This is an interview between me and Abornzine, a student here who is of Indian American descent.
Me: Hi Abornazine, how are you?
Abornazine: Am great, how are things going with you?
Me: With the semester just beginning, school is manageable. How’s school for you?
Abornazine: Pretty slow, Classes are picking up and you know how it is with the registration..Me: Am so glad you agreed to talk to me today. Its been a real hustle getting someone to talk to with the semester just beginning. Thanks again
Abornazine: Its My pleasure. A. platform to talk about my roots is always welcome. I hope I can be of help to you though, I don’t exactly know what you want to know.
Me: As I said earlier during our conversation, I want to know more about the culture of the Native Americans. I believe you are familiar with this culture, right?
Abornazine: Of course I am familiar with my culture. Remember am of American Indian descent and I have lived amongst them half my life.
Me:. This is a big plus to my research. So, Abornazine, would you be comfortable enough to speak to me about your history, where you originally lived before moving to the United States, your family and what prompted your movement.
Abornazine: Well as I told you earlier am of American Indian Decent. My family lived in Oklahoma west of the Mississippi until late 90s when I lost my father to arthritis and my mother, a single and jobless mother, decided to move to America to try and make a living for us all.
Me: Oh! Am very sorry about your father. So you have been here for over a decade, do you ever miss the culture or the people back in Oklahoma? Is there any family member who remained back there, and do you ever get to see them?
Abornazine: America is an interesting country with different people and different cultures but like the old saying goes, east or west , home is best. Of course I miss Oklahoma. Everything there was more familiar and everybody was pretty the same. The dressing, the cooking, even the language was one. My whole extended family still stays there. We go to them once in a while for visits, especially during festivities that are held high by the American Indian people, like the pow wow celebrations where dancing is the order of the day.
Me: Really. That sounds amazing. But do you get to do some of these practices here in America, considering how different people are here?
Abornazine: Oh yes. So many times by the way. It brings home a little closer though it is never the same. We celebrate events like Christmas the Oklahoma way and we cook our traditional dishes from time to time. Some of the ingredients for our traditional dishes are not readily available here though and the little that are here are quiet expensive for everyday use.
Me: Oh really? Like the Wojape meal?. And your siblings, how are they taking this whole American life thing? You know not everybody has the same tastes.
Abornazine: Actually they are pretty accustomed to the new life now. I wouldn’t really say if they miss the life back in Oklahoma. I come from a family of five. My mother, my two sisters my eldest brother and I. And am still taking cooking lessons on that specific meal.
Me: Seems a well knit family to me. I remember you mentioned earlier that you have experienced different cultures In America. Has this had any effect on you or your family in relation to the culture back in Oklahoma?
Abornazine: Of course. We grew in a culture where celebrations were marked in special ways. Rituals, specific attires specific dances. But here in America, things are different. If I put on my feather hat and rattles to a prom night celebration, everybody would think am crazy likewise our rituals would be termed as voodoo. In Oklahoma, we did most of our food home cooked. The American Indian people like their food spice up and very chilly. But Americans are more fast food people and the ingredients for home cooking are a little bit too expensive.
Me: That’s great. I have really learned so much from you today. I hope we can do this again one day and I want lessons too on that wojape meal. Had it once and fell in love with it.
Abornazine: It’s a good thing to learn something directly from a source, even cooking. Hope I was able to help you in some way though, feels good to talk about my culture.
Me: OH yes. This talk is of great help to my research. We’ll see you around. Goodbye.
In as much as people move away from their areas of birth, their cultural background does not necessarily change. Some people remain faithful to their cultures while others tend to pick up new behaviors.
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