Growing up in the Coastal Bend, mainly Corpus Christi, one may notice that a large part of the community is Hispanic.
Maybe you didn’t grow up here like I did, and our quirks and lifestyle are ‘Greek’ to you. Well unless you’re used to being around Hispanics you may not understand some of the everyday things that we do. I personally am an introvert, so embracing my culture has sometimes been difficult. I can’t speak for every Hispanic family, but I’m more than sure that most share similarities with mine. Hispanic can mean not just being from Mexico but Spain, or another Latin speaking country. We are a growing in numbers and with what’s going on in the world today it got me thinking how important it is to remember all the things about my family’s Hispanic culture that I can pass down to my daughter.
We (Hispanics) are a burst of color on a dull gray page!
We are ….
(You should note that these are my opinions and not everyone needs to agree with me).
We are very family-oriented. Our family is not just considered ‘mom, dad and baby’ it’s extended family: grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and sometimes close friends of the family (compadres).
Familia (family) is always the most important thing.
We value and respect older generations that have come before us. In general, we welcome everyone into our home, “Mi casa es Su casa.” Translation, “My house is your house.” Throughout my childhood we always lived with other relatives, it’s not uncommon to see families living together or at least very near each other. When I was little, we lived with my abuela (grandmother) and she didn’t speak English very well so I learned to understand what she would say to me. My Mexican roots haven’t always been important to me, but as I got older, I realized a lot of things that are important to my family come from our culture.
The family unit in a Hispanic household has deep roots in the Catholic religion, we are very spiritual. There are prayers for everything from marriage to blessing a new home. There are many traditions when it comes to family events.
Quinces or Quinceañeras are special birthday parties for when a young man or woman turns 15 years old. While attending a special event such as a birthday party, wedding or even a funeral you will certainly hear music.
Music plays a strong role in our culture. One type of music you may hear is Mariachi. When I was a little girl my father played in a Mariachi group, playing the trumpet. I have fond memories of him playing music around the house. It dates back hundreds of years in Mexico, typically using instruments such as guitars, trumpets and violins. Another type of music that has origins in Texas is Tejano. You are most likely familiar with it since the Queen of Tejano herself, Selena Quintanilla, is from Corpus Christi. When we were kids my sister would go around the house singing Selena all the time.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention food, but I’m working on a separate blog for that (wink).
Food is everything in our culture.
From the second I would walk into my grandparents home the smells from the kitchen felt like home. From my grandmother’s frijole tacos to pan dulce. Everything is made with love and painstaking care.
My family is an average size, but when I got married to my husband, I found out his family was enormous. Back in our grandparent’s day, it was normal for them to have large families. For me, a person who knows everyone in my family’s birthdays to being married into a family where I still haven’t met every person (because there are so many) it’s an adjustment. All these qualities of my Hispanic culture are beautiful and special. I am slowly teaching them to my daughter, so she knows where they came from, where she comes from.
If you look all around Corpus Christi you can see the Hispanic culture all around you, explore it and let me know what you find.