Tuesday, May 1, 2007

The Southern Perspective

Bridget Rivera

"A pride of who you are and where you came from. The same can be said of being Latino."

by Bridget Rivera

"The South."

Your connotation of those two words depends on where you're from. To the rest of the U.S. when you say you're from "the south" it's like you're from a different country. You become the token southerner. You might get treated like a foreign exchange student where you are asked to name simple items just so they can hear your accent.

But in the south, being from here is like like having an automatic kinship with every other southerner you meet, whether it be "up north" or the next state over. Claiming your southern-ness, in the south is a form of boasting. It's something to be said with pride. A pride of who you are and where you came from.

The same can be said of being Latino.

You become a token if your ethnicity isn't obvious and has to be "figured out." You are asked to name simple things to find out their name - or my personal favorite, "Say something in Spanish." If you hear someone speaking Spanish in the store or see someone's car with your flag on it you feel a kinship with that person regardless if you have spoken to that person before or not. When non-latinos ask if you are Hispanic you answer in a clear voice filled with pride.

As a Latina from the south I am glad to say that I have pride for both my geological and ethnic background. When people ask me where I'm from I state loud and proud "Tennessee."

And then that always-ugly question, "What are you?"

After being a smart-aleck and replying, "A girl, DUH," I say with an equal amount of pride:


Reprinted with permission from Your Spanish Link, LLC

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