Maria's Influence On American Culture

Decent Essays

The US: a self-proclaimed melting pot, or cultural quilt of the world. Yet, the general population know very little about the different cultures, or the stories of the immigrants who bring these cultures. An in a micro-ethnographic study, Maria, an immigrant from Colombia, shared her experiences with the cultures of Colombia and the US, and some stories about her life. Please note that the informant’s name has been changed to protect her privacy and wellbeing.
Maria was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia; a very violent place at the time. However, this violence only affected her when she went to her grandparents’ houses in a lower-class neighborhood. She spent a lot of time there and saw a lot of hitmen and drug cartels in that area. Her …show more content…

She had people asking her for cocaine and drugs because I was from Colombia. And having that feeling that the only thing people knew about Colombia was drug cartels, and perhaps some soccer, was devastating. With shame and sadness in her voice, Maria said that she actually used to think about dressing up, just so that people wouldn’t say “oh, she’s an illegal immigrant” which she was for a while. And after sixteen years in the States, she still faces these vicious stereotypes. In addition, there are small moments of ignorance. People that ask, “Hey, are there pastries in Colombia?” or they say “Oh, I didn’t know you could do that.” She may put avocado into a stew, and people gawk at her. All the wonderful things about Colombia are ignored. People only see the bad, they look at Colombia with an ethnocentric perspective; not seeing the fantastic coffee, beautiful flowers, and the vibrant and welcoming culture. They have better streets, better train systems, better water, and better …show more content…

Maria’s family gathered most Sundays and her father and uncle played the guitar. We sometimes danced or just sang. We also visited my parents often and went to church. The Colombian value that Maria tries the most to hold onto and to teach her daughters is that family comes first. She always criticizes kids here in the US that hang out with their friends New Year’s Eve. In Colombia, it’s like a no-no, you celebrate New Year’s Eve with your family. Family is first. There’s no wall between family members, no “I need space,” that’s not part of the Colombian culture. Enjoying delicious meals with family, and dancing together are also big parts of Colombian cultures. Here in the US, dancing is a number one thing in her house, even her traditional American husband has learned how to

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