General Question

Dansedescygnes's avatar

What is your ethnic background composed of and are you interested in it?

Asked by Dansedescygnes (2881points) April 12th, 2009

Don’t just say “white”, I mean from a country a nationality.

For example I am 3/4 Russian and 1/4 Czech so 4/4 Eastern European. I have cousins in Russia and my mom speaks fluent Russian. I love being Russian and am very interested in Slavic culture, I love the language, I love the country (Russia) that I have visited, I love the music (the classical and the modern), the food, the dress, etc.

I’d kill to be able to speak Russian…

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30 Answers

classyfied's avatar

I’m 3/4 Filipino and 1/4 Chinese. I speak Tagalog and I am currently learn Chinese at university. I’ve never really considered myself Chinese though because my family is largely Filipino. We don’t really celebrate Chinese New Years or practice any Chinese traditions so when I learn about Chinese culture I don’t really consider myself part of that. Just an outsider learning about it. I find it interesting. I was born in the Philippines and have visited quite often. And of course, I love Filipino food :]. I have my problems with the Philippines, though…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I am 3/4 Russian and 1/4 Armenian
I’d say I have many Russian ‘things’ that I do and not so many Armenian ones
I am interested in both history of Russia and Armenia
but not obsessively

Introverted_Leo's avatar

I’m African-American, with no reliable family history records to speak of.

. . .

Who the heck knows what I’m composed of? lol. I primarily take interest in being American. Other than some old photos of distant relatives who were part Native-American from my mother’s side…that’s about as exciting as my ethnicity gets.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Don’t know and no.

Facade's avatar

I’m mostly black (probably african) and a little native american. I’m not really interested in my ancestry

Tangent_J's avatar

half Italian, half Scottish…I am very in tune with my Italian heritage, not so much with the brother-in-law is currently doing the Scottish side (mom’s family) family tree. It is still in the early stages.

kenmc's avatar

I’m 3/4 German and 1/4 Irish. I associate more with my Irish side, though. I have the Irish last name and come from a direct male linage from Ireland.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


That’s neat. I have a Russian last name, you know, one of those that ends in “ov”.

Darwin's avatar

Both sides of my family have been interested in genealogy for centuries. As a result it is sort of difficult not to be interested in our heritages (and it is multiple heritages). There are several books written specifically on branches of the family, one of which is even available on as we speak. We even pop up in some fiction – the character of Natty Bumpo in The Last of the Mohicans was based on an ancestor of my mother’s.

In addition, my dad is spending his retirement writing the newest book on the family history and even sprang for one of those DNA tests, which confirmed certain family rumors. He also discovered the truth behind a few family stories that explained to where some of his uncles disappeared.

Because of the way I look I tend to focus a bit more on the Scottish and German aspects, but we also have a very strong tendency that goes back almost to the 12th century of being “different.” We could read when others usually couldn’t, we stuck with less popular religions when it might have been wiser to go with the flow, we survived events that certainly should have killed us and did kill a lot of other folks, we have a lot of strong women in our family tree, and not a few “black sheep.” We also tended to marry people that didn’t look like our immediate family.

At last count my immediate family is made up of three races, five major religions, and thirteen ethnic groups. That means we never met a holiday we didn’t like, and we have extremely wide-ranging tastes in food. Also, we all look different from each other, and tend to be either really tall or really short. Very few of us are of average stature.

Jude's avatar

Mostly French Canadian, a bit of German, Scottish and Welsh. Interested in it? Not really.

MadParty's avatar

icelandic,russian,wesh,sioux/ i kinda think the icelandic is cool.

blueknight73's avatar

im irish and scottish

asmonet's avatar

Spanish and German mostly and a smattering of Czech, English and French.
And, I’m interested, but not obsessed. :)

YARNLADY's avatar

I am a member of the Choctaw Nation Of Oklahoma, and very interested in the history on my Mother’s side. I have traced Dad’s history back to the 1700’s as well, but eventually I got bored with it.

gailcalled's avatar

Russian, Ukrainian, Lithuanian and Polish. My grandparents were so anxious to assimilate that they learned English (accented but fluent) in about 4 months.

Dansedescygnes's avatar


My mom’s family changed their last name to sound less Russian…I mean, I like the name “Avery” but it’s cooler as “Averyanov”.

hug_of_war's avatar

@Introverted_Leo It’s the same for me. I’m distantly greek and native american, but mostly just african-american. I don’t feel this attachment to some homeland like my european counterparts mostly because I don’t know my heritage, and never really will. I’m cool with that. This is the place I consider home anyway, America.

gailcalled's avatar

MY grandfathers were thoughtful enough to write their autobios in detailed English. Thus I have easily found some really amazing info on the genealogy sites. There is a history of my paternal gramps’ shetl…Serey, Lithuania. In it is a picture of a modest frame house with the sign, Viesbutis Finkelelio. That means Finkel’s Inn or Tavern. I found a translator on line.

@Dansedescygnes: Averianov, (with the accent on the “i” ?) is a wonderful name.

Triiiple's avatar

Mother is puerto rican father is cuban. i was born and raised in new york city. i consider myself american.

gailcalled's avatar

edit: Note Ben the semi-founder’s last name.

srmorgan's avatar

All of my ancestors are Eastern European Jews from places as varied as Riga, Latvia, Tarnow, Poland, Mlava, Poland, Odessa in the Ukraine, Kiev in the Ukraine, Amsterdam and Iasi, Romania. They had intermediate stops in London, Glasgow and Leeds.
Pretty homogenous group.

My wife had one grandmother whose lineage we have traced back to the 2nd boatload of Puritans in Boston, Lincolnshire, England who founded the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This ancestor was also the founder of Stonington, Connecticut.

My kids had a good time with genealogy projects in school. Talk about different family heritages!!


casheroo's avatar

I’m very interested in where I came from. I like doing as much research on it as possible.
I’m not exactly sure what I am. My family has been in the country for a very long time, it’s hard to trace back that far.
I know I’m English, Scottish, Native American (small amount on both sides), possibly German and Pennsylvania grandmother is not very reliable when it comes to answering these questions.

RedPowerLady's avatar

The culture I predominately identify with is Native American.
Specifically I am Lakota and Cherokee.
I was raised in the area of and with the Klamath/Modoc tribes of Southern Oregon.
I am quite interested in my Native culture and am very involved in it (in pretty much every way).

I am also German. And I am Lebanese.
I know little about either of these cultures. I am becoming more and more interested in the Lebanese culture.

My great grandmother also insisted I was “gypsy”. I tried to explain to her, and my family, several times, that “gypsy” isn’t an ethnicity. They still insisted. So I haven’t quite figured out what that means.

Darwin's avatar

@RedPowerLady – Actually if you do have Romani ancestors (aka “gypsy”) then you do have representatives of yet another ethnicity in your family tree. The Roma or Romani are “an ethnic group with origins in South Asia who are widely dispersed. There their largest concentrated populations are in Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe, with more recent diaspora populations in the Americas and, to a lesser extent, in North Africa and the Middle East.”

There is more information about the ethnic group called “gypsies” at and and

Pol_is_aware's avatar

German, Dutch, French—basically European.

I don’t care about my ancestors’ nationalities as much as I’d like to know how and why they immigrated to America. My best guess is they were just adventurous, since I would have done the same thing, if I were around back when America was budding.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Darwin Thanx, I’ll bookmark the information and check it out. I’m really quite interested in it. A friend of mine told me that Romani would be the ethnicity for Gypsy but no one in my family will confirm that it is Romani. They will only say “gypsy”. And from what I know “gypsys” traveled all over so technically it could be a German who joined the “gypsys” or is that now how it works?

Darwin's avatar

@RedPowerLady – The gypsies are a rather closed society. No one just “joins” their group. You basically have to be born and raised in gypsy society in order to be considered a gypsy.

And yes, the gypsies have traveled all over. Some believe that they began their travels in India to escape Alexander the Great and because of their closed society and different culture and appearance, they have been traveling ever since because of persecution.

Now if they mean gypsy in the sense of the Gypsy Motorcycle Club, that is another thing altogether.

RedPowerLady's avatar

@Darwin Thanx for the information. That is helpful.


Now if they mean gypsy in the sense of the Gypsy Motorcycle Club, that is another thing altogether.


AstroChuck's avatar

I’m one half Vulcan, one half-god, and one half-wit.
150% eunuch unique.

mjchatter's avatar

I am 1/2 Japanese and 1/2 Canadian (ready UK mutt). I identify very strongly with my enthnicity and always have. Sadly, my mother died when I was five so I didn’t have her influences in my life but my Dad loved Japan and we even traveled there when I was about 9yrs old. Ultimately I lived in Japan for three years with my first husband – we were stationed there for the Navy. My son was born there. I also identify with the Irish/Scottish/etc. side of the family as well.

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