(Photo credit: Alexa Westerfield, Swell Design Studios)
Why I love being Mexican-American. Today is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday that is celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico. Regardless, it is a time for people to profess their love of Mexican culture! I recently had someone ask me, “Kathy, why don’t you have a Cinco de Mayo category on your blog?” My response? “My whole blog is Cinco de everything, 365/24/7!”
In that spirit, I’m going to share cinco reasons why I love being Mexican-American. I hope it inspires each of you to reflect on your own culture and think about why you are proud of that too!
1. Friends and family.
Family is my foundation, they helped me appreciate and embrace all things Mexican-American. My parents and grandparents made sure we grew up with a 50/50 balance of Mexican and American cultures. I love that there are two languages spoken in my family. I’m still struggling with learning Spanish, but I have plenty of resources to turn to for when I’m ready to get serious! And FRIENDS – a diverse groups of amigas. See the bottom right photo? Can you believe THREE of us there are Latinas? It shows how diverse our looks and features are. Above that photo is my friend, Alexa from Kentucky. Here she is watching Mi Vida Loca with me. And yes, I drank moonshine at her wedding. It’s a win-win situation! The top photo is a drawing my nana and tata when they were young, living in Phoenix and enjoying romantic married life. The upper left photo is a pic of my blogging soul sisters, Latina BlogStars. We travel to conferences together and share all kinds of funny, relatable stories! And the other picture is when my family was featured in Better Homes and Gardens magazine for my dad’s tamales!
2. Arts and culture in Phoenix, my hometown!
Despite the controversy, know that Phoenix, Arizona is thriving with Mexican-American culture, art, food, and love. This city is teeming with some of the most creative, talented people I know. Culture is EVERYWHERE. And residents of every skin color and background get involved to support the cause. Our community spills into all other aspects of Phoenix too, all working together to make it a wonderful place to live. My grandparents, parents and my own immediate family were all born and raised here in town. We’re not going anywhere! See the picture on the bottom – that is The Phoenix Fridas, a Latina art collective we started in town TEN years ago and we are still together, throwing events, selling and sharing our art, hanging out as friends. Taking care of each other and helping each other succeed in all we do.
3. Mexi-crafts gone mainstream!
Mexican crafts have been an unlimited source of inspiration for all creative types. Never in a million years would I have thought that not only me, but many other crafty chicas, could make a living designing, making and selling our creations. Our work has such a strong sense of purpose because we are carrying on the tradition of our heritage through handmade art, yet giving it all a contemporary spin. And I love that so many general market companies like iLoveToCreate see the value and hire someone like me to incorporate this popular style into their brand! And many other companies too!
4. Food! Hello? yes, food!
We have traditional Mexican food – rice, beans, tacos, etc, but have you seen the crazy cool things food bloggers are doing? Just like crafts, they are mashing up tradition with current trends. For example, check out this dreamy version of flan that my friend Nicole made – Salted Cajeta Chocolate Flan!
It’s always been my dream to visit Mexico for an extended stay. Living in Arizona, luckily that isn’t too difficult, we’re neighbors. My great-grandparents roots are in Sonora and Zacatecas! However, I can’t make it there, but I can make it to San Miguel Allende. This December I’m going to stay there for 10 days to relax, adapt to their daily life and soak up as much history, art and inspiration as I can.
It is so hard to stop at five and I didn’t even get to hit on movies, TV, music or books. But you know I’m always covering those topics here on my blog. I just finished the novel, Loving Pedro Infante by Denise Chavez. OMG, you must read it if you love Mexican cinema. It’l have you laughing, crying and dreaming.
As far as music, I’m still intrigued by La Santa Cecilia – and so happy they won the Grammy for Best Latin Rock Album!
(click here to see the video)
What are your favorite things about Mexican-American culture!