Latinitas - A Strong Voice for Latina Youth

My Heritage (Answer to Hot Topic: Are You Latina or Hispanic?)

Language and its uses evolve, and that is part of the reason for the mix-up in terminology of Latina-Hispanic. If we go back to the word roots and origins (dictionary!), we will find that: a) Latino: Natural de los pueblos de Europa y América en que se hablan lenguas derivadas del latín. b) Hispánico: perteneciente o relativo a España o a la antigua Hispania o a los pueblos que formaron parte de ella y a los que nacieron de estos pueblos en época posterior. This both terms refer to group of countries joined by language. Latino or Romance Languages include not only Spanish, but French, Italian and Portuguese. On the other part, Spain and the countries that it ruled over in America are known as "Hispanic", and they all share the same language. Here is a diagram that explains it all visually:

As we can see, there is another term: Latinoamericano, which refers only to Latin-derived speaking countries from America. Ok, that clarified, I am a Latinoamericana, hence I am Hispanic and thus Latina.
How to describe my culture... Culturally speaking, my lifestyle is a mix of two Latinamerican countries: Mexico and Uruguay, although since I've lived 97% of my life in Mexico, influence from this country is more strong. Because of the heritage from my mom, I have caucasican blood since Uruguay has majority of this European physiognomy, and from my dad's side my grandma was German, so I'm kinda blond, white skined and tall. (Not your average Mexican). It feels weird, then, that whenever I travel outside my country (and sometimes even there), people ask me where I am from. "You have an accent.. are you Russian?" is the most common guess I've heard here at El Paso. Maybe I should tell them Yes sometime just to see what it happens (acting is cool sometimes), but I always feel compelled to say, proudly: "No, I am Mexican". My culture is then, eat spicy, be warm, speak spanish, dance... although those may be cliches, I do follow them. I'm happy of having been born here. (Which always reminds me of what a professor once said, that nationalities are just a way to move the masses, and cause wars...)

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Comment by Rosemarie Montez on June 11, 2009 at 8:28am
Nicely put, Silvana!




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