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mexican cultural identity essay

Mexican Cultural Identity

An essay about mexican culture.

The culture of Mexico has changed a lot over the last few hundred years and has

Mexican Regional Identity

In order to deal with discrimination and racism, indigenous Mexicans have created ways that strengthen their ethnic identity, through terms and communities. For example, Indigenous Mexicans created the term “paisano,” which is given to fellow people that are from the same region as each other and have faced similar struggles (Fox 12). This leads to another factor that can help form ethnic identity which is regional identity. Regional identity is important because it means that where you’re from can also determine who one is, and subsequently, influences which people one would relate to. This is related to the communities that indigenous people make in the US because it expresses who they, indigenous Mexicans, are by showing this from where they are from. In the process of migration, indigenous peoples have been able to solidify their ethnic identity, which has allowed them to establish themselves and to maintain very close ties with their home communities. BY creating communities so similar to their homeland, it further promotes and strengths the bond to the indigenous homeland and increases the difference between non-indigenous and indigenous Mexicans (Salagrado 7).

Personal Narrative: I Am Proud Of My Hispanic Heritage

I am very proud of my Hispanic heritage. Even though, I am an United States citizen, I am always going to belong to my Hispanic backgrounds. There are so many reasons that I am proud to be Guatemalan and American that I could write a whole book about it. However, I regularly participate in my Hispanic culture and community through my family, traditions, and by being bilingual. One way I fit into my Hispanic community is by my family. They are from Guatemala. That means that I am Guatemalan, even though I was not born where my parents were born. Another way I interact with my Hispanic community is being

Personal Narrative: My Culture Of Louisiana

My culture is very average like a lot of other people who live in Louisiana. Food is a part of my culture because, in Louisiana is some of the best food in the world. My age has a lot to do with my culture too because my generation uses a lot of technology. Music has impacted my life because I am in band. My cultural identity can be identified by my age, the food I eat, and the music I listen to.

Mexican American Culture's Role In Shaping My Identity

I grew up in a two-parent household with my parents being married before they had children. My father has always been the one that provides finically, while my mother was the one who took care of my siblings and I throughout my childhood. Being that both of my parents were born in Mexico, I consider myself Mexican American. I am proud to be Mexican American. Culture plays a huge role in shaping your identity. A person’s beliefs and morals are made up by culture and remain throughout your entire life. Culture is what made you the person you are today and also determines who or what you choose to associate yourself with. My identity would not exist if it were not for my own culture and the values I have carried from it along the years.

Mexican Culture And Culture

I’m the first generation of my family to be Mexican -American, but I have been introduced to the Mexican culture since I was born. I appreciate the difficulties my parents have faced to make me the person that I am today even though I wasn’t born in Mexico my parents have taught me the language and the culture which I’m so proud of being part of. For others being Hispanic is actually being born in any Latin American countries which is not true at all. Being Hispanic is much more than my cultural background it actually describes how much I appreciate my culture and how I get to experience things other people don’t. I fit into the Hispanic community through the experiencing the culture first hand ,participating in traditions and planning to include my culture in my future.

Mexican And American Culture: A Case Study

Mexican culture has been characterized in literature by an accepted framework of values: familism, respeto and simpatia (respect and congeniality), curanderismo (folk healing), religiosity/spirituality, and the importance of language are among the most important. In a typical Mexican family, the father is the breadwinner/decision maker also known as a machismo. There are positive and negative ways people see this; the man in the family holds great responsibility, whilst still seen as rough around the edges. The mother falls under the caregiver role, whom force holds the family together and shares cultural wisdom. Family is an important value in the Mexican culture.

Essay On Mexican American Culture

Cultural identity is an element in a person’s life when one understands their own culture, leading to an understanding and appreciation of other cultures as well. It promotes a vital part of communication between people who come from different cultures. This paper will examine my Mexican American cultural background and how it affects my way of communicating with others.

Narrative Essay About My Cuban Culture

When I was younger, I never felt out of place. I didn't even know what out of place was, I was always just me. When asked where I was from, I would always say America, obviously. I never regarded my Cuban culture and I resented the fact that I didn't look like the blonde, blue-eyed actresses that dominated the media. As I got older I started appreciating my Hispanic roots more, but I still didn't feel like I truly belonged anywhere.

My Mexican Culture Essay

Las Vegas is where I was born and raised. That doesn’t mean that I just gave up on my Mexican culture. Like many others, I have a culture that is both American and Mexican. My culture has shaped my values, perceptions, and behaviors. The culture of my family, community, and society has made who I am as a person in numerous ways. Culture impacted my personality and how I act and feel. To me, culture is a very important part of every person’s life.

Narrative Essay On Mexican Culture

The world is in constant change and social changes are necessary in order to maintain a balance within social groups and communities. I am a 46 Mexican and as Mexican I can say that Mexican culture is full of beliefs and taboos. Gender, age, social class, language and spiritual practice have influenced my life. Mexican culture is one of the cultures with a marked gender inequality. Mexican culture is full of maleness. I have faced the maleness since I was a child in an indirect way. My mother was never allowed to work during the 13 years of marriage. My father said that women have to stay home taking care of the children and house chores. It was not a problem with my mother and my siblings because women in my mother’s close social group were housewives, but after my parents got

Summary Of Mexican American Culture

Up until the 1960s Anglo social scientists wrote most of the literature about the people of Mexican- descent in the United States. Their analysis of Mexican American culture and history reflected the hegemonic beliefs, values, and perceptions of their society. As outsiders, Anglo scholars were led by their own biases and viewed Mexicans as inferior, savage, unworthy and different. Because Mexican scholars had not yet begun to write about their own experiences, these stereotypes were legitimized and reproduced in the literature. However, during the mid- 1960s scholars such as Octavio Ignacio Romano, Nick Vaca, Francisco Armando Rios, and Ralph Ricatelli began to reevaluate the literature written by their predecessors. In their work they analyze

Being A Mexican Culture Essay

American, Asian, Russian, Mexican; we all belong to an ethnic group. While some let their culture and ethnic background define them others allow it to shape your life. Being a Mexican-American I’ve had to simultaneously learn two languages at once; Spanish for when I’m at home or with family and English only at school and with friends. Growing up, my parents didn’t speak much English, so my sister and I had to step up as the family translator. Speaking Spanish is important to my family in many ways, not only is it a way for us to communicate with our family in Mexico, but also a reminder of where we come from. Being from a Mexican family and growing up in Washington has influenced my life to be the way it is.

Analysis Of Gloria Anzaldua's To Live In The Borderlands

Every literary work has its own purpose of existence and no literary is the same. There is always literary work for someone to be interested in. the authors use different techniques in order to attract the readers, such as rhythm, rhyme, characters, settings, characters, theme, and conflict and other techniques. One of the elements that literature allow the readers to use is the imagination in order to visualize what the author message is in his story or poem. Some stories, poems or drama are based from the writer’s personal experience, such as the conflict with they have with society because of their race, gender or ethnicity. The poem “To live in the Borderlands Means you” by Gloria Anzaldua, describes from the author’s personal experience how society can affect an individual’s identity. The mixture of different cultures and races can isolate a person because it affects his or her identity in culture, society and how politics affects them.

Cultural Identity Reflection Paper

In looking at all of the groups I listed as being important parts of my cultural identity, I think the one aspect of internalized or deep culture seen as an undertone throughout all of them is the theme of independence. I was raised to believe that as long as what I was doing was not hurting anyone else, it was okay. I was also taught early on that I am the only one who can make me happy, and that has to happen before I will be able to help others. Because of these lessons gleamed from family members, friends, and American

More about Mexican Cultural Identity


Mexican Cultural Identity

My family: what makes my cultural identity.

What makes my cultural identity different from others? No one has the exact same culture as somebody. What culture means to me is, the way a person is raised or things around them that makes them the way they are. It is a part of a person’s self-conception and self perception. My cultural identity is a unique one based on the influences of Religion, Education, and Sports.

Mexican American Cultural Identity

To be or not to be, is a question that many may ask themselves. People are made into individuals due to their cultural backgrounds and thus form what is known as cultural identity, when one establishes their identity based on traditions such as music, food, fashion, language and/or religion ("Common Ground"). Growing up Mexican-American was like living in two different worlds, these worlds shaped the person I am today. It was the culture and beliefs that helped me create my cultural identity. I may even say that I got the best of both worlds. Being of Mexican heritage and being born in America had its advantages and disadvantages in society. Cultural identity has molded the way people are today within different time periods, while many factors play a part in one’s life everyone has had an unconventional experience expressing and/or finding their cultural identity.

The Spanish Culture In Mexico And The Culture Of Mexico

The culture of Mexico reflects the country’s complex history and is the result of the gradual blending of native culture with Spanish culture and other immigrant cultures. Mexico’s culture revolves around and is most prominent in music, food, and celebrations. The combination of beliefs and customs creates the unique Mexican culture.

The Culture Of The Mexican Culture

Many Mexican people have preserved and still do many of their ancestors’ traditions. Tradition plays a big role in my family for example: the food we eat, the music we listen to, what we dance to and what we celebrate to. I wanted a sweet sixteen but of course being Mexican my parents said no. Being in the Mexican culture tradition is that when you turn 15 you’re supposed to have a Quinceanera it symbolizes that you are no longer a kid but you are now a young women. Many people think a Quinceanera is just a party but the real tradition is to have a church mass. Since I am catholic that consists of me going to church and thanking God.

History Of Mexican Culture

Mexican culture dates far back as the 13th century. This is when the Aztecs were prevalent in northern mexico. Aztecs were a people who were all about war and honor. They made many enemies going to war with smaller tribes and brutally killed their enemies. In the 16th century the Aztecs Empire crumbled due to the invasion led by Hernan Cortez. Disease, superior weapons, and aid of the Aztec’s enemies were all contributing factors to the Aztecs downfall. Fast forward September 16th 1810 when Mexico gained its independence from Spain Mexico's identity started to develop. Mexican culture is defined by many things, its food, its language, its clothing, its art. However, There is one aspect that defines Mexican culture and that is family life. Mexicans have a very rich family life that defines the culture. The way that family is organized and the way each member acts can be traced back to the very beginning. It's a mixture of the indigenous peoples culture as well as the Spaniards culture. The indigenous peoples pass on their ideas of honor and machismo and the Spaniards pass on their ideas of catholicism, and family value and structure. I fit into this because I grew up on these ideas and my family still practices some of these ideas today.

Mexican Cultural Identity Essay

The Department of the Army (2014) defines culture as a “Web of meaning shared by members of a particular society or group within a society” (p. 3-1). In a previous version of Field Manual (FM) 3-24 the Department of the Army (2006) defines culture as “A system of shared beliefs, values, customs, behaviors, and artifacts that members of a society use to cope with their world and with one another” (p. 3-6). Culture can mean many different things to many different people and societies. To put one definition on it will not work. Over the next couple of pages an attempt will be made to explain culture further as well as consider the culture of Mexico by looking at the Mexican physical geography, military conflict history and their impact on the

Hispanic Cultural Identity

Why do I care about this? Is this morally and culturally ethical? Ignorance is bliss, no? Of course, considering the environmental, social inequalities, and health aspects, my interests seem to be clearly justified … no? Philosophical inquiry will allow me to ask these questions and meticulously ponder their meaning. Specifically, however, LFP will allow me to incorporate and further understand my own “lived experience” regarding environmentalism and being Latina. In other words, LPF gives me an academic voice to articulate and expand on my experience. For example, [an experience] already during this winter break, my father reflected upon his views when I mentioned what I was planning on

Latino Cultural Identity

As mentioned, Spanish-language music allows the development of self-identity through culture. Moreno adds an interview she had with Jorge Andrés Herrera, an adjunct professor at California State University, Fullerton, who teaches Chicano Studies courses and is a Ph.D. candidate at UCLA, whom is studying the role music plays in shaping Latino identity with an emphasis on the U.S./México border. "When a Latino crosses the border, they automatically start to assimilate culturally and a big part of that assimilation comes in the form of musical tastes and musical preferences which also transform and assimilate to the dominant culture” (Moreno 5). Music helps shape Latino identity by empowering and helping those who have assimilated in the mainstream

Cultural Identity Paper

Cultural identity refers to identification with, or sense of belonging to, a particular group based on various cultural categories, including nationality, ethnicity, race, gender, and religion (2014). These identities are gained through ones own experiences. The study of cultural identities offers rich understandings for both oneself and others. In the world one lives in today, it has one becoming increasingly diverse; the study of cultural identities will continue to gain traction within the communication discipline and beyond (2016).

Cultural Identity And My Family

Cultural identity is defined as the sense or feeling of belonging to a group. I connect my cultural identity to my immediate family. My immediate family consists of my parents, two younger sisters, and myself. Each one of us has significant values that have been instilled in one another. I believe that they play a large role in making me who I am today. Coming from a large, Sicilian family, the importance of love, loyalty, and support has always been prominent.

The Culture Of Mexican National Identity

The culture of Mexico is experiencing considerable change in the last few decades and is home to over 123 million people. Mexico has several ethnic groups including the Mestizo

The Cultural Awareness Of Mexican Culture

It does not matter if you are a second or third cousin you will always be welcomed as if you a first-born child. Most of the time their cousin is actually someone who has family connections. In the United States we are all about our work, mothers and fathers who work 40 plus hour jobs. The family dinner devises little conversation and our heads buried head first into our smart phones. Most American families rarely even cook dinner every night, substituting with fast food or something easy. The Mexican model of family life is one to be envied, not perfect however, it is just another way we can learn from one another. They still have the mother who fills the domestic role with men being the workforce and still caring themselves as the dominant sex. One thing we do share is our nationalism, in a way. Like Americans the Mexican people are very nationalistic but just a little more. Were Americans have a new tendency to ashamed of our history and fighting daily to rewrite the history books, the Mexican people are proud of everything they have done and many of them Identify by it. Whether it’s Cinco de Mayo or also known as the battle of Puebla, or their Independence Day on September 16th. One day we share Is Christmas, thanks to their Catholic backgrounds. The Mexican people are very religious and one thing that held dear to their heart. Where is American it is considered taboo to talk about

Cultural Identity And Identity

Cultural identity is the basis in which identification is used to express different aspects pertaining to identity and heritage. A person's cultural identity may be created by social organization, as well as traditions and customs within their lives. The two aspects that construct my cultural identity are the frequent chores I must complete every day in order to fulfill my behavioral expectations, and the youth group I attend weekly. These aspects are important to my family and me. Therefore, my identity has an immeasurable effect on my upbringing into this multi-cultural world I live in.

The Current Challenges of Cultural Identity Essay

Cultural identity refers to the feeling belonging to a certain culture that is attributed to the upbringing of an individual in the given culture. Cultural identity gives a person the sense of belonging and belonging towards their culture. Modern cultural studies show that cultural identification has taken a new face. Various cultural identifiers can be used to identify the culture of an individual. These identifiers include nationality, language, location, gender, religious beliefs, history, and ethnicity. Culture is important in shaping the identity of an individual. The efforts of people trying to preserve their cultural identities can bring about hatred and division in the society. This is likely to happen especially in large cities

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An Essay On My Cultural Identity

mexican cultural identity essay

Show More My Culture Identity Everyone has a culture that identifies their identity. As in who they are or where they come from. They 're many different cultures in the world. A culture is a tradition past on to a family generation. Every culture has different holidays, traditon but more importantly style. It represents what type of music you listen to or what type of clothing you wear. Most people find their culture by their family. For example; gandparents, mother, father. This essay is about how do you see yourself and how do you identify yourself. Also how do others view you as? and what do they consider you as? I am a Mexican American my family is from Mexico , however i was born in the United States . This is why I am Mexican American but I consider myself more as a Latina. I love both countries equally but I identify myself more Mexican than American. Well i look more Mexican than American. People in society veiw me more as a Mexican girl that was just born in the United States. …show more content… I listen to hip hop unlike my mother and gradparents. My cousins, uncles and aunties listen to both Amercan and Mexican music. Unlike me i dont like Mexican music at all i find it annoying. Just because I 'm Mexican doesn 't mean I like all Mexican traditions. I look more Mexican than American but i do more American stuff normally than Mexican stuff. Unlike most of my peers they listen and talk spanish in school or home. I cant pronounce Spanish words properly because i grew up making English my home language. Others sometimes think i try to act white as they say but for me its not trying to act white its about how i was raised and how i was taught to do things. The only person i talk spanish too its my Grandparents. My mother understands English and so does the rest of my family and peers so this affects my home launguage and this is the reason i English is my home

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Essay Service Examples Art Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo Cultural Identity Essay

Art allows artists to express their cultural identity and heritage specifically with the use of cultural symbolism. Artists use cultural symbolism to draw on insights from past and existing experiences to express a greater meaning within their artwork. Mexican artist Frida Kahlo uses cultural markers from both Mexico and the United States to show her internal battle when displaced from her home country. Cultural symbols can be illustrated in many different forms and contexts, some being personal and others being well-known worldwide. However, each symbol is equally effective in communicating the artist’s identity and encourages the viewer to reflect on how culture surrounds us all.

mexican cultural identity essay

Frida Kahlo uses several cultural markers, to express her desired longing to return to her Mexican roots. In her work, Kahlo uses different cultural symbols from both Mexico and the United States to showcase the diversity between the two cultures. Frida Kahlo was born in Mexico and her work often expresses and celebrates her Mexican culture by using a variety of personal and famous symbols to connect her own identity with the people around her. After four years of living in the United States, Kahlo desperately wanted to return to Mexico, but her husband convinced her several times to remain in America (FridaKahlo.org, 2011). This sparked the creation of “Self-Portrait at the Border Between Mexico and the US” as Kahlo made the work to protest her husband’s wishes. In the painting Kahlo stands directly on the border between the two counties, with numerous cultural markers scattered all around her, to demonstrate that her identity is a combination of both Mexican and American culture. Within the painting, she is wearing a typical Mexican-style dress and holding a Mexican Flag, clearly identifying which country is closest to her heart (FridaKahlo.org, 2011). The combination of industrial and rural cultural markers within her artwork effectively illustrates the setting in which the artwork takes place and thus communicates Kahlo’s internal struggle of feeling detached from her Mexican roots. (Udall, 2004). Amid the mixed cultural background, a fire-breathing sun and a lonely moon are embedded with clouds, when they touch a lightning bolt is created. The lightning bolt reiterates an indigenous story about the relationship between destruction and regeneration (Lindauer, 1999). Life and Death is a strong markers in Mexican culture and therefore Frida Kahlo used this concept in many different forms and objects. The placing of a skull on Mexican soil illustrates their belief that bodies are made from earth and return to earth after death. Additionally, with the use of color, the nature on the Mexican side is illuminated with a yellow glow, drawing the viewer’s eye and making this side look more inviting. The roots from the flowers also represent the cultural and family ties that link Kahlo to her homeland (Monasterio, 2010). As well, by using fine detail, Kahlo painted one plant root transforming into an electrical cord as it crosses over the border to the US, which then connects to Kahlo’s podium. This communicates a connection between cultures and between nature and industrial materials (FridaKahlo.org, 2011). Thus, may represent Kahlo’s feeling of being connected to the U.S once she is back on her home soil. Unlike the Mexican Side, the U.S is completely devoid of natural elements and is instead a world of industrial devices and pollution. The earth bares no sight of natural materials with the sky being obscured by smoke and the ground being covered in concrete (Lindauer, 1999). These contrasting symbols clearly express why Kahlo felt so detached from her Mexican culture, when away from home. This disconnected feeling was supported when Kahlo said, “The most important thing for everyone in the [United States] is to have ambition and become ‘somebody,’ and frankly, I don’t have the least ambition to become anybody” (Lindauer, 1999). Therefore, Kahlo’s “Self-Portrait at the Border Between Mexico and the US” illuminates her internal struggle and disconnection from her Mexican culture and how even her husband didn’t want her to connect to her roots.

Overall, cultural markers combined with the artist’s personal experiences create meaningful artworks about a certain subject. In doing so displaying how art can communicate one’s cultural identity seen through Kahlo’s artwork. Kahlo’s use of Mexican and U.S cultural symbols helped her express her feeling of detachment from her Mexican roots and find a voice against her controlling husband. Displaying how cultural markers can be illustrated and perceived in many different contexts and forms, and how they can help an individual connect to their true selves and connect overall to their cultural identity.

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The theme of Identity incorporates several aspects in multiple disciplines. According to the Cambridge Dictionary Identity means who a person is, or the qualities of a person or group that make them different from others: IDENTITY In-text: (Identity, 2021) Your Bibliography: In Cambridge Dictionary. 2021. Identity. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 May 2021].Research highlights that in most cases, identity refers to the way we perceive and express ourselves such as race, heritage, or sex. Many artists use their work as...

Frida Kahlo, born in 1907, was a Mexican artist famous for her self portraits. She explored themes of post-colonialism, race, identity and class in the twentieth century Mexican society. Although often described as a surrealist, she rejected this title, declaring, ‘I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.’ Her paintings not only reflected the hardships she endured throughout her career, but also her strong political ideology. Kahlo’s husband Diego Rivera’s mural style frequently depicted revolutionary fighters and peasants, whereas...

Description In Frida Kahlo’s self-portrait there can be seen the artist standing on a stone/grave like pedestal with writing engraved on it, Kahlo is wearing a pink frilly dress that almost covers her feet, she is wearing cream white gloves that end just past her elbow, around her neck she is wearing a necklace that has red beads with three green leaf-like beads attached to it. Kahlo has her hair done up in a braided halo and is wearing makeup...

Frida Kahlo was a revolutionary artist, who encountered many battles during her life. She is an empowering role model, breaking the barriers of the stereotypes of women during her period. As an artist, she illustrated the dark and fretful times she encountered in her life onto canvas. All her works are extremely dynamic, which illuminate juxtaposed images creating conflicting concepts. Magdelena Carmen Frida Kahlo Calderon was born on July 6th, 1907 in Coyocan, a small town on the outskirts of...

The work of the ‘Two Fridas’ is inordinately symbolic of her life, and the times of hardships and struggles she experienced. The surrealist work was painted in 1939 and is the largest scale work Kahlo had created. This work is an oil painting on canvas, 173 by 173cm. It is a symbolic piece; and Kahlo has clearly used the technique of symbolism, to convey the message of duality. She painted this like most of her pieces with a force of...

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderon or known as Frida Kahlo is one of the greatest artists and influenced the Mexican Hispanic Culture. Kahlo was born on July 6, 1907, in Coyoacan, Mexico City. This radiant beauty was known for her self-portraits that capture bright eye-catching colors. Her artwork is showcased through a very raw, realistic, and pure vision capturing themes such as the nature of the human body and death. Through painting, she visually captures the true form of...

Emersonian Essay Imagine if no one followed the rules. Everyone would not care and people would speak up to what they truly believe in. This world would be completely different. We wouldn’t have to walk around with a fake mask just to fit in. Although that would be great, I think it would be awhile until that happens. With not all of us being like that, there are a few people that are; and one of those people is Frida...

This exhibition is all about the experience; yours and Frida’s. From the ‘selfie’ opportunities at the entry and exit to the manifestation of her pain. For fifty years Frida Kahlo’s personal possessions were locked away following her death in 1954. In Frida Kahlo: Appearances Can Be Deceiving, the Brooklyn Museum has put together the largest U.S. exhibition featuring the iconic artist and the first in the United States to display her clothing and personal effects. The exhibition is based on...

Frida Kahlo was an acknowledged Mexican artist, actually one of Mexico’s best. She is remembered for her phenomenal work, specializing in self-portraits with her bold color choices. She is celebrated in Mexico as she brought attention towards the Mexican culture throughout her artworks, and also for her representation of feminism. One of Frida’s most famous portraits is “The Broken Column”, which redefined the nature of art and signified her as a strong artist. “The Broken Column” was painted in 1944....

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Guest Voz: “You’re not really Mexican” – a personal essay about my cultural identity crisis

Latina lista, in guest voz , znew headline.

By Sophia Campos VoiceBox Media

All my life I’ve lived between two worlds.

As a Mexican-American, it’s easy to be confused as to which world you think you should identify with more; I feel undoubtedly Mexican-American when I make tamales or listen to mariachis, but that feeling fades away when I speak broken Spanish.

Spanish might not seem like an important characteristic for all Mexican-Americans, but not knowing it in central Texas— an area where Spanish is spoken all over the region by Mexican-Americans —can surely make you feel like a foreigner.

Although I sometimes feel confused as to which world I belong to, there’s no question I’m first and foremost an American; I’m the product of my Mexican grandparents’ American Dream, I’ve never been to Mexico (besides Cancun, where there are probably more American tourists than Mexicans) and I can’t say certain words in Spanish without revealing my obvious American accent.

Growing up, I always lived in predominantly Caucasian neighborhoods in states that have very low Hispanic populations, thus the majority of my friends throughout my life have been Caucasian. I never really understood that I was any different than my Caucasian friends because we really weren’t. We lived in the same neighborhood, went to the same school, and our parents had similar jobs. We shopped at the same stores, joined the same clubs, and so on.

Even though we had similarities, I knew I was different because I looked different, ate different foods and my parents spoke Spanish to each other. I started realizing I also belonged to another world when my friends and I started hitting puberty, and they would complain about Mexicans whistling at them.

I’d ask, “Mexicans?” and they would say yes, it had to have been Mexicans because it happened at the construction site down the block. When I would respond defensively to their claims—because even at a young age I took offense to and recognized these stereotypes—they would reply with “well, you’re not really Mexican…you know what I mean!”

As a young girl, I wouldn’t argue further when I heard remarks like that, but I’ve always wondered: what did my friends mean? Did they mean that since my dad had a white-collar job, and since I spoke English without an accent like they did, that I must not have been of Mexican descent? What made them assume that all Hispanics were Mexican? Where did these warped stereotypes come from?

It’s not uncommon to find myself in these awkward situations; more recently I found myself the only Mexican-American among a group of Caucasian adults, who, as a result of my presence, were having a very restrained conversation about their “changing” neighborhoods, and their desire to move away because “the demographics” were shifting—which, I inferred, meant more Hispanics were moving in and they wanted to get out.

I feel an inherent responsibility to correct people when they categorize all Hispanics as Mexicans or when I hear an incorrect stereotype because I’m both offended and desperate to try and educate people about this topic. What puzzles me, though, is that although I feel alienated and oftentimes hurt when people make these remarks, I know that the people making them are also just like me. I have more in common with them than Mexicans.

What I’ve learned from living between these two worlds is that how you identify with someone isn’t necessarily based on race or ethnicity, it’s socio-economic class.

Sure, people of the same culture share traditions and practices, but what makes someone truly identify with someone else is sharing a similar lifestyle. A poor Caucasian kid will have more in common with a poor Mexican kid than with a rich Caucasian kid, no matter the cultural similarities or differences between them.

However, not many people look for similarities in people across cultures since our American history includes exclusion of so many groups, including Hispanics.

One of the most recent examples is Trump suggesting that Mexicans are “rapists” and “drug dealers.” Instances like this is no wonder that there might be a cultural divide between Mexican-Americans and Caucasians, and even confusion that Mexican-Americans are indeed just as American as everyone else.

Even though I sometimes face confusion about my cultural identity, I know that, after all, America is a melting pot. This debate within myself is the product of being fed the incessant mantra that we are truly a multicultural and diverse nation, and I’m sure Mexican-Americans aren’t the only ones in this country who experience this self-reflection.

I believe that this multiculturalism is what America has tried to achieve all along, and I believe that we are supposed to be a melting pot. This realization has made it easier for me to identify myself as Mexican-American; I know I can exist happily between these two worlds, accepting the American part of me as well as the fundamental Mexican part of me.  

Sophia Campos is a 21-year-old student at Texas State University.

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I Am Proud to Be Mexican

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mexican cultural identity essay

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