As a representative of the Cuban population, I reveal cultural identities that are peculiar for this population. The culture of my country was created under various influences that often contradicted. Thus, it gathers some American, European and African elements.
Cubans are friendly and hospitable people who are ready to help others when needed. We are united by our love of music and dance and still value those traditional genres that tend to be forgotten or neglected by the majority of other populations. Cuban people live in a relaxed atmosphere and love having guests. Previously maintained eradication of religion affected people’s spirituality greatly, but today this issue is solved, and the majority of the population are Catholics.
People usually speak Spanish, but Afro-Cubans tend to use Haitian Creole. Women and men usually have equal rights, which allows us to share family responsibilities and work. Unfortunately, cuisine is an issue for the population because of food shortages. Individuals usually consume rice, vegetables, and pork. Tobacco, coffee, and sugar industries develop so many people use them in everyday life. The access to healthcare is a critical problem for Cubans because of the economic issues faced by the country (Hodge, 2013).
Beliefs and Traditions
The population of Cuba has many beliefs and traditions that should be considered when maintaining assessment because they determine the way people treat healthcare services and what they usually do in their everyday lives.
Cubans tend to speak emotionally and directly so many people can think that we are aggressive. Men often make final decisions while women assist in this process. The opinion of the elders is highly valued, but a physician is more likely to be treated as a director than a spouse. Some prefer their family members to be the first ones who receive information.
People tend to believe in the connection between mind, body, and spirit. We value herbal medicine and tend to resort to it when having problems. There is an opinion that physical illness occurs because of supernatural or mental causes. People can refuse to receive treatment as they are afraid to become dependent. We accept invasive procedures, as well as organ donation, and express pain openly. Procedures that allow natural death are rarely accepted so everything should be made to reach positive health outcomes. Religious beliefs and practices are highly valued. Women tend to feel uneasy if someone touches their belly or asks about their pregnancy; they do not speak about negative things (HealthCare Chaplaincy, 2013).
Being a representative of Cuba, I notice that people tend to follow stereotypes when they interact with me instead of getting to know me better. For example, some people believe that I came to the USA because I am afraid to live in my country or avoid me because they feel insecure. Mass media make them perceive Cuba as a dangerous place that is full of criminals. Sometimes they try to explain my actions saying that I acted in a particular way because we do not like Americans, which is also not true.
New acquaintances often hesitate when they ask me to join them at some party because they think that Cubans are strict and dull people who cannot have fun. At college, some individuals thought that I had a bad education because I am from Cuba. Some people expected me to be controlling and rude. For example, when being late, they would tell my why this happened and why I should not be angry even if I did not say anything at all.
Hodge, G. (2013). Cuba. Web.
HealthCare Chaplaincy. (2013). Handbook of patients’ spiritual and cultural values for health care professionals. Web.