I never wondered if we were Hispanic or Latino until we arrived in the United States and it was our turn to fill out the documents to enroll my son in school.
It was awkward, we didn’t know whether to score the “Hispanic or Latino” grid because we weren’t used to any of those labels.
In my opinion, I would use the term “Hispano” for which we speak Spanish and we come from Latin America and “Latino” for the children of Hispanics born in the USA, who have Hispanic-American customs and who in my country we knew as Pochos or Chicanos.
I asked several friends if they consider themselves Latino or Hispanic and most replied that they prefer to be called by their country of origin, for example “Mexicans, Venezuelans, Cubans”, so does my husband and my eldest son who came to this country when I was six years old.
Instead, I would say that my youngest children are Latino, they have grown up with a mixture of different customs, which although they include Mexican traditions, have had the opportunity to know and participate in those of other Latin American countries.
According to Wikipedia:
- Hispanic refers to the people of the countries in which Spanish is spoken (therefore Brazilians are not Hispanic, because they speak Portuguese, but if they are Latino).
- Latino are people who live or are descendants of Latin American countries, but children of Latinos born in the United States are also included.
By the way, my husband and I, apart from being Mexican, Hispanic and Latino; we have Chinese roots, as his grandfather and my great-grandfather were Chinese; that makes us Asian Hispanics, although we don’t speak the language, nor do we follow Chinese customs, but well, we have our eyes ripped and we love Chinese food, if that counts.
Anyway, little by little we have been getting used to these labels and so we have been adding to our life, celebrations like Hispanic Heritage Month which recognizes Hispanic history and culture and goes from September 15th to October 15th.
And you consider yourself Latino or Hispanic?
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