Having seen the TV adverts, my wife Elle bought me an Ancestry DNA Test Kit for my birthday.
This kit lets you send off a sample of your DNA to be analysed so you can see what your genetic make-up is. I was intrigued by this, as my ethnic background has never been 100% clear to me.
I was born and raised in London, so this has always been my home. My father is Indian and my mother is Portuguese and Brazilian, although she was raised in Goa. I didn’t even know about her Portuguese/Brazilian heritage until I was a teenager, so it came as something of a surprise to me when she told me. But the biggest surprise came when I got when I received my DNA test results.
The test works by you filling a test tube with saliva. While that sounded pretty easy to do from the instructions, it was a bit more difficult than I expected to produce that much saliva on cue. I won’t provide a photo of that bit because… eww. But here’s a photo after I had done it and added a stabilising solution to it.
The solution stabilises the DNA in the sample so it can be sent away, as the process can take weeks or even months. Fortunately, I only had to wait three weeks to get my results back. And this is where it gets interesting…
As I expected, I am mostly Indian… 90% in fact. I am also 5% Japanese, which makes me super happy as I love Japan 😀 Although this 5% could also include China and Korea. The big surprise though is the 5% Pacific Island regions of Polynesian and Melanesian.
I have no idea where that came from, but apparently that’s in my DNA. Elle actually suspected that beforehand, but I dismissed it. Alas, the DNA doesn’t lie. I’m part Polynesian!
This does make wonder about my ancestors, but tracing a family tree is just as complicated as I thought… not to mention costly. For now at least, I’m content to simply have my test results.
Because of course… our past isn’t what defines us. It’s important to know where we’ve come from, but what’s more important is who we are now.
Thanks for reading, folks 🙂