My cultural interview was with a coworker, 28 years of age and of Hipic descent. While conducting the interview I learned a lot about the Hipic culture. Many Hipics like to be called Latino (a). Some do not like to be referred to as Mexican when they are from other countries other than Mexico. Hipics also use slang within their culture just like African Americans. Within the culture the male is the dominant figure in the household. All the decisions that affect the family go through the father. If there is no father in the house, the oldest son fulfills that role.
The older son may drop out of school so that they may assist the mother at the house in the absence of the father. Many Hipics usually marry fairly young and start to raise a family. When they get older they usually do not marry, but live together like husband and wife. The average number of members within the family is 7 including the mother and father. The mother is usually the caregiver and stays home to look after the children. The oldest daughter steps in and helps the mother out whenever she can. The grandparents are considered the second mom and dad.
Their cousins are regarded as an extension of their siblings. My interviewee has 2 brothers who she is very close to. If her brothers tell her to do something even at age 28 she really makes sure she follows their directives. Her mother is divorced from her father, but he still plays an active part in her and her brothers’ life. The relationship between the mother and father is still very close even though they are not married. The relationship between the mother’s new boyfriend and ex- husband is very cordial and respectful in an attempt to maintain a loving and positive environment for their family.
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The Hipic family is outgoing and likes to have fun. Usually they have many gathering and invite friends, family and extended members to these functions. Drinking is considered a social event at these gatherings. My interviewee felt that her family was similar to other families within the Hipic culture. Their family got together every opportunity they could. They had many traditional things they did as a family such as a gathering of family every year for her grandmother’s death, but as a celebration. Every year on Christmas Eve her family would also draw together to exchange gifts at different relative’s ouses. The interviewee stated this became a tradition for her family because the married people in the family had to attend festivities at their spouses’ relatives. English and Spanish are both spoken in the Hipics households. The majority of the older members of the family only speak Spanish. My interviewee stated that she did not know how to speak Spanish, but her mother did and fluently. She stated that her mother has always told her that she needed to know Spanish because that was her heritage, but she never felt it very necessary.
The Hipic culture celebrates the coming of age which is called a 15 or Quinceaneras. The Quinceanernas is usually a big production for the girls. The girls have escorts and dress in a formal type ballroom dress and have many of her friends and relatives there for the celebration. My interviewee stated that she did not have a Quinceaneras because she did not really get into it. She also stated that she got pregnant and did not want her parents to spend all that money for the celebration. The boys on the other hand do not go all out with this type of celebration, but instead celebrate at their homes with friends.
The Hipic view of interracial dating is different amongst the households. Generally speaking, the oldest members of the family do not agree with interracial marriages and are very protective. The younger generation feels you should be happy and it does not matter the ethnicity of the person. If they are involved in an interracial relationship then they gravitate more to one type of ethnicity. My interviewee stated that she dated mostly African Americans. She also stated that her family was a little reluctant to this situation, but eventually came around as long as she was happy.
Even though one of her brothers was friends with the guy, he was also hesitant for her to date the African American guy. She stated when her brother really realized that she really like the guy he was okay with it. She stated her family was really only concerned with her happiness and well- being, thus making it okay to look past color. This culture believes in working for a living. Hipics are hard workers and will do whatever it takes to supply their family needs. My interviewee stated that her father worked in a printing company and he has worked their since he was 17 years old.
She stated her mother did not have to work, but instead stayed home and was a housewife. Hipics have longitivity within their career. The common field for these workers is construction workers. Hipic men are known to do jobs that involve manual labor, such as cutting lawns, automobile mechanic, or laying tile. The Hipic women are known to do domestic type work, such as babysitting, maid service, or food service. Education is very important to the Hipic culture even though many do not go on to complete higher education. The younger siblings are pushed to get a good education by their older brothers and sisters.
The younger generation sometime have an “I don’t care “mind frame and don’t put forth the effort into their education. They either devote their time to going to school or working to provide for the family. My interviewee did go on to college to pursue a career in education. She did not complete this endeavor because she needed to get a job to help support her child. Her brothers and mother continued to support her in her decisions, but preferred her to continue on with her education. The predominant religion within the Hipic culture is Roman Catholic.
Within this religion they must confess their sins to priest and go to confessionals. The members of this religion attend church on Sunday’s as well as other times throughout the week. During their church services, food is served before and after the service. My interviewee stated that she does attend services, but not on a regular basis. Religion is very important to her family despite the fact that she does not attend consistently. The person I interviewed felt that within her culture it is important to be successful and be respectful. To some degree this expectation is followed because many own their own businesses.
They also are very close-knit and have respect for each other because of their race. She was most proud of the fact that they stuck together. Also another proud moment for her was that they didn’t mind putting in hard work to provide for the family. Some things that she would like to change would be the involvement in gangs and violent behavior. Another change that she would like to make would be the stereotypes associated with them. She stated Hipics men were viewed as having bandanas wrapped around their head, constantly calling each other “ese” and all involved in gangs.
She stated that the women are seen as always pregnant with 5-10 kids and one on the way. My interviewee felt that the greatest challenge ahead of her culture was getting a higher education. She felt that her culture needed more individuals to go to school and get that Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate degree. While conducting this interview I felt very comfortable because the person was a coworker and I was use to associating with Hipics. Many of the things that were disclosed were not unfamiliar to me because I have associated with this race on a variety of levels.
The information obtained helped me further understand this culture. When counseling with students of Hipic descent it is very useful to know that because respect is very important to them, I would have to gain their trust to be useful. While interviewing my coworker I realize that her culture was very similar to mines. Counseling someone within the Hipic culture doesn’t seem to pose any problems for me because of this connection. I plan to use my knowledge and ethical conduct where as not to create any biases.
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