Growing up and living in a region where there is two cultures can be difficult. One culture lays your families’ roots and ancestry those of your parents, grandparents, and aunts & uncles; the other is the one that your cousins, siblings, and you have come to known as yours. Do you take the new step and start a new culture different from your family’s roots, or make adapt to both cultures? Growing up my family was very Spanish dominant speaking; actually I don’t believe ever hearing anyone speaking English when I was a young boy.
Both my grandparents had emigrated from Mexico and settled in Edinburg, where they started their family there. My mother was born a United States citizen my father was born in Mexico, but eventually found himself in the United States on a work visa. Their culture was very Mexican based with many of the things they did where the same things they were accustomed to doing in Mexico. Now all my cousins and I had been born United States citizens. We had grown up hearing English eventually learning it through school with majority of us phasing out of our first born language, being Spanish, and speaking only English.
Many customs that we saw friends do who didn’t have strong ties to any Mexican culture seemed so different than what we were used to seeing. This left us confused. As if we were in a battle to choose a side. We often felt discouraged. Many of our cousins from Mexico would tease us calling us “bolios” and “gringos”. The fact that we were born in across a border seemed to make us different to them. Was there such a difference? We both did have the same family tree, we spoke Spanish just like them, and we were family. I assume they saw us different because not the way we were raised but because of where we were raised.
There wasn’t a great difference between us, if anything it be like they liked soccer and we liked football. The reason I say that growing up where two cultures is hard is because there will be critics everywhere. It seems no matter what you do, you will always been seen different to someone. Wars have been fought over cultural differences, and I believe there will always be problems between different cultures. In my case, family saw us different or teased about being different because we had a ascent, and because we didn’t follow our catholic religion that our ancestors had followed for many years. Differences exist.
Instead of harassing one another about these differences, we should learn about the other culture and understand why they do what they do, learn their culture; have an open mind towards these new things. People fear that a new culture will be the end of the culture they’ve followed for years, and I guess that’s why they choose to stay away from such new cultures. Living among two different cultures has thought me this. You should be open minded and not set your culture in stone and disrespect others for their beliefs and cultures. People are different and its through differences that we learn and eventually find similarities.
Courtney from Study Moose
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