I wonder what a chief of the Taino tribe would say if he could see his people now. Would he recognize me as one of his own? Would his tribal tongue make sense of my broken Spanish? What if he could follow me around for an entire day? I imagine him standing behind me in class while I place a check next to a box that reads “Other”. I picture us walking home from school and the look on his face when he sees that my village is made up of concrete and brick. I like to pretend that at the end of that day he would break the language barrier; that he would put one hand on his chest, one hand on mine, and say, “Boricua”.
I am a Latino who was born and raised on the mainland United States. As a Latino in America there is a certain pride and spirituality that you carry with you. This same pride is what keeps tradition alive. It’s the reason my Abuela’s house smells like spices from Goya. It’s the reason there are festivals in the streets and flags hanging from windows. It lives in the mind of a child who doesn’t know what it tastes like to speak Spanish but is hungry to know.
We might live in a new land but there’s a reason flags from the old one wave here. It’s not political or rebellious, but what I like to call a cultural understanding. I can see it when I pass another Latino in the street and he gives me a quick nod. He doesn’t say a word but he doesn’t have to. It’s our way of telling each other, “I understand”. America is a land of struggle, victory, and the journey in between. For a young Latino, that journey means knowing where you come from and taking control of where you are going. It means living in a melting pot of cultures and still holding on to the traditions that were passed on by yours. That’s what it means to be a Latino in America.
Juan Caminero of Cleveland graduated from the city's Mc2 Stem High School last year and now attends Cuyahoga Community College, where he is exploring a major in the recording arts. He is of Puerto Rican and Dominican heritage. This essay won first place in a recent essay contest sponsored by the Hispanic Roundtable.
Hispanic/Latino Culture Essay
706 WordsSep 17th, 20123 Pages
Hispanics or Latinos are defined as a people of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish speaking culture. This term “Hispanics” was created by the U.S. federal government in the early 1970’s to refer to Americans born in a Spanish speaking nation or with ancestry to Spanish territories. Hispanics people are vibrant, socializing, and fun loving people. Among various facts associated to this culture is that they have a deep sense of involvement in their family traditions and cultures.
Hispanics / Latinos have strong non-verbal and verbal ways of communication. To better understand one another they overly rely the use of non-verbal communication. This includes facial expressions,…show more content…
The Hispanic culture has different values, beliefs, and traditions. Family is highly value. Family is a close-knit group and the most important social group to gather in any events or special days. The Hispanic “family unit” includes not only parents and children but also grandparents and extended family. Individuals within the family have moral responsibilities to help other members of the family experiencing financial problems, unemployment, health conditions and any other life issues. They show the importance placed upon relationship within their family extending a hand in good times and bad. Respeto y dignidad (respect and dignity) are other important values of the Hispanic culture. Children’s are taught to avoid confrontations with parents and older persons, and to be obedient and respectful. The Hispanics believe that the father is head of the family and the mother is to take care of home. Naming children after grandparents and parents is fairly common. A well-known tradition is the celebration of a fifteen year old girl called Quincenera. Hispanics culture and traditions are based around celebrating and spending time with love ones.
Hispanics usually give great importance to and place great value on looks and appearance as a sense of honor, dignity, and pride. Formal attire is commonly used for going to church and all religious celebrations as well as parties, social gatherings, and work, Although this