The importance of family was always emphasized to me growing up. When examining the idea of family, there are multiple aspects, but this project allowed me to explore my ancestor’s experiences. I was able to understand how every one of my relatives used community as a way to live their lives to the fullest. The importance of building a community was instilled in me from when I was young by my parents. I have been to India eight times in my life so I have always known a great deal of information about my relatives. I appreciated this as I was able to feel connected to something larger than myself. This journey has allowed me to understand and connect with my family and relatives on a deeper level.
It was fairly difficult for me to find any information about my ancestors from generations ago due to incomplete records and information. That being said, I learned a great deal from my parents and my grandparents who were able to recall their own and their parents’ experiences. Using 23andMe, I was able to find out that I was 100% Central and South Asian. More specifically, I was 100% Malayali which did not surprise me. This is what my parents had told me from when I was very little. My paternal and maternal haplogroup showed Q-M346 and U1a3 respectively. Then, I was able to obtain information about the experiences of two sets of great-grandparents. The narrative continues to focus on the lives of my grandparents on my paternal and maternal side. I wanted to highlight their occupations, experiences, and their relationship with their kids. These relationships and experiences affected the outcomes of my parents who were able to celebrate their successes and face any challenges. Community is what allowed my family to provide for each other and make their children’s lives better than their own.
Andrews, Varun, "Tracing my Ancestry" (2021). Genetics and Genealogy Family History Narratives. 19.