|Articles, Autobiography, Latino Studies, Media Archive, United States on 2015-03-03 19:26Z by Steven|
The man sitting behind me at the restaurant last month was speaking Spanish.
So was the park worker the other day, which was a surprise.
There was the couple wearing “Great Aloha Run” shirts, asking each other about rain, parece que va a llover. Their accents were wonderfully soft, elongated, melodic and tripping. Dominican, I think, like my friend Carolina’s.
When I lived in LA, hearing Spanish was a given. It was everywhere–on buses, at the bank, on signs and on my radio in the car. Even though I lacked fluency when I moved there, it was omnipresent.
Now, living in a state with under 10% of a Latino population (a huge increase from before), hearing Spanish is a rare treat, something that immediately makes my ears perk up. I remember each time like a small gem, holding it close as a reminder of home.
Like I’m sure lots of mixed kids deal with, though, I always have a hard time trying to navigate both cultures. I love living here and being seen as Filipina, but now I miss part of my Latina culture. I miss speaking Spanish with people. I missing hearing mariachi on the radio when I would scroll through channels. I spent all of McFarland U.S.A crying. Not just crying, really, but sobbing. From the quince scene on, I was a mess. The hand-painted signs selling aguas de fruta and the casual mix of Spanglish made my heart ache for something that I still don’t know how to fill..
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