As I get older, I ask this in the context of culture, marriage, and family: what if society released some of its cultural pressures? What if parents took ownership of their cultural passions, while giving children space to live the life they want (within reason, not encouraging shame or 'passing for white')? Sometimes I feel extreme amounts of anxiety, pressure, and PTSD about 'carrying on' my 3 cultures...when one doesn't dominate inside me genetically (other than of course, having light-ish brown skin and being identifiably nonwhite). I'm a serious fencesitter for lots of reasons, but cultural pressures do contribute to the overwhelm in the potential decision to parent biologically. Both sides of the family (again, a tri-racial/tri-cultural situation) are obsessed with certain things NEVER being forgotten, and they bristle around our marriages and potential kids. It's all very inflamed, competitive, and defensive for them. It doesn't help that my parents divorced bitterly, and continue to fight for our affection.
I think there could be some value to taking a Buddhist approach to culture and lineage. I think it's possible to love food, music, holidays, ancestral sacrifice, and more without making it a pecking order or a rat race to prove loyalty. Again, I don't mean to advocate cultural abandonment, "trying to pass", or anything like this. But, eventually, generations change, names are forgotten, and people stop remembering some things. And to me, this is not a tragic loss, or something to try and fight aggressively. But *not* because of self-shame. Just out of inner peace and acceptance of time's passage.
What do you guys think? Do you have experience with cultural/lineage pressure? Do you prefer making sure you pass everything down in a linear way? Something in-between?
Best wishes to all!