Uma Karuna Thurman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a highly unorthodox and internationally-minded family. She is the daughter of Nena Thurman (née Birgitte Caroline von Schlebrügge), a fashion model and socialite who now runs a mountain retreat, and of Robert Thurman (Robert Alexander Farrar Thurman), a professor and academic who is one of the nation's foremost Buddhist scholars. Uma's mother was born in Mexico City, Mexico, to a German father and a Swedish mother (who herself was of Swedish, Danish, and German descent). Uma's father, a New Yorker, has English, Scots-Irish, Scottish, and German ancestry. Uma grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts, where her father worked at Amherst College.
She and her siblings all have names deriving from Buddhist mythology; and Middle American behavior was little understood, much less pursued. And so it was that the young Thurman confronted childhood with an odd name and eccentric home life -- and nature seemingly conspired against her as well. S