I am multiracial so the house I grew up in was influenced by more than one culture. My Mexican culture placed a high emphasis on family. The family is considered the foundation when it comes to life. Your family is expected to support and always be there for you. In turn, it is your duty to consider the family in what you do.
You are expected to respect your elders and remember where you come from. It is also understood that at times you may have to make sacrifices in order to benefit the family as a unit. There is a heavy sense of responsibility, loyalty, and duty.
When it comes to relationships romantic or otherwise, at times this emphasis on the family just wasn’t understood. Why can’t you come to hang out with us? Just sneak out! would at times come from friends. However, I would explain that I just couldn’t. Partially from fear of getting in trouble but as I grew older I realized it was out of respect for my parents. Something that was ingrained in me since childhood and is a part of my culture.
I have come to notice that there are many international cultures outside of the United States that places a greater weight on the family unit, respect for your elders, and the idea of sacrifice for the whole. In China and India for example, there are families that live together with multiple generations. I’m not saying it doesn’t happen in the United States but the instances are fewer and far between.
Since family is such a big part of my culture, if I allow you to be around them or try to incorporate you with them, that means you are important. I want you to be a part of my culture which shaped me and influenced the person I have become.
Yes, growing up it was annoying to feel such a big sense of duty and responsibility. Having American friends that just didn’t seem to understand. However, at the end of the day, I enjoy having a defined culture, it is a part of what makes me unique.