Hispanic Heritage Month, AKA Mes de la Herencia Hispana AKA Latinx Heritage Month, is an exciting time for any and all hispanohablantes, whether your family tree has generations of roots in the U.S. or you are the first of your bloodline to be born here. From September 15 to October 15, we celebrate by exploring the contributions, retelling the stories, and participating in the traditions laid out by our ancestors before us.
This week, the Tragos team is diving into some pros of being raised biculturally.
Growing up, my family and community instilled in me a sense of tradition, from learning the meticulous recipes perfected by my grandmother years ago to happily listening to my grandfather recount the songs of his childhood in Mexico. I developing a personal connection to the curriculum in World History classes throughout my academic career, finding a proud sense of belonging as I learned about my heritage and those before me. My Latin roots and history remind me to chase my dreams, like Selena Quintanilla, to break glass ceilings and push societal norms like Bad Bunny, and perhaps most importantly, to always keep fighting the good fight, no matter how long it takes, like Lin-Manuel Miranda. Learning from my ancestors and those in the spotlight is a big part of who I have grown into, inspired and excited to continue our representation in more ways than one.
As a kid, birthday parties were great. Usually including a theme, "goodie bags" for each attendee, and bouncy houses, one essentially knows what to expect time after time. However, compared to Latino fiestas, American celebrations are lacking on a few rituals that truly make the party pop. Complete with the guys BBQ-ing outside while the women gossip and cook in the kitchen, sneaking beers from the fridge with your primos, sleeping babies on top of coats in a random bedroom, and undoubtedly having your face smashed into your cake; these special moments make all the difference. Let’s not forget to shout out the tío who almost busts his sh*t climbing the roof to operate the piñata. In regard to making the food, embarking on vacations south of the border to visit distant relatives (because you probably have at least 25 cousins you don’t know,) and playing infinite rounds of Loteria and/or Dominoes, nothing compares to Latino family bonding.
3. Bilingual Household
Being bilingual is truly a blessing. Some of us grew up translating English for our parents, some learned Spanish in school, and a few (you know who you are) only speak Bad Bunny. And that’s OK! We’re not here to judge. More than 37 million U.S. residents speak Spanish, and it’s the primary language used in 21 countries.
Even if your español isn’t perfect, studies show that those raised with more than one language in the home (or on the radio,) are:
- More creative and better at problem-solving than their monolingual counterparts;
- Likely to more positive views and attitudes towards others, promoting respect and inclusivity in interacting with members of different cultural groups
- Able to learn additional languages with ease
- Often known to have advanced vocabulary skills in both languages
- Inclined to have a broader range of career opportunities and work efficiently with a variety of customers, clients, and businesses.
If improving your bilingual skills is on your to-do list, you need a game for both sides of your family, or need to drop a hint to an amigo. We recommend turning our newest product, Get Loud into a vocab learning game, perfect for all ages!
Flying the Mexican flag on September 16th to celebrate my country's Independence Day comes naturally and with a sense of honor, as my gratitude towards my parents and grandparents remains fierce and plentiful. I hope you all fly your respective banderas high AF this month to show your country’s pride!
However, when you get the best of both worlds, you also get the worst of both worlds. Next week, we’ll get into some of the “cons,” or more difficult parts of being raised in a multicultural home and how to combat them! Stay tuned, mi gente.