Mexican . . . American (or ni de aquí ni de allá)

It’s kind of a strange in-between, neither fully Mexican nor fully American. Being Mexican American means being neither from here nor there.

It’s being lost in translation.

It means celebrating Mexican traditions in an American kind of way and celebrating American traditions in a Mexicano kind of way.

Santa Claus in Christmas and tamales in Thanksgiving.

It means admiring your ancestors from a distance, putting them on a t-shirt, in a poem, a poster – in English.

It means being taught to be honest like Abe and humilde like Benito Juárez.

It means learning about César Chávez – our only Mexican American relative in a textbook.

It means being a gringa over there and a Mexican over here.

It’s loving La Revolución and being appalled by La Conquista.

It’s loving flapper dresses and poodle skirts and hating slavery.

It’s Vicente Fernandez and Mariah Carey both on the same playlist.

It’s not being able to choose between a hamburger and a torta de milanesa.

It means proudly and freely navigating two languages.

It’s being at home here and being at home there.

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