Last night we were watching the Democratic National Convention en casita. Cristina Saralegui was on TV delivering her speech – I kind of love her, by the way. She’ll always be a legend in my eyes… never mind her less than graceful exodus from TV. I was kind of wishing she would have spoken more Spanish during her delivery, con más sazón y pasión, when Edgar turned to us and posed the following question:
So we are really Latinos, right?
Now it’s not that the poor boy is confused. He definitely understands his heritage and ancestry. He knows he’s part Mexican, part American. Born here, but part of a Mexican family, culture and heritage. And yes, Latino… or Hispanic, or whatever other word people want to come up with to describe people like us. You know, the brown ones. Claro, no todos estamos prietos… but for this little anecdote humor me for a bit porfis. What I think he was really asking was this: Are they really making that big of a deal about us Latinos at the DNC, on prime time no less?
Like many of us really, he’s not used to seeing so many Latinos front and center on English-language media outlets as there have been in the last few days. Más que eso, the familiar faces from the Spanish-language networks, like Cristina, are speaking English and delivering important speeches – not arguing or cracking jokes en español as usual. That’s got to be a little unusual for someone his age. I remember the first time I heard Don Francisco speak English. It was kind of shocking to be completely honest. Like, wait… I didn’t know he could do that! He could. And in a way it kind of opened my eyes and mind a little bit to how not different my two worlds actually were.
They weren’t exclusive from one another, and they could be one in the same. I didn’t realize it then, just like I don’t think he realizes it now, but in a way, it kind of made me appreciate my biculturalism and bilingualism a little bit more.