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My cultural identity is made up of a lot of numerous factors. I was born and raised in the San Antonio area. Both of parents are from Mexico, my mother moved here when she was nineteen and my father moved here when he was five. When they first moved to the San Antonio area they were of the lower class and they lived in the poorer side of San Antonio. When I was around three we moved to the southern side of San Antonio. My mother is catholic and always tried to get us to church but over the years we have become busy on Sundays and never make it anymore except for Christmas and Easter. My Hispanic culture is involved I my life by all the traditions my mom tries to keep around the house during holidays.
They both taught me to embrace my Mexican culture but also respect other cultures. They taught us how to speak Spanish but over the years going to school affected the away we spoke Spanish until we forgot most of the language. When I was elementary I was not placed in a bilingual classroom so I taught that I was not supposed to speak Spanish at school because no one else did in my class so I started forget how to speak it. When I entered middle school, I made friends that spoke Spanish and I learned that it was okay to speak it but I had already forgot most of the language. I am still trying to connect with my Mexican heritage. They are a lot of things that I still do not know about like my ancestry. I want to learn where my family actually came from.
In most family the men are more freedom than the woman. I am not a lot to hang out with my friends without a male cousin with me. They get more privileges because they are “men” and they are “strong.” The males can do whatever they what without telling anyone but the females must ask permission for every single thing. My parents believe that “bad things” might happen to us if we go out alone. I respect my parents’ wishes but sometimes it gets hard knowing that you cannot do all the things the men in your family do.
Sometimes when my family and I would go exploring around the small towns that surround us we would find ourselves in a town that predominantly whites. We would get strange looks and sometimes glares from random people we passed. Just because we were speaking Spanish and we are slightly darker than they were. It felt strange because we were come from it is mostly Hispanics and other cultures. We did not stay for long because we were uncomfortable because of the weird looks that we were getting.
My cultural identity represents who I am as a person and who my family is. My family are my role models for my cultural identity. Even through some off the things they are stereotypical for males and females I would like to share some of the things that represent our cultural identity. I would love to keep all the Hispanic aspects of my parent’s cultural identity but lose all the “males are better than females.” I am a strong Mexican American female from the south of San Antonio and I am proud that this is my cultural identity.
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