Monday, September 29, 2008

Not All The Same

Aren’t we all the same? Don’t we all eat the same food (rice and beans)? Don’t we all speak the same language and dance to the same music (salsa, merengue, bachata, and cumbia)? Don’t we all look the same?

The answer is NO.

I have personally felt like I’ve had to “educate” certain non latinos about our various cultures at times, and never felt it should be that way. Most of our countrymen emigrated to the United States “The Land of Milk and Honey” from the Carribean, Central and South America and were forced to assimilate within mainstream culture, and suppress our old customs.

It is interesting that we, as Latinos, always see and discusses the differences between our many cultures. We are proud of the characteristics and customs that make us Cuban, Peruvian, Dominican, or Puerto Rican etc, when amongst ourselves, but seem comfortable with “mainstream” America grouping us all as one and labeling us all as Hispanics, Latinos, or even just Spanish people. In accepting these “blanket” monikers we further enforce the injustices and ignorance that force the people of our many nations to adhere to the same artificial rhythm. This also gives “mainstream” America the idea that any one subsection or nationality can in fact speak for or represent the larger, more diverse group. This response, although understandable, does not improve the plight of our Spanish-speaking countrymen. Many times we feel that there is “strength in numbers”, therefore accepting these labels as a way to simply safeguard what is ours and not lose any ground in the advances that have been made thus far.

This is just something that I have chosen to articulate after pondering the subject for some time...

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