Growing up Hispanic
My family moved to the United States in 2000, I was 8 months old when we did. We moved into a small home in Longview. Having lived in Venezuela their entire lives, my parents had adjusting to do. 15 years later, I look back at everything my family and I have had to deal with as the years went by. As I look back at everything that has happened, it all has shaped who I am today.
I was raised learning Spanish at home and English at school. This had me stumped at times because I would start a sentence in one language and finish it in the other, Spanglish. Cultural differences during holidays confused me when I was younger. Venezuela does not celebrate traditions and holidays such as the Easter bunny/Easter egg hunts, Thanksgiving, or Halloween. This caused some holidays like Halloween to be a new, fun experience for my parents. They learned and tried their best to make it similar for us, although many times it was not. In Spanish culture some days that might not be considered holidays here may be a celebrated day. An example of this would be the day of the three kings is a very celebrated day, presents are given and is celebrated together as a family. These differences used to embarrass me but I now enbrace and enjoy them.
No, I'm Not Mexican
My name has surprisingly been a conflict for me growing up. Ricardo was a name out of this world for my friends. I adopted versions of it like Ricky or Ric. More often than it should I have to explain that Venezuela is not a location in Mexico. And on some occasions even go to the extent of explaining South America. I dismiss this as normal but it is still funny to me that all Spanish speakers for some people come from two places, Mexico and Spain. Growing up Hispanic was like walking down opposite sides of a road, I'm heading in the same direction but I have different experiences on my way.
Growing up a Hispanic in an American society has separated me from my friends in a way that I have more cultural experience and cultural diversity than them. Growing up a minority did not effect me when I was younger but now I seem to realize that a lot of the people in my surroundings are subconsciously racist towards my family when we are in public. Sadly, I have gotten used to this, But nobody puts a Latino in a corner. Being a Hispanic in the Unite States has caused me to to be raised differently than some of my friends, but I am grateful for that difference because it has made me who I am today.
Mary Bernal 3