Cultural Identity

Decent Essays
“Ni de aqui, ni de alla,” – “not from here, nor there”, a saying all too familiar to my ears. As a first-generation Mexican-American this prominent saying allows for the expression of the frustration of being stuck in the middle of two cultures. Being the product of two resilient Mexican immigrants that religiously preached the enormous value of an education influenced my upbringing down to its very core. Perhaps, it’s the fact that parents like my own, whose educational knowledge was halted in the sixth grade, aspire to live their dreams through their children.
Growing up in a heavily diverse neighborhood in South Everett, Washington allowed me to explore different ideas and values within a small radius. Moreover, I could relate to my fellow classmates regardless of our nationality since we shared a common trait, we were all facing the challenges of assimilating into American culture. Perhaps, the earliest memory I possess of a cultural dilemma is that of the existing language barrier. At an early age, this was a tremendous issue since I possessed a limited vocabulary yet I was the primary translator for my Spanish-speaking parents. Casual visits to the doctor’s office and parent-teacher conferences at school were not only opportunities to reflect on my health and education but to practice my ever-expanding knowledge of both languages. The existing language barrier between these two cultures allowed for the development of my tolerance toward people who are navigating
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