Mexican American Identity Crisis Analysis

1490 Words6 Pages
As a Mexican American I was raised acknowledging both of my cultures, but as I got older the concept of being Mexican American became more complicated. I remember watching the movie Selena when I was younger and being able to relate to one scene that involved the discussion about how tiring it is to be Mexican American. The characters discussed how Chicanos have to prove that they are American enough for America and at the same time being Mexican enough for Mexico. Additionally, if they are too much of one or the other, they are faced with constant criticism. An identity crisis builds up for Chicanos because of the uncertainty of who they are and where they belong. The balance of being both Mexican and American has made it difficult for Chicanos…show more content…
Most Chicanos have a weak connection to Mexico. A way parents establish a connection between Mexico and their children is by teaching them Spanish. Often students with similar Hispanic backgrounds use Spanish to communicate with each other and this has caused issues for schools. Teachers have started to reprimand students for speaking Spanish and forbidding the use altogether. Teachers’ reasoning has been that by doing so, it creates a fair environment for students who do not understand the language, but this has an effect on Hispanic students. As Gloria Anzaldúa describes in, “How to Tame a Wild Tongue,” “In childhood we are told that our language is wrong. Repeated attacks on our native tongue diminish our sense of self” (210). When teachers tell their students to stop speaking Spanish, it affects the way those students perceive their culture. Teachers are indirectly telling students that their culture, which is tightly associated with their language, should not be expressed. I was in ninth grade when my teacher told me and the rest of my Chicano classmates that we should not speak Spanish in class. It felt like we were being stripped away of a special quality that made us stand apart from the rest of the class. After we were not allowed use Spanish, that attribute that made us unique individuals was gone. When someone’s culture is dismissed as a nuisance,…show more content…
More and more Chicanos are acknowledging this new form of communication, as seven out of ten first generation Mexican Americans have confessed to using Spanglish. Spanglish is when a Chicano speaks and seamlessly transitions between English and Spanish words in their sentences. Not only has Spanglish made it possible for easy exchange between languages, it also makes communication for Chicanos that have difficulty speaking either of the languages. Spanglish allows them to speak Spanish sentences and insert the English translation of some words in Spanish that they have difficulty pronouncing or remembering, and
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