The Hispanic Americans have a lot in common but still each maintained their ethnicity which differs. The different groups immigrated to America in search of the American dream and some for political reasons. Below we examine the different groups and how similar or different they are from each other. The Mexican in the United States seems to enjoy a higher recognition among the other Hispanic groups living within the US. The Mexican Americans started to arrive within the US after the US-Mexican war.
Thereafter, they migrated due to the better economic promise that the American dream held, a reason that still holds to date. They come with the culture from Mexico and integrate it into the mainstream American culture (Mexican Americans, 2007). The major religion among the Mexican American is Catholic Christianity, followed by others like Jehovah’s Witnesses and Evangelicals. Their culture and norms revolve around their religion. They have a tight-knit family unit. They have a high affinity for family and very often associate closely with extended members of family.
They work very hard to find houses to live next to each other so that they can experience a family kind of atmosphere. The family is taken very seriously by this group and therefore a lot of effort is made to preserve it. Men see themselves as protectors and providers, thus take it on themselves to provide for the family. If they have a high traditional background, they will most probably take on the “macho man” image (Nauert, 2008). The main language spoken within the Mexican-American group is Spanish. The language is carried from their ancestry land, Mexico.
Along with Spanish, they also have influenced the American musical landscape with their much popularized Salsa dancing. Mariachis and Corridos are also singing styles from these sectors that have gained popularity within the US (Kwintessentials; Mexican Americans, 2007). Their political and social influence is also evident. Within the entertainment industry, this group has produced musicians, actors and various other entertainers with the likes of Ricardo Montalban, Tish Hinjosa and Louis Valdez claiming ancestry from this category. In politics, the group has formed political lobbies which have helped push its cause.
The racism that they have experienced can be partly held possible for the political organization that has been witnessed within their ranks. Chicano organizations have been important in the political and social organization of Mexican American community. Key government personalities like Bill Richardson also have their roots within this category (Mexican Americans, 2007). The Puerto Rican enjoys a different kind of status. This country is a semi-autonomous commonwealth of the US, thus every citizen of Puerto Rico is a citizen of America. They are therefore considered as legal immigrants of the US.
Theoretically, they should therefore enjoy more political power than the other groups. However, on the political front, this group is less active. The early involvement in politics declined in the 1970’s and 80’s after the Young Lords’ political inspiration failed to be permanent (Sanchez, 211, 2007). Their inability to make themselves an economically powerful unit despite their large numbers in the early years has been a reflection of their inability to get a grasp of main stream politics. The Puerto Rican American culture is a blend of Spanish and West African slave culture set in the American social setting.
The predominant religion is Catholic, attributed to their Spanish roots. They also have the spirit beliefs, attributed to the West African roots. Their culture is filled with superstition and social life is considered very important. They have a wide range of tropical sea cousin and consider food to be an important social tool. With celebrations such as Candlemas and Day of children, their culture is one of flamboyant outdoor celebrations, and makes use of costumes and parades (Green, 2008). Their social life follows that of other Latin American groups of tight family cohesion.
There is also the patriarchal system of family administration where the men are responsible for provision and administration of the family affairs. These factors contribute to the high relations between extended family members, though this has been strained by economic factors (Green, 2008). This society also has accomplishments in music and entertainment. The popular raggaetone music traces its roots to this Island. Other prominent musicians and performers include Enrique Martin, known as Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez (Green, 2008).
The other group is the Brazilian Americans. This group, as the name suggests, has its roots in the Portuguese influenced culture. Their local language of communication is Portuguese, though it also has African and Native American influences. The perception of this culture is one that praises leisure and recreation. This is because they have very flamboyant street parades, with the largest street parade being held in their home country. A replica of it happens at the same time in New York’s Little Brazil since 1985 (Jefferson, 2008).
The Brazilian culture is set in Catholic Christianity, although there are Spiritists found within the culture. The mother country is cited as being the world’s largest Catholic country. They have solemn celebrations tied to their religious obligations. One of them includes the Festa do Iemenja, a tribute to the Queen of the Sea. Their family life is somewhat more patriarchal, with those who immigrate finding it hard to keep their wives off employment, as is the tradition. However, like other Latin American cultures, the family unit is extended to the extended family.
This culture makes the society more integrated. Their social parameters have not gone to the extent of political involvement. There are few facts that support the notion that American Brazilians are directly involved in mainstream politics (Jefferson, 2008). The contribution of this group toward entertainment is mainly in its parades and music. The popularity of Samba music and the lambada has further promoted the recreational value of the Brazilian culture. However, on the mainstream, their full impact is yet to be felt (Jefferson, 2008).
Columbian Americans are another group. Brought to America mainly due to political influence, this group has been associated with New Havana in Miami. They speak Spanish traditionally due to their colonial roots with the Spaniards. It is used in the local social life within the households. The family life tends to be cohesive due to the immigrant nature of the group. The community is tight knit due to the exclusivity and pride of this group, wanting to maintain a separate status from the rest of the Latin American groups (Sturner, 2008).
The family unit, as stated above, is closely tied like the other groups. The value of social networking is important to these people as it helps them find work among each other. The racial discrimination from the white and even black population has helped establish this network. The traditional patriarchal society has undergone change in the American society (Sturner, 2008). The social and festival life of this group is also vibrant. The group is tribute to having a high interest is soccer. It is also tributed with the dance style cumbia.
Their celebrations are mainly religious oriented. The political influences of this group are not much. This is because they are more concerned with home politics back in their emigrant country at the expense of participation in American politics (Sturner, 2008). In summary, the traditions of the Latin America are highly related. They all have a common interest in music and dance, and the family structure is the same in general. However, differences exist in the political influences that these groups exert and their reasons for immigration into the US.
Although they share the Spanish language, each has its own dialect and are in different levels in terms of social, political, and economic advancements. References Alphine J. , W. (2008) Brazilian Americans Sourced on 20 April 2009 http://www. everyculture. com/multi/A-Br/Brazilian-Americans. html Boricua S. , J R. , (2007) power: a political history of Puerto Ricans in the United States NYU Press, 2007 Derek G. , (2008) Puerto Rican Americans Sourced on 20 April 2009 http://www. everyculture. com/multi/Pa-Sp/Puerto-Rican-Americans. html
Kwintessential Mexican American Culture Sourced on 20 April 2009 http://www. kwintessential. co. uk/articles/article/Mexico/Mexican-American-Culture/1140 Mexican Americans (2007) The Mexican Americans Sourced on 20 April 2009 http://www. mexicanamericans. com/TheMexicanAmericans. htm Rick N. , (5 June, 2008) Culture Influences Mexican-American Attitudes Sourced on 20 April 2009http://psychcentral. com/news/2008/06/05/culture-influences-mexican-american-attitudes/2411. html Sturner P. , S. , (2008) Columbian Americans, Sourced on 20 April 2009http://www. everyculture. com/multi/Bu-Dr/Colombian-Americans. html