This I Believe

Efrain - Tacoma, Washington
Entered on January 28, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
Themes: immigrant

I believe in my heritage. I used to struggle with this because I would say I’m not Mexican or American. This is why I said this. My parents were born in México with different values; I was born and raised here in Washington. When I say I’m not American or Mexican, it’s not because I chose not to be; but because I don’t fit in as a complete Mexican or American. I don’t have a place where I can just be the same as everyone else. A place I can be accepted. Here in America I’m seen as a Mexican because of my darker skin color and my Hispanic aspects. In México I’m seen as an American because my personality is different and I have a bit of an accent. I’m right in the center of these two very different cultures.

I lived in México for six months with my grandmother. In México life seems simpler; you could be a teen and play games that teens here would find a bit childish. For some reason everyone in México respect their parents and never disrespect them or even raise their voice to them because we Mexicans are raised differently. In America it seems there is less respect for parents. I’m not saying México doesn’t have bad children too but not as much as here; there seems to be more unity in families in México. In America there is more freedom the parents give to the children than México. Here in the US sleepovers are a very normal thing, not in México. I’m not quite sure why the Mexicans don’t like this; but my parents always say “Why would you go somewhere else to sleep when you have your own house and bed” in a way they do make a point, I guess I could say my parents don’t believe in sleepovers.

That is just an example of how different these countries really are. The most important thing to me is my parents and their love they give me because it is my motivation to believe in my heritage. They had thought me the different values that exist in their culture. But I’m still confused because I like freedom. I wish I could be like any other American kid but at the same time I know that my parents are right because they have showed me their love. I want to be very important in life and I know that if I follow my parents teachings I might just do it. My culture is very important in my life because its teaching me who I am and is making me feel proud of my heritage.