Who’s Who?

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September 19, 2012 by glgalvan

All my life, I was raised to believe that Latinos that didn’t speak Spanish were simply pretending that they didn’t speak Spanish. It wasn’t until I actually got to socialize with someone that didn’t speak Spanish that I realized this wasn’t always true. So, my parents were only half right in their statement, “Latinos that don’t speak spanish are not Latinos.” There are Latinos that hide their culture and say, “Umm..I don’t speak Spanish because we’re in America.” These are the Latinos that my parents were referring to. On the other hand, they generalized and tried saying that all non-Spanish speaking Latinos had that attitude. There are some Latinos that are proud to be of a different culture but were simply never taught the language. So does speaking Spanish make you Latino? No, of course not. The ability to speaking Spanish has nothing to do with how Latino you are. For example, I have a friend who has Mexican roots but was raised with her American mother. Because of this, she speaks a few words of Spanish with a thick American accent. Nonetheless, she proudly states that she is Mexican-American and that no one can change that. This helped me define what a Latino should be. Personally, a Latino is one who is proud to flaunt their culture and not be ashamed to say I have Latino roots. This person also shows interest in their culture and tries to learn as much as possible. According to my friend, she says that Latinos help each other out and stand together no matter how tan or light you are. However, I do believe that speaking Spanish gives you a good advantage because it gives you the ability to pridefully claim your culture and say, “I am Latino.” “Yo soy Latino.”


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