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Latino en Estados Unidos

El párrafo al final escrito por Alex Gonzlar describe claramente el sentimiento de ser Latino en Estados Unidos o lo que es identificarse con los demás inmigrantes de Latino América.

“El momento final de la ceremonia de entrega de los Premios Oscar, y uno de los momentos más importantes de toda la noche…; cuando el director Alejandro González Iñarritu, de descendencia o ascendencia mexicana, y quien ya había ganado minutos antes, el Premio como Mejor Director; luego, al recibir su Premio Oscar, a la Mejor Película, pidió la atención de todos, al final, para un extraordinario mensaje a favor del movimiento pro-Reforma migratoria en esta nación, al decir lo siguiente : “Para finalizar, solo quiero tomar un segundo, quiero dedicar este premio también a mis compatriotas mexicanos…, aquellos que viven en México.., es mi oración que podamos construir el gobierno que todos merecemos…; y para aquellos que viven en esta nación, quienes son parte de la más reciente generación de inmigrantes en este país…, es mi oración también, que puedan ser tratados con la misma dignidad y respeto de todos aquellos que vinieron antes, y construyeron esta increíble NACION DE INMIGRANTES…!!”

Wowww…!! Tremendo mensaje político…; valiente, fino, claro, fuerte, elegante, consistente, honesto, y directo a la yugular….!!! Excelente hermano Alejandro…, gracias, porque aun cuando no somos mexicanos, indirectamente nos incluiste a todos quienes somos inmigrantes, y nos sentimos en ese instante, completamente identificados con tus palabras….!!! Gracias, amigo…!! #OscarAwards  Alex Gonzlar

European, Indigenous and African in Mexicans

I love personal stories and to see how they are part of that bigger picture. I have always been fascinated by the history of the borderlands. Although I majored in Business Management and Communications, I was allowed to do my senior research project on Chicano and Mexican-American literature.

As a lighter-skin Mexican who had grown up believing the myth of having mostly European ancestry, this project was a real eye opening. The more I learn about whom I considered the “other,” the more I feel connected with my indigenous side.

Culturally, Mexicans are more indigenous than we are ready to admit yet, “hay una directriz que nos separa,” there is fine line that separates us by color as a result of the almost gone colonialist ideas.

Let us reconcile our true history and embrace our indigenous people and the African-descent Mexicans as part of the Mexican society and who we are historically. By seeing them both as equal citizens, Mexicans will have acquired a broader ethnic identity.

Spanish-dominant Bilingual Youth

Bilingual youth who construct their vocabulary between what they learned at home in Spanish and what they learned at school or work in English are more comfortable with a casual language among their peers that mixes phrases and words of these two languages.

According to my study of language preferences in digital media among 18-25 year-old Latinos/Hispanics, the less acculturated ones side with Spanglish-themed programming such as the no longer existing Univision-owned radio station “La Kalle,” because mainstream media does not resonate with who they are collectively.

“Spanglish” Speakers

To attract “Spanglish” speakers, you need to appeal, invite, and get close to a younger generation of Latinos who do not necessarily are fully fluent in Spanish but have acquired the emotional vocabulary of their parents’ language.

Speaking Spanglish represents having a dual and hybrid cultural identity. The language itself is a mix of what is relevant in Spanish but does not exist in English or cannot be completely expressed in English.

Aculturado, Retroaculturado y Asimilado

El aculturado vive en dos mundos—el del país donde creció—su cultura de origen y en la de residencia—donde vive; por ejemplo, Shakira.

El retroaculturado está más empapado de la cultura de residencia pero tiene interés en aprender la cultura de sus padres o abuelos; por ejemplo, Eva Longoria.

El asimilado es quien de tantas generaciones ha perdido conexión con la cultura de origen de sus padres o abuelos y socio-culturalmente funciona mejor en un solo mundo—el de residencia; por ejemplo, Jessica de Alba.

Sin embargo, la nueva generación de Latinos en EEUU tiene el privilegio de poder operar simultáneamente en la cultura de residencia y de origen ya que puede estar en constante contacto con familiares y amigos del país o paises de sus padres.

“Latino” Preferred in California

By Mari D. González

The term Latino/a is preferred in California because it is associated with a sense of self-power, “for more educated Californians, ‘Latino’ is the new Chicano in that it evokes their indigenous roots, a shared history of struggle and the colonization of the people in Latin American countries.” Alcoff, L. M. (2005). Latino vs. Hispanic: The politics of ethnic names. Philosophy & Social Criticism, 31(4), 395-407.

Mexicans: The More Segregation, the Less Assimilation.

By Mari D. González

The less segregation, the more assimilation. It is a give and take situation.

~Altar de Muertos~

~Altar de Muertos~ (Photo credit: uteart)

The highest level of education a Latin American immigrant has, the more willing he/she is to assimilate. Yet, he/she gives up his cultural origins. In terms of their level of integration in the U.S., there are implications for both the Mexicans and the more assimilated Latin American groups in the U.S. While the later might enjoy greater economical benefits than Mexicans, Mexicans is the only ethnic group that has kept its cultural roots generation after generation at the expense of not enjoying such economical benefits.

While Mexicans have refused to assimilate, they have influenced the U.S. culture in every way. A couple hundred years from now, the only culture alive in the U.S. will be the Mexican (Dia de los Muertos, piñatas, mariachi, tacos, etc.). The rest will be passing technology, brands, and disposable things. Mexicans have the ability to layer several cultures without renouncing their own. I’m very proud of every single bilingual and bicultural Mexican-American in the U.S.

On Political Correctness

No political correctness

No political correctness (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Societies impose political correctness, while cultures infuse archetypes.”

Mario E. Martinez, Ph.D.

Societies and Cultures

Doctor ...of Philosophy

Doctor …of Philosophy (Photo credit: dullhunk)

“While societies impose the rules that a group agrees to live by, cultures define the aesthetic, scientific, ethical, transcendental and wellness consciousness that a group assimilates as archetypes.”

Mario E. Martinez, Ph.D.

Accents Are in the Ear of the Beholder

Joven chino-mexicano en la Alameda Central

Image via Wikipedia

By Mari D. González

Personally, I love accents. They tell me that the speaker is non-native, definitely bilingual and thus, intriguing. Accents define a person socioculturally and correlate to the individual’s upbringing and ethnic, national, or group identity. Some accents are more difficult to understand, some are less melodious, and some might annoy us. Some simply take time to get used to. Yet, our evaluations are subjective and relative to our individual context or opinion.

As a medical interpreter, I am accustomed to accents others might wish to avoid. In California, there are immigrants in many different professions. From time to time, I interpret for doctors from China and India who are not understood clearly by patients with good English fluency. I have concluded that such difficulty is due to the patients’ lack of familiarity with people from China or India. Or, perhaps they are not as intrigued as I am by different accents.

Why was I prompted to write about accents? I just read a white paper on Hispanic marketing written by a South American author who speaks to the need to “diminish [one’s] accent” because “having a Spanish accent [is seen as] a minus.”

My Mexican colleagues do not discuss “accent reduction,” though they may promote better pronunciation as the way to be better understood. As a Peruvian, the white paper’s author is speaking for Peruvians and to Peruvians, not necessarily for or to other Latinos/Hispanics or for that matter to the ones who make up the majority among them, Mexicans.

According to the Pew Hispanic Center country of origin profiles (2009), Mexicans make up 65.5% of Latinos/Hispanics in the U.S. and Peruvians 1.2%. The latter are not a significant presence in any large U.S. metro area unlike Puerto Ricans, Dominicans, Salvadorians, and Cubans. Thus, this isolated “accent” perspective is too limited to consider as an overall Latino/Hispanic concern.

Based on personal observations, Peruvians demonstrate a greater desire to assimilate than Mexicans. As a Mexican myself, I find offensive to even bring it up because it indicates a desire to fit in instead of integrate. Mexicans have a different perception of assimilation and actually oppose it. This opposition might be the response to the never-ending socioeconomic friction that began with the clashing of the two cultures when the U.S. – Mexican border was in dispute and, following a war, was re-defined.

The background of the current state of Latinos/Hispanics in the U.S. is the Chicano Movement, whether we agree with it or not. The Chicano Movement is a point in history that precedes where we are as a cultural group now. It marks the second developmental stage of group identity formation, which is conflict.

The first stage is identification with the dominant culture. In other words, a desire to eliminate what makes one different from members of the dominant culture or assimilation. The author is implying being at the first developmental stage of group identity formation or having a preference for an Anglo Orientation according to the research by Vasti Torres.

I suggest that the author of the white paper become familiar with the writings of historian Rodolfo Acuña and philosopher Gloria Anzaldua, researchers such as Hayes-Bautista or Amado Padilla, and the more contemporary journalist, Gregory Rodriguez—not  because they relate to Peru’s history but because they relate to the history of Latinos/Hispanics in the U.S. and because such history left a huge mark in the consciousness of our predecessors moving them into the second stage of identity formation.

I’d love to see more research-based versus opinion-based information on the topic of assimilation, ethnic identity and the relevance of accents. We can certainly produce it. We need more new and fresh facts about these topics instead of recycling what goes viral online.

UPDATE: In 2018, we are seen a fairly good integration by the majority of Latinos/Hispanics–the millennials–into the US society. This demonstrates two facts, 1) Hispanic Marketing is facing out because the general market is becoming more Hispanic/multicultural, 2) younger Latinos/Hispanics have integrated into a society that is less white and more ethnic and multicultural.