Mexican and Salvadoran

My Graduation Party

People need to know who I am, where I come from… not necessarily where I come from, but where my parents came from, and how their cultures nurtured me.

I know a lot of mixed kids like me, Mexican and Salvadoran; we’re common in California.

When I was a young-buck, I didn’t know what I was; I just knew that my mother spoke to me in Spanish and I listened, and that we were different from other groups of peoples.

Everyone asks me nowadays, a question that never tires: “are you more Salvadoran or more Mexican?”

I’m more Salvadoran, and that’s not in any way to devalue my Mexican kin, because I love that side dearly as well.  Listen closely.

I know this because I understand my upbringing – mind you that many of the cultural practices that we have today as Latinos, is a result of the mixing of races, Spanish and Indigenous peoples.  Much of the “machismo” we know today as Latinos, has perpetuated until today because of Spanish practices, marital and religious; not to say that Indigenous peoples didn’t have “roles” among gender and age, but the Spanish had their practices well documented.

My father was always out making money.  My mother was always working as well, but I’d spend most of my time with her when she came home.  My speech was very much an imitation of my mother’s because she’d speak to me the most.  My dad would come home, and in my eyes, he’d have much more of an authoritative role within our household – an indigenous belief: women are creators and men are destroyers, hence our body parts and how we use them – my pops would come home at around 9pm every night, how was I supposed to really feel like he loved me?

Around 19 years old, I took a psych-dynamics class at San Francisco State; it taught me much of why I had resentment and anger at my father; I learned, Mexican males are taught to be bred-winners, to take care of their families at all costs, much like other cultures; it was his job to provide for me and my mother, and his way of doing so was making money, painstakingly – Until the very last years of his life, I began to understand why he wasn’t always at my school reunions and such, and I the resentment I had towards him disappeared.  It turned into love.

See, now I embrace both sides of me, Mexican and Salvadoran – if you ask me to speak to you in Spanish, I’ll probably sound more Salvadoran for I’ve been with my Salvadoran family forever.  But, that does not mean I don’t acknowledge and pridefully love the resiliency my father was made of.

If you’ve ever heard of mamitis, pat yourself on the back; mamititis is a psych-syndrome defining latino youth as too attached to their mothers because of missing fathers – As blessed as we are to have a beautiful culture, our grandparents and parents have somewhat perpetuated a social-illness centuries after the Spanish conquest – Now, with more women rising to higher places in society, hopefully there will be more practice of men taking care of their children directly.

We continue to struggle as Latinos, and we should recognize that as individual peoples, we’ve been through hell-and-back; but we are becoming stronger everyday.

You were named Latino, but that doesn’t mean anything.  Asians, Africans, Indigenous peoples, Whites, can be Latinos.  You have to figure out where you came from, where your ideas come from to know how to keep going and to know how to truly love yourself.

– Lover

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Comments
One Response to “Mexican and Salvadoran”
  1. this is indeed a nice blog. all about your roots, nationality, races-and what have you. Family is evrything 🙂

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