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What it's Like Growing Up Mexican-American

Growing up with two cultures or more is not easy. Often times there are people who pressure you to know more about your culture. There is nothing wrong about learning to connect with your roots. But sometimes the pressure can get overwhelming for those that are Mexican-American.

When you are born Mexican people may expect you to speak "perfect Spanish." Or to know all about Mexico. If you are born in America then people expect you to speak "perfect English," and you really don't have a choice. Because being able to speak English is something that is really valuable, especially if your parents cannot speak it. There is also those people that believe that the definition of being an American is having blue eyes, blonde hair, and pale skin.

Another word that is used a lot to call Mexican-Americans is Chicano or Chicana. The word Chicano or Chicana was popularized during the 1960's which led to the Chicano Movement. The Chicano Movement is a very important part of American history that people tend not to talk about and forget. Mainly people remember the Civil Rights era involving Martin Luther King.Jr, Rosa Parks, or Malcolm X. That is all amazing, but today's society is not completely aware of the Chicano Movement.

The iconic movie "Selena," directed by Gregory Nava, is a story about a Mexican-American singer who reached fame and became successful in the United States and in Latin America. It shows some challenges Mexican-Americans face. In the movie being Mexican-American is described as "exhausting." Some immigrant parents do not know how to speak english. So most of the time that means their children have to take care of the phone calls, as well as other tasks that require someone that speaks english. I was just eight years old when i saw the movie. There was an immidiate connection that I noticed with Selena and I. Not only was she Mexican-American like me. But the way she grew up not being able to speak a language that was connected with her roots as well. My first language was spanish till second grade I finally knew how to read and write in English

Although I am a Mexican-American teen, I will say that these challenges can truly be stressful in an every day basis. But there is nothing better than taking pride of your roots.

[Source: The Daily Universe]

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