize current issues and problems rather than future ones.
Hora cubana (Cuban time) refers to a flexible period that stretches 1 to 2 hours beyond designated clock time.
Most Cubans use two surnames representing the mother and father’s family names.
Married women may also add the husband’s name.
Cuban American Family Roles and Organization
Traditional family structure is patriarchal, characterized by a dominant and assertive male and a passive, dependent female.
Traditionally, Cuban wives stay at home, manage the household, and care for children, whereas husbands are expected to work, provide financially, and make major decisions for the family.
Cuban American Family Roles and Organization
Honor is attained by fulfilling family obligations and treating others with respeto (respect).
Vergüenza, a consciousness of public opinion and the judgment of the entire community, is considered more important for women than for men.
Machismo dictates that men display physical strength, bravery, and virility and be the spokesperson, even though they might not make the decisions.
Cuban American Family Roles and Organization
La familia (the family, nuclear and extended, including godparents) is the most important source of emotional and physical support.
Multigenerational (3 to 4 generations) households are common, including a high proportion of people 65 years and older who live with their relatives.
Cuban American Family Roles and Organization
According to U.S. standards, Cuban parents tend to pamper and overprotect their children.
Children are expected to study, respect their parents, and follow el buen camino (the straight and narrow).
Boys are expected to learn a trade or prepare for work and to stay away from vices.
Girls are expected “to remain honorable while single,” to prepare for marriage, to avoid the opposite sex, and not to go out without a chaperone.
Cuban American Family Roles and Organization
When a daughter reaches 15 years, a quinceaneras, or elaborate 15th birthday party, is typically held to celebrate this rite of passage for the daughter.
Adolescents may undergo an identity crisis and reject their heritage causing parents to feel their authority is being challenged.
Cuban American Family Roles and Organization
Little information is available on homosexuality.
Same-sex behaviors among men may be regarded as a sign of virility and power rather than homosexual behavior.
The gay lifestyle is contradictory to the machismo orientation of this culture. Same-sex couples may be alienated from their families.
A 22-year-old from Cuba comes to the prenatal clinic for the first time. She introduces herself as Elena Florencia Gonzalez Portillo. The receptionist should ask what

a.Is your husband’s surname?

b.Is your husband’s last name?

c.Name do you wish to be called?

d.What is your legal name?

Correct Answer
Correct answer: D

The legal name is what should be used for record-keeping.

Cuban American Workforce Issues
Cuban ethnic enclaves with a familiar language and culture have created numerous employment opportunities for recent Cuban immigrants.
A source of tension is the tendency of Cubans to speak Spanish with other Cuban or Hispanic coworkers. Speaking the same language allows them to form a common bond, relieve anxieties at work, and feel comfortable with one another.
Cuban American Workforce Issues
Traditional Cubans recognize supervisors as authority figures and treat them with respect and deference.
Cubans value a structure characterized by personalismo, one that is oriented around people rather than around concepts or ideas.
Personal relationships at work are considered an extension of family relationships.
Because of the emphasis on the job or task in the American workplace, many Cubans view this workplace as being too individualistic, businesslike, and detached.
Cuban American Biocultural Ecology
Most Cubans are white, and only 5 percent are black with physical features similar to those of African Americans.
Cuban Americans tend to have lower incidences of diabetes mellitus, obesity, and hypertension than other Hispanic groups or whites.
Because of their diet, which is high in sugar, many exhibit a high prevalence of tooth loss, filled teeth, gingival inflammations, and periodontitis.
Cuban American Biocultural Ecology
Commonly occurring health conditions of Cubans are hypertension, coronary artery disease, obesity, diabetes mellitus, and lung cancer.
Specific information related to drug metabolism is limited; however, in general, many require lower doses of antidepressants and experience greater side effects than non-Hispanic white populations.
Cuban American High-risk Health Behaviors
Cuban Americans tend to exhibit a higher incidence of smoking than other Hispanic or European groups.
Alcohol use is greater among males than females and among younger versus older groups.
Violent deaths account for high mortality rates among adolescents and young adults.
Suicide rates also exceed those of the white non-Hispanic population.
The nurse is using an interpreter to interview the parents of a 6-year-old Cuban, Leonardo, who has stomach pain. The nurse should direct questions to
A. The father.
B. The mother.
C. The interpreter.
D. Both parents.
Correct Answer
Correct answer: D

The nurse should address the questions to both parents to demonstrate respect to both of them.

Cuban American Nutrition
Food allows families to reaffirm kinship ties, promotes a sense of community, and perpetuates customs and heritage.
Staple foods include root crops like yams, yuca, malanga, and boniato; plantains; and grains.
Many dishes are prepared with olive oil, garlic, tomato sauce, vinegar, wine, lime juice (sofrito), and spices.
Cuban American Nutrition
Meat is usually marinated in lemon, lime, sour orange, or grapefruit juice before cooking.
A leisurely noon meal (almuerzo) and a late evening dinner (comida), sometimes as late as 10 or 11 pm, are often customary.
Being overweight is seen as positive, healthy, and sexually attractive.
Food allows families to reaffirm kinship ties, promotes a sense of community, and perpetuates customs and heritage.
Cuban American Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
Cuban women’s fertility rate is lower than that of other Hispanic American women. Cuba’s current reproductive rate is among the lowest in the developing world.
Even before the revolution, Cuba had the lowest birthrate in Latin America.
The low fertility rate has been attributed to many women in the workforce.
Cuban American Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
Preterm births and neonatal and post-neonatal deaths are lower among Cuban American women than among other Hispanic American groups.
Prenatal care is higher than among other Hispanic and white non-Hispanics.
Mothers tend to use advice about child health given by their spouses, mothers, mothers-in-law, and clerks and pharmacists.
Cuban American Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
Childbirth is a time for celebration with family members and friends congregating in the hospital.
Traditionally, men have not attended the births of their children, but younger, more acculturated, fathers are frequently present.
Cuban American Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
During the postpartum period, ambulation, exposure to cold, and bare feet place the mother at risk for infection.
Family members and relatives often care for the mother and baby for about 4 weeks postpartum.
Most women consider breast-feeding better than bottle feeding; approximately half choose to breast-feed.
Cuban American Pregnancy and Childbearing Practices
Cutting the infant’s hair or nails in the first 3 months is believed to cause blindness and deafness.
Cuban American Death Rituals
In death, as in life, the support of the extended family network is paramount.
Bereavement is expressed openly as loud crying with other physical manifestations of grief.
Death is often seen as a part of life and some, especially men, may approach death stoically.
Cuban American Death Rituals
The dying person is typically attended by a large gathering of relatives and friends.
In Catholic families, individual and group prayers are held for the dying to provide a peaceful passage to the hereafter.
Religious artifacts such as rosary beads, crucifixes, or estampitas (little statues of saints) are placed in the dying person’s room.
Cuban American Death Rituals
For adherents of Santería, death rites may include animal sacrifice, chants, and ceremonial gestures.
Candles are lighted after death to illuminate the path of the spirit to the afterlife.
A velorio (wake) lasts 2 to 3 days and is usually held at a funeral parlor or in the home where friends and relatives gather to support the bereaved family.
Cuban American Death Rituals
Burial in a cemetery is common practice, although some may choose cremation.
The deceased are customarily remembered and honored on their birthdays or death anniversaries by lighting candles, offering prayers or masses, bringing flowers to the grave, or gathering with family members at the grave site.
Cuban American Spirituality
Approximately 85 percent of Cuban Americans are Roman Catholic; the remaining 15 percent are Protestants, Jews, and believers in African Cuban Santería.
Roman Catholicism is personalistic and characterized by devotion and intimate, confiding relationships with the Virgin Mary, Jesus, and the saints.
Cuban American Spirituality
Significant religious holidays include Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), Christmas, Los Tres Reyes Magos (Three Kings Day), and the festivals of the La Caridad del Cobre and Santa Barbara.
Santería is a 300-year-old African Cuban religious system that combines Roman Catholic elements with ancient Yoruba tribal beliefs.
Cuban American Spirituality
Followers of Santería believe in the magical and medicinal properties of flowers, herbs, weeds, twigs, and leaves.
Sweet herbs such as manzanilla, verbena, and mejorana are used for attracting good luck, love, money, and prosperity.
Bitter herbs such as apasote, zarzaparilla, and yerba bruja are used to banish evil and negative energies. Santería is viewed as a link to the past and is used to cope with physical and emotional problems.
Cuban American Spirituality
Physical complaints may be diagnosed and treated by a physician, whereas the santero may assist in balancing and neutralizing the various aspects of the illness.
Deeply held religious beliefs provide guidance and strength during the long and difficult process of migration and adaptation and continue to play an important role in their day-to-day lives.
Cuban American Spirituality
Belief in a higher power is evident in practices used to maintain health and well-being or cure illness, such as using magical herbs, special prayers or chants, ritual cleansing, and sacrificial offerings.
Many tend to be fatalistic, believing that they lack control over circumstances influencing their lives.
Cuban American Health-care Practices
African Cubans may seek biomedical care for organic diseases but consult a santero for spiritual or emotional crises.
Conditions such as decensos (fainting spells) or barrenillos (obsessions) may be treated solely by a santero or simultaneously with a physician.
Many tend to seek help only in response to crisis situations.
Cuban American Health-care Practices
Many Cuban Americans rely on the family as the primary source of health advice.
Older women provide traditional home remedies such as herbal teas or mixtures to relieve mild or moderate symptoms or cure common ailments.
Older Cuban Americans were socialized into a strong health ideology and successful primary care system while still in Cuba.
Cuban American Health-care Practices
Use of preventive services in the US is generally determined more by access to care than by acculturation.
Many Cuban Americans use traditional medicinal plants in the form of teas, potions, salves, or poultices. In Cuban communities, stores called botanicas sell herbs, ointments, oils, powders, incenses, and religious figurines to relieve maladies, bring luck, drive away evil spirits, or break curses.
Santería necklaces and animals used for ritual sacrifice are often available at botanicas.
Cuban American Health-care Practices
Blood transfusions and organ donations are usually acceptable.
Cuban American Health-care
Both traditional and biomedical care are acceptable.
Folk remedies may be used at home, but if the condition persists, folk practitioners such as santeros and biomedical practitioners may be used either simultaneously or successively.
Santeros may prescribe treatment or perform rituals to enable ill people to recover by invoking supernatural deities to intervene to help make them well.

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