Being Mexican-american

I am Mexican by culture and American by both culture and birth. I do not speak Spanish. Growing up only my grandparents spoke Spanish and that was mainly when they didn't want us to know what they were saying. I tried taking Spanish in school, I just didn't get it. I can understand very, very little. My parents don't speak Spanish either although they can pretty much understand most of it.

Someone else posted a question about Latina's pretending to be "white". I do not pretend to be anything other than what I am. I am proud that I come from 100% Mexican-American on both sides of my family. I am proud that my family comes from parts of Colorado and California that were Mexico before they were even the United States. At the same time I was born in this country, as were my parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents. My family is part of the melting pot that created the US, I would not be true to myself if I didn't embrace both parts of who I am.

I do my best to learn about my Mexican heritage, and instill in my children a pride that they are Mexican-American but the reality is that I will never know what it is like to be Mexican, that is a culture/heritage that is as foreign to me as being German. I don't listen to Spanish music, I don't know how to dance the salsa, and I only knew about Selena when the movie came out. I don't really love to cook, you couldn't pay me to make homemade tortillas (sorry grandma!) but I would take tacos over pizza any day of the week. To me, regardless of how I live day to day, what matters is in my heart and in my heart I love my heritage and it will always be part of who I am. I am saddened when I hear of racism because although it may not be happening to me personally right at that moment it still hurts. Stereotypes hurt which is why I think many Mexican-Americans in similar situations to mine hesitate to talk about it. We don't always know how to relate to our Mexican heritage, we aren't ashamed of it, it is just not what resonates most with us since we are above all else Americans.

It is important to me that myself and my children show the world the best example of our heritage that we could possibly be. I think of my grandparents who worked hard and took pride in all that they accomplished and I look at my children who are smart, well-spoken and confident. I am proud of my family and my heritage and thankful that I am able to have the best of both worlds.
coffeemom73 coffeemom73
36-40, F
Jan 21, 2013