A Family Friend : Kelly Waipouri

Decent Essays
In order to learn about our own ethnic identity, we must first study the people around us. These individuals shape our values, stimulate our social development and influence our perception of the world. Thus, I have decided to interview a family friend: Kelly Waipouri. Kelly was born in 1980 and raised in Dunedin, New Zealand. In 2011, Kelly migrated to Australia with her husband and three children. Kelly’s youngest child identifies as transgender. In relation to gender, family, culture and equity, Kelly life has been nothing other than unique.

Gender influences how we experience the world by shaping the opportunities and adversities we encounter (Clammer, 2015). The term gender refers to the cultural difference between men and women
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As a child in the 1980s, Kelly’s values were modelled by her parent’s beliefs. A key family value in this generation was to respect others and treat them as you would like to be treated. Kelly has carried this value through her life course and thus, has raised her children to cherish the same notion. In recollection of family traditions, Kelly did not recall anything other than Easter, birthday’s and Christmas. She did however create her own tradition after losing a child via miscarriage. As a grieving mechanism, Kelly and her husband decided they wanted to keep Kalani close. In order to do so, Kelly planted his placenta in a pot, with a seed. As the native New Zealand plant has grown, Kalani has provided new life to this seedling. Although this practice was inconsolable, it has facilitated a new, valuable tradition within their family and her own ethnic identity.

Culture is an essential feature of one’s identity through self-perception and group association (King, Perez & Shim, 2013). Migration thus contributes to culture as it involves travelling from one place of residence to settle within another. As they must adjust to a new society, migrants typically experience the alteration of social norms, loss of support networks and changes in ethnic identity through self-actualisation (Bhugra & Becker, 2005). Kelly and her family migrated from Dunedin, New Zealand to Queensland, Australia on January 25th 2011. This
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