Ancestral places provide a powerful glimpse into the lives of our descendants. Visiting ancestral places may impart a greater understanding of the generation or generations that came before and therefore provide connectivity. An ancestral place may be a birthplace, family roots, culture, or tradition. It starts with a deep longing to find this connectivity and then moves to traveling to From Where I Came.
From Where I Came is a website (http://fromwhereicame.wordpress.com/) that resulted from a journey to family roots in Lithuania. It answers the questions of why a person longs for specific foods, prefers a particular terrain and weather, and feels comfortable in a certain lifestyle. It invites others to tell their story of culture, heritage, and self-identity.
Occupational therapy students distributed surveys via e-mail or in person to willing participants within two weeks of interviews or written submissions to the From Where I Came website. Four surveys were distributed and all participants returned the surveys with every question answered. Each survey consisted of six questions on a five-point Likert scale that highlighted topics of social connectedness, cultural discovery, and personal identity related to each participant’s experience of submitting their story or being an interviewee. Three open-ended questions were included at the end of the survey to capture participant thoughts and suggestions intended for further research.
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