Juan of Words

Raising a Bilingual Kid: Television En Español

Just the other day we were sitting at my parents house watching Sal y Pimienta.  If you’re not familiar, it’s one of those wickedly addicting and hilarious celebrity gossip shows that Univision airs regularly on their national network.  They’re hilarious because the hosts and guests on the show spend the entire hour talking crap and poking fun at anyone in the limelight, almost always taking jabs at each other too.  While it might sound pretty harsh, in truth, it’s all in good fun.  Everything is pretty much for the show, and I guess that’s what makes it work.  Pero bueno, I digress.

raising a bilingual kid connecting through spanish language television gordo y flaca
El Gordo y La Flaca

This particular Sunday, the beauty competition Nuestra Belleza Latina had just announced their winner and the Sal y Pimienta hosts were busy spitting their veneno – that’s what they like to call badmouthing – about the contestants and the judges on the show.  Anjelica and I were cracking up at some of the things they were saying, then all of the sudden El Gordo de Molina and Lili Estefan were on the screen.

Edgar sat up and this happened:

Edgar:  Hey, it’s that guy and the lady from El Gordo y La Flaca!

Me:  You know who those people are?

Edgar:  Yeah, it’s El Gordo y La Flaca.

Me:  How do you know who they are?

Anjelica:  You watch them, Edgar?

Edgar:  Yeah… I watch them sometimes with grandma.

Me and Anjelica:  (laughing and shaking our heads)

This single conversation got me thinking.  It reminded me of the many times I sat in front of the television screen with my parents watching telenovelas like Rosa Salvaje and Marimar, variety shows like Sábado Gigante, Siempre en Dómingo and El Show de Johnny Canales, even things as menial as the five o’clock and 10 o’clock newscasts in español everyday.  I did know these things had definitely had an impact on my own cultural identity and immersion, I just hadn’t really thought about how they had also helped to strengthen our familial bond.

It’s funny how even the smallest things count.

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