My Mexican Heritage

1098 Words5 Pages
Throughout my life, I have always considered my grandparents to be the foundations that allowed me to establish a sense of who I am and what is important to me; thus, my grandparents (on my mother’s side in particular) are my key ancestors. As my parents were often occupied by work when I was younger, I spent much of my childhood with my grandparents at their house in Madera, CA. Indeed, the fondest childhood memories I have are simply the moments I spent interacting with my grandparents. Past the fond sentiment my grandparents hold in my heart, I can objectively conclude that they are the sole connections I had to my Mexican heritage- without them, I would have had nowhere else to learn how to connect to my heritage. Everything from the family…show more content…
has always been a topic of confusion and hush amongst members , I know for certain that my grandparents first moved to town in roughly the 1950s. Indeed, reflecting on it now I realize how important this was to the development of cultural identity in my family. To be clear, though my family is Mexican-American, there has always been a cultural divide felt between our Mexican heritage and simultaneous status as Americans. Though my grandparents and the generations before them all spoke Spanish and engaged in traditional Mexican festivities, my grandparents did not pass this on to my mother and so my siblings and I never were able to gain this sense of culture. When I grew older, I recall asking my grandmother why she never chose to share this side of our culture with my mother, to which she explained that it simply was not acceptable at the time in which she developed for a Mexican in America to act anything other than completely assimilated. It was so frowned upon that my grandmother simply believed it would be easier to never teach my mother Spanish or major portions of our heritage so that she would never have to go through the difficulties of assimilating that my grandmother was exposed to as a child. Indeed, the discussions of reservation schools in the Carstarpharen text heavily drew this experience to mind in my readings of it. Indeed, much as “reservation schools were designed for cultural genocide” through “ forced assimilation” (Carstarpharen and Sanchez 2012, 96), so was a large portion of my family’s culture eradicated through expectations placed on minorities to conform to an American lifestyle. Moreover, the song “Paciencia y Fe” comes to mind when I think of the experiences of moving to America and assimilating have played in my ancestors’ lives. As the song discusses a woman’s experiences with immigrating from Cuba to New York, gradually losing her culture while assimilative orders
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