There is an inherent social pressure or maybe just an internal desire for people to want to link themselves to a cultural background beyond just being labeled an “American”. Defining what an “American” is is another topic in itself, but what I am referring to is the want or need of “Americans” to label themselves as Italian-Americans, German-Americans…etc. Why they do it is not really important but what I find interesting is the way that people go about defining themselves. I’ve never really tried to define myself so I figured that I would try to give it a shot.
I was born in Mexico and was raised there until the age of nine when my family moved to the United States. So what does that make me? A Mexican-American, American-Mexican, Mexican or just an American? Some of my friends have told me that I’m more “white” then they are (but then again, that was my basketball playing communist atheist Jewish friend). Others have said that I’m Mexican but culturally American and others have even said that I’m a whitesican. I would probably say that I can’t relate with many Mexicans born in the states (chicanos); I would also say that I have a tough time relating with other Mexican immigrants as well as with Mexicans in Mexico, and I definitely didn’t experience a lot of the things that American kids grow up doing here in the US. So what the hell am I?
I thought that maybe if I used sports I could figure out who I really was. In a world cup soccer match between Mexico and the USA who would I root for? I would definitely have to say Mexico, so that makes me Mexican right? Wrong!! because in a basketball match between Mexico and the USA I would definitely root for the USA. That just led me to realize that I’m a front runner in international sports.
I can’t use food because I pretty much eat everything and anything. I can’t use alcohol because I like American and Mexican beers equally. I can’t really drink tequila but I love margaritas (and those are NOT Mexican drinks). I can’t use language because my friends can’t understand my English and my parents can’t understand my Spanish. I can’t use music because I bump Snoop one minute and Los Angeles Azules the other.
With no real answer to my question I’m going to have to say that I’m definitely Mexican and I’m definitely American……depending on who is asking. At least my kids will be able to easily say they are American Muts.