Duality of Being Latino in the US: Open Thread
When the PBS special Latino Music USA ended last night, I wanted to stand in my Tennessee family room and clap. It was a wonderful lesson in history, and a thrilling reminder of how delicious and diverse our culture is. So, gracias, PBS. If you missed it, the show is available online and on DVD.
While I ate up every minute, the last few that featured Lin-Manuel Miranda, a Puerto Rican New Yorker and the creator of the Tony-winning Broadway hit In the Heights, was my most, most favorite. He hit on a topic that I love going on about: The duality of first-generation Latinos.
He said that for us, “home” is a loaded word. Where do I belong? Do I belong here, or am I supposed to go back home? What do we take with us? What do we pass on to our children, he asked.
The play, which I did not see, addresses those questions — and they are the same ones we often talk about here on the Tiki Tiki, the questions I ask myself as I raise an American child with Cuban roots.
You can see Lin-Manuel’s interview on the PBS site, here.
Personally, it feels like information comes into my brain, runs itself through two filters before it comes out my mouth as thought. One foot in one culture, one foot in another. But it doesn’t mean I pick one over the other. It doesn’t mean I consciously run things through my American filter and then my Latin filter. They work in unison. One cannot operate without the other. I am a sancocho. And again, personally, even when I have tried to tamp down the Latin-ness, to meld a little more, our culture, or some stranger, or some somebody, tells me that well, I’m not really totally American.
So, some questions for you, Tiki Tiki:
Did you watch the documentary?
Do you think about this duality in your daily life?
Is your Latin heritage a conscious, in-your-face-fact, or do you not really think about it?
What does “home” mean to you?
Are you too a sanchocho?