“O mankind, We have created you from a male and a female and made you into races and tribes, so that you may identify each other. Surely the noblest of you, in Allah's sight, is the one who is most pious of you. Surely Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” —Surah Al-Hujurat (49:13)
Three weeks ago, my older sister brought home a few AncestryDNA test kits so we could use them to trace our family lines and see what regions it goes back to. Prior to taking the test, I knew that my parents and grandparents from both sides of my family are from Guyana and that my maternal grandfather's great-grandmother was from India. There was no doubt that I'm Asian (specifically Indian), but I thought it'd be cool to find out what other places my ancestors were born and raised in.
And my ethnicity estimate results are . . .
Turns out, I'm 84% South Asian, 10% East Asian, and 6% Melanesian. Basically, I'm super Asian. 😜
To get a better understanding of my results, Ancestry.com gave a great breakdown of each ethnicity estimate by listing the countries of each region and historical facts about each. Here's what they said:
Primarily located in: India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka
Overview: “The Asia South region includes the modern-day nations of Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Bhutan and is home to approximately 20% of the world’s population. The Himalaya, Hindu Kush, and Karakoram ranges were formed here when the floating Indian tectonic plate smashed into southern Asia, giving birth to the world's tallest mountains. The first human migration out of Africa is thought to have followed a southern coastal route along the Indian subcontinent into Southeast Asia.”
Primarily located in: Russia, China, North Korea, South Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma), Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Brunei, and Palau
Overview: “This ecologically diverse region extends in a broad arc from Siberia and Mongolia; south through China, Korea, and Japan; to the nations of Southeast Asia, including the Indonesian archipelago and the Philippines. More than 2 billion people live in this region, which is home to some of the oldest continuous civilizations on earth. Their contributions to world culture have been as broad and far-reaching as the landscape, from China’s “four great inventions” (gunpowder, the compass, papermaking, and printing) to video games.”
Primarily located in: Papua New Guinea, Bougainville, Fiji, and Aboriginal Australia
Overview: “The Melanesian region includes the continent of Australia, New Guinea, and the island chains of the Bismarck and Solomon Archipelagos. This area is home to some of the world’s “untouched” societies because isolation, rugged terrain, and few domesticated crops and animals helped perpetuate ancient technology and culture. In fact, today there are possibly more than 40 tribes in the mountains of Papua New Guinea that have never been exposed to modern society.”
So, there you have it kids! The mystery of where my family line goes back to has been solved. 🔍