Jasmine’s Journal: Different cultures

Jasmine%27s+Journal%3A+Different+cultures

Jasmine Garza, Editor-in-Chief

There is something about the traditions and values of a Hispanic culture that makes you feel connected to your ancestors and roots. Growing up as a Mexican-American can sometimes be confusing as to which ethnicity to go by and when to do that. People would ask me what I was, and after I said Mexican, they would automatically assume I was from Mexico, while it did not offend me in any way because I was proud of who I was and what I believed. But at times my life seemed to be different than the lives of my friends as to what traditions we celebrated and which ones we did not.

Being Mexican-American has set an importance of different holidays and beliefs. We celebrated holidays in America that are also celebrated in Mexico, such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Easter, as well as holidays only celebrated in Mexico such as The Day of the Holy Kings and Dia de los Muertos. Certain holidays such as Mother’s Day is celebrated on a different day than the United States and in different ways. The appreciation of mothers on Mother’s Day in Mexico began in 1922 after a journalist named Rafael Alducin wrote an article encouraging the celebration of mothers all over Mexico.  Since then the celebrations that occurred for mothers included flowers, handmade gifts and serenades to attempt to show how much appreciation they held.

Although all members of a Hispanic family are honored, the mother of a Hispanic family is always placed on a pedestal. They are considered the mold of the family who would do anything to keep their family together. No matter their age or health the family cares for them and respects them at all times. With a great-grandmother who is 95 years-old, I am truly able to say she still continues to be the most important part of my mother’s side of the family. She is the wisest woman I know who will tell you what she believes even if it is not what you want to hear.

From generation to generation you are able to see the constant increase in family members and the time they spend together. From frequent family reunions to back yard bar-b-ques, when one person arrives and the word gets out, all the rest begin to show up. It gives truth to all those sayings about Hispanics never arriving anywhere on time, but that is how you know you are at a Hispanic gathering. The people are laughing, not worrying about how much they have or do not have and at the end of the day the only choice you have is to be grateful for the life you live.

Being born in America, to a Mexican American mother and Mexican Father set me apart from many others. I was Mexican but not from Mexico and I was American because I was born here, but in the eyes of Mexicans I was not Mexican and in the eyes of Americans I was not that either.

Although I never struggled with whom I was growing up I began to grow an appreciation of different cultures and different people because I wanted to learn about a world outside of my own; and that is why I decided I needed to explore more once the opportunity arose after high school.

Deciding I wanted to go away for college was one of the hardest decisions I had to make. In a Hispanic culture family and respect is of high importance and value. Since I was a little girl I was always taught to respect my elders, love unconditionally and to never be greedy with what you have. Deciding to leave is going to put me into a place where I have never been before. A place where I cannot just turn one way and ask my family for help. A place where new traditions will form from new cultures and new surroundings. But overall a place for me to learn for myself.

Being brought up in a multicultural setting has made me realize family is the most important thing in my life because I am able to understand the sacrifices my family has made in order to get me to where I am today. Sacrifices that we have gone through as a family that has made us closer than ever before because as through those moments no one ever turned their back.

College is going to be tough and I am going to have to adapt to new surroundings but the assurance that my family will support me no matter where I am and what I do is one of the greatest feelings to have.