Saturday, October 11, 2008

Can Someone Explain This To Me?

When I was a kid growing up in a small town, I was often the target of mean kids because of things about me that they found to be "too different". I remember taking pan dulce in my lunch box and kids literally gathering around me to make gagging sounds and to tell me how "gross" my food looked. Or listening to Spanish music and getting strange looks. Okay, so take the same exact music and have it recorded by an American artist, and all-of-a-sudden its genius! Have someone change the shape of the pan dulce, and give it a French name or its a delicacy. I have often found this baffling. When you grow up as part of a minority, you learn to hide a lot of your cultural traditions while in the "Anglo" world, because otherwise you often run into discrimination. But if a well known artist or whatever, blatantly copies those same cultural references they are hailed as original and truly creative. If you are wondering why I'm on such a soap box, its because I was scrolling through the web, when I ran across this article about the latest Hermes collection. I admit that I chuckled at the details of the collection, because it all looked and felt suspiciously familiar to me.

Hmm, I wonder what in the world could have inspired such a collection? Maybe all the folks who actually sew the clothes, clean up the main offices, and build the massive sky-scrapers? I don't know...maybe. When I was younger I used to think that this sort of thing was a sort of acceptance of cultural differences...but now I'm not so sure. I can imagine the reaction I would get if I walked around wearing these clothes. Hermes or not, I probably wouldn't get the nicest treatment if I walked in to a high end department store.
My intention is not to be divisive because I love where I live and my parents had to sacrifice a lot for us to be here...and I am very grateful. I guess I just wanted to point one of those curiosities of life. My point of view is of growing up Mexican-American, but I know anyone who grew up here with a family from somewhere else has experienced the same thing.
So there is yet another of my random thoughts that has nothing to do with interior design...I know, I have a lot of them.
P.S. I posted this photo with only the utmost respect, because I think Los Tigres Del Norte is one of the best bands ever! (Even if I don't agree w/ the outfits)
P.P.S. Anyone reading this who isn't from the U.S. probably doesn't know what I am talking about. These clothes are a reference to a part of Mexican culture known as Tejano or Norteño. It is basically a fusion of Northern Mexican and Southwest American traditions.


karina said...

Caroline, I understate you very well,I did not went trough the same in my country and because of my look, green eyesand blondie, I am always accepted till I open my mouth,my opinions an sensibility are always beyond my friends,family and neighbours so as a teenager I almost did not speak,later I become like a trend setter between the same people that have not understood before.
My Italian family was too dramatic for me,too. Thinking about a post about it.
I am happy with myself now, I laugh very loud,move my hand while speaking,my look could be any thing but I have a Latin heart(and a Latin booty)
and although is more work I write my blog in Spanish becouse is such a wonderful language.

Paloma said...

I totally understand, Carolina! There is such a double standard. Every time I tell someone I am Mexican they are in utter disbelief and say, "You don't look Mexican!". Well, there are plenty of Mexican people who look like me. I remember some kids saying to me in junior high that I was "the good kind of mexican" and that I was just like them because I look "white". What the hell does all of that even mean?

Carolina Eclectic said...

The good kind of Mexican! I've never heard that one before. Of course, no one is shocked when I say that I'm Mexican. I've always thought it was funny how subjective "looking white" can be.

Karina: Your comment made me laugh. It is so important to get comfortable w/ who you are (and your booty).

Shannon Fricke said...

Imagine a world where we can celebrate our differences - without judgement or fear of rebuke. Idealistic? Perhaps. But you only need one to start a revolution. And this post may be just the thing to get the ball rolling.
Thanks Carolina.

Alma said...

I grew up taking burritos in my lunch pail and getting all the teasing at school. Now as an adult, I also have been told "Yeah but you aren't one of those Mexicans". What does that mean exactly? I am One of those. My dad came here when he was five. No I don't speak Spanish and went to mostly Anglo schools. So I look like a Hispanic girl, sound like a Valley Girl. But I got on the school bus and called Beaner.

Thank you for bringing attention to this!!!!

Carolina Eclectic said...

Shannon: I don't know if I will start a revolution, but if this article stops a few people from ridiculing those they don't understand; I will feel happy.

Hi Alma. Who knew there were so many "kinds" of Mexicans! Let's not even get into the whole growing up here w/ parents from Mexico thing!