In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, an ode to my heritage and origins. Today, a few things that define my Latinidad.
- Knowing that family is eternally number one.
- Thinking in English, but feeling in Spanish—that wonderful poetic language.
- Feeling infinitely proud of being the product of hard-working resilient immigrant parents.
- Remembering where I come from, that I’m part of something bigger than myself. Bearing a responsibility to educate and inspire the next generation of Latinx children.
- Feeling excited about the future despite the bleak state of affairs in the US. There is no stopping or slowing down the darkening of America. It’s inevitable and I can’t wait!
- Being rooted in my culture and heritage but learning not to be constrained by it.
- Celebrating Thanksgiving by eating the American staples—turkey, mash potatoes, biscuits, etc—along with tamales, enchiladas, rellenos, and many other Mexican goodies.
- Having the honor of belonging to a community that knows such resilience and perseverance.
- Relishing the unique joys and delights of Northern Mexican traditional weddings and quinces. Listening and dancing to the songs of my childhood, when I fantasized endlessly about attending these functions as an adult.
- Belonging to a wildly diverse community consisting of varying skin tones, voices and life experiences. Celebrating the fact that there is so much common background with people that look so different from me and have entirely different narratives than my own.
- Reading Gloria Anzaldua’s Borderlands and having her words pierce the heart every time. She eloquently articulated what it’s like to not be either or, but to belong in the middle, in between borders, taking a bit of one and the other to inhabit an entirely new ‘place.’
- Getting drunk enough to a point where speaking Spanish is truly the only option, despite being surrounded by friends that may or may not understand me (lol).
- Accepting the sad fact that parents and relatives may understand very little of your life because it’s so vastly different from their world or anything they know, so it’s hard to relate. But knowing that this is of little importance because it’s their love & support that matters most.
- Being #blessed with having been brought up eating one of the best cuisines in the world. Having bomb home cooked meals for dinner every day.
- Carrying a legacy with you and wanting to share with the world what your people are all about.
- Having the privilege to call amazing ancient civilizations such as the Aztecs and Mayans my ancestors. Belonging to a part of the world with a rich history, culture and traditions.
- Knowing that no matter how many times oppressors attack our culture and community, we will endure and thrive. Cause that’s what we been doing for a long time.
- Taking the best of two worlds, one Mexican and the other American, to forge your own identity and place. The combination is very personal, it can be comprised of 60% Mex, 40% Am, or whatever you like. What truly matters is being fluid and flexible enough to inhabit both of these separately and the two of them at once. It’s an art form ;)
- Carrying home with you wherever you go, the memories, stories and people that make up who you are.
- Boasting a talent for knowing how to properly celebrate on command, how to be joyful, lively and vibrant. Knowing how to disfrutar be an intrinsic part of your being.
"All that your ancestors had to go through for you to be here… and you doubt yourself?
How dare you.
You come from a legacy of survival that is to never be questioned."
Coming soon to conclude the Hispanic Heritage Month Series, a piece on the generation of hyphenated Americans.
Can you relate to any of these bits? Why or why not? / Remember to subscribe below for updates!