In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month and the debut of Latino in America, I have decided to create this new blog. I had wanted to write about being a latina quite some time ago but was uncertain of how to go about it until a week ago when I decided to just jump into it and what a better time to do it than during Hispanic Heritage Month? Being Hispanic or Latina is so much more than just ethnicity. It is so much more than race. It’s about culture, the culture of our roots that go all the way back to Roman times from which the term latino comes. Latinos are a vast mixture of different peoples mostly stemming from the european countries of Spain, Italy, France and Portugal-mixed with african roots and native american roots from throughout the American continent.
We are such a vast mixture that we have a bit of every ethnicity: Irish, Italian, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, French, Portuguese and many more. So to celebrate our heritage means to celebrate the world! I am very eager to see Soledad O’Brien’s report on being latino in America (the US) because not only will she showcase some of the most successful latinos in show business and in the US in general but she will be talking about what it means to be a latino in this country and best of all, she will show that we are a beautiful mixture of the races harmonious and wonderful. Que viva la raza!
In my own life I can speak to having grown-up as a US citizen with latin roots and what that is like. While I am most definitely “american” in the sense that I am very much a product of the US-state of mind, I still lived with a sense of my parents’ cultura, the Venezuelan culture. From foods we ate to what was spoken at home, these things were all influenced by my parents’ culture and therefor became a part of my own culture and like me there are many US-born latinos who are now making their presence known. We’re not immigrants, we’re the children and grandchildren of immigrants who have worked hard for us to be where we are today and we are here to stay.
Latinos are all about the “love” and come in all shapes, sizes and colors as evidenced in many of my family pics! We tend to live loud, love loud, talk loud and laugh loud. It’s not that we’re noisy, it’s that we love life and want the whole world to know. When we get excited we talk fast, loud and with our hands! Now, imagine what this looks like in the US when you have generations of families all speaking fast, loud and interchanging two languages like it’s normal! Yeah, the term spanglish blows my mind but we all do it. Traeme the thing que puse over there. Seriously, when I see that I think what in the world but if someone says that to me I don’t even think twice about it. For those of you reading who do not know any español the sentence says: bring me that thing I put over there. I love being latina, there is a certain color, a certain flavor to our life that is unique to us but not exclusive to us and that is the most beautiful part. We love to share our cultura and to experience the cultures of others harmoniously.