I had to think about this one for awhile. There are so many things that I love about being Latino. I can go into things like culture, or food, or music but that, to me, just does not cover all of it exactly. My assessment about life has always been based on feeling. My overall feeling about being Latino is that we all seem to embody our culture and our lifestyle and I love it.
The funny thing is that when I was living in the Bronx as a kid, the people in the neighborhood were mostly Puerto Rican. So in many cases, the sense of being unique is lost because everyone is sort of doing the same thing. It was no big deal to listen to salsa all day and all night on a Saturday while the adults drink beer as the food was cooking. It was normal to me to have rice and beans every day. So when I left that element to go to college, I began to see the richness of my culture and realized that I have the ability to embody my culture.
It is a pride thing. We know that our culture is rich. We know that our people look good. And we know this so well that you can feel it when we dance. You can taste it in the love we put in our foods we cook. You hear it with every roll of the r when we speak our language. We embody our culture.
I love the fact that I can walk through the Schine Student Center at Syracuse University and see Latino student in the Atrium where there are information tables on their various organizations. Everything is all social and when someone plays salsa, merengue, or bachata then we all get to really see the culture come alive! I noticed that all the students I know embody their culture in such obvious ways. I makes me feel that I am still in the Bronx at a block party.
So when I talk about the embodying nature that each one of us has it is like the sum of the whole. Latinos come in different shades and from different countries and yet we are a part of this mass of people called “Hispanic”. I think that because we are are so definable by language and yet so undefinable by appearance that out culture manages to live through us.