What does being Hispanic mean to you, and how do your life experiences shape your answer? While others may categorize us as a minority. It’s more than just a label or a title of who we are. Hispanic means Hispano/a en español. Español, the language that is universal to us Hispanics.
I’m the first generation of my family to be Mexican -American, but I have been introduced to the Mexican culture since I was born. I appreciate the difficulties my parents have faced to make me the person that I am today even though I wasn’t born in Mexico my parents have taught me the language and the culture which I’m so proud of being part of. For others being Hispanic is actually being born in any Latin American countries which is not true at all. Being Hispanic is much more than my cultural background it actually describes how much I appreciate my culture and how I get to experience things other people don’t. I fit into the Hispanic community through the experiencing the culture first hand ,participating in traditions and planning to include my culture in my future.
Those of Spanish-speaking descent have all experienced one of the following at least once in their lives: “Did you make those tacos yourself?” , “Are you Mexican?” When realization hits that this individual speaks a second language they ask, “So you speak Spanish?” or, “Say something in Spanish for me.” Followed by an awkward response of something that hardly skates passed a mere “Hola.” A rather important misconception coincides with the idea that all “Latinos” derive from Mexico, a colossal assumption that unfortunately stands as the most common perception.
Being Hispanic has taught me a whole world of things. It has taught me that the world is not what you expect it to be. Going to a public school and being th minority is completely different than going to a see my cousins where every thing is different. The way we talk, the food we eat. Its all different.
I come from an authentic Hispanic family, who is traditional in plenty distinct aspects. We treasure all the memories that have occurred to all of us and we laugh about the embarrassing moments we all had. We hold traditional customs and we accept new traditions as well. All of us are over protective of each and every family member, meaning that if anyone in the family has a problem we will not stop until it is fixed. To every family member, family is always first.
It’s Not So Hot in Paradise As an American from the Midwest, the image that comes to mind of life on a Caribbean island is paradise which evokes a feeling of peace and tranquility. A place where one can escape the snow and freezing temperatures during the long winter months. A place one could enjoy beautiful beaches, tropical trees and green foliage year round.
Stereotypical images have for long existed. Stereotypes are images or ideas about certain groups of people or things that in most cases are not true. Hispanic Americans are one of the many groups that are targeted the most with stereotypes. Hispanics are said to be drug dealers. Many Americans claim that Hispanics come to this country to sale drugs and as a result of this the country becomes in danger.
America is often referred to as a melting pot. America is great, it is free, it is diverse. But then again, America is racist, it is prejudice and is full of racial tension. This is what people view America to be versus the reality of what it is when you are a minority. Growing up in America it is difficult to run from your ethnicity and your race.
Over time, the items created and used by the African race slowly disappear. Preserving these artifacts, however, allows them to be passed from one generation to the next. This is precisely the point of view that I believe Dee has. While this may be true, Dee goes about it the wrong way and only sees the superficial value of the artifacts. Dee views relics of rural life simply as collector’s items (Cowart 174).
Many different Spanish stereotypes come with this label. Some stereotypes are; We only tacos, drink tequila and dance salsa, many expect a certain body type, lean and sexy. Many believe that we all come from one country Mexico, we speak Mexican, we all have accents, we are all immigrants, we all have brown hair and eyes followed by tanned skin. we are always late, we are always loud, our names are either Maria, or Juan. And lastly, all women are cleaners/ maids.
Choosing to be a Mexican over American Today I feel more like a Mexican than anything else even though I was born in the united states. I may have papers and be American but hearing other ethnicities call my people immigrants and illegal makes me feel more like an immigrant myself. I feel this way because although I am considered an American I would much rather stand by my people and my culture. I would label myself as a Mexican-American, Latina, person of color, and as a minority. I describe myself as a Mexican-American because I was born and raised in Chicago and from Mexican descent.
Being from a Latin and Hispanic background, it’s hard for me to pick what race I am. If you look at my mom, you would think she’s a white European, even though she is from Argentina. On the other hand, my dad has darker skin, he looks more Mexican, but these are not races. When people ask me what race I am, I usually say I’m White Hispanic. I grew up being told I was white, and have experienced white privilege, so I do not consider myself a person of color.
Enhancing My Roots Being Mexican-American has been such a blessing to me. Growing up I would feel embarrassed to have brown skin and to my speak my first language, which is Spanish. I would feel jealous hearing the other kids speak English so well as I struggled more and was placed in English Language Development. I would detest to get pulled out of class and get asked trivial questions like “what is this?” when it was a simple book.