You are not Juan of us.

Latinos getting lost in translation.

There are many of us now. You can almost say we invaded and conquered. Spreading all over the United States and not just concentrated in one location anymore. It’s crazy to think how quickly we have taken over, fought for acceptance and rights that are rightfully deserved by all U.S. citizens. So many of us are getting influenced by the dominant “American” culture of this country that we forget our own roots and where we came from.

When I first started learning English I struggled a lot. I started kindergarten only speaking Spanish. I remember coming home from school crying saying that I didn’t understand my teacher. My mother would console me saying that I will learn and she would allow me to watch TV in English moderately. It definitely helped me a lot, by first grade I could communicate with ease with my teachers and classmates. I made friends and was happy they even helped me learn more words. I distinctly remember not being able to say the word “pirate” correctly and my friend correcting me until I got it right. I laugh now at the thought of it.

Parents value their children speaking both languages and are proud of them for doing so. The article, “‘Mi hija vale dos personas’: Latino Immigrant Parents Perspectives About Their Children Bilingualism”, (My Daughter is worth two persons) talks about the parent’s point of view on their children learning English. A proud Hispanic parent says, “No hay como una persona que sepa los dos idiomas, para poder sobresalir.”(There is nothing like a person who knows both languages, so that they can stand out). Showing how the importance of language will affect their children’s success. Found in the Bilingual Research Journal through the USF library

As a little girl I dreamed of turning 15 so I could have my quince (sweet 15) and be accepted in my Spanish culture as a young lady. Quinces are a big part of the Hispanic culture and are filled with many different traditions. When I was getting closer to the age I was debating on whether to have a quince or a sweet 16. Since most of my friends were having a sweet 16, I felt tempted to do the same so I wouldn't be different. This is where I picked my culture over what everybody else was doing not losing sight of traditional values and my family heritage. I didn't want to lose my identity or ignore where I came from.

Being an immigrant in America is no easy task. I know from personal experience growing up Latino is all about finding that balance of maintaining your culture and adapting to the American one. The Latino population has grown expediently in these past couple of years. Allowing Latinos to intermix with all the other cultures therefore creating the melting pot that is America. It can be a battle to make sure we stay true to the beliefs of our customs and morals that can be different from the American way of life.

Stay true to your colors, no matter if they are red white and blue or green red and white. If your flag has one star and three stripes or if it has three stripes with three different colors. Your culture is something no one can take from you and you have to make sure you keep it that way. Educate yourself in traditions and keep them alive by passing them along to others.

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