And with Summer, here come the weddings! I was recently invited to witness a wonderful union between two amazing human beings that love each other oh so much! These two have been through so much to be together, that being part of their celebration of love has been a true honour and such an inspiration. That not being my story, I cannot give you more details, but I can share that this pair has proven that love conquers all… really!
I met this guy at some café and since minute one (introductory stage) my name is clearly pronounced: I am KARLA. Yet at the end of our casual meeting he says “it was very nice to meet you María”. This is so recurrent, that I´m not sure if I better laugh at it.
Let’s be clear, I have absolutely nothing against that name (lots of friends and even my mom are named María). However, when it´s been your entire life in a non-latino country getting called Maria, because in a lot of people´s minds all latinas are called María, I can´t help but feel way more than annoyed.
I am normally very positive about everything and don´t give much importance to negative stuff. This time, I think I´ve had enough. So I will proceed to list some of the most offensive clichés with some important clarifications:
1. María for a girl, Juan for a boy: those are common names, I won´t deny it. However, in a region where more than 200 millions of people live and where Internet, TV and social media exist, believe me, creativity is not a missing element. You might find Scarletts, Esmeraldas, Sofías, Silvias, Anas, or Alexanders, Guillermos and even Liams.
2. Latinas get native boys so they can obtain a green card. Probably this happens, but not as often as the number of well educated latinas immigrating to go to University or to work at a professional job. If we date a local guy is not because of his papers, but hey! If we are, let´s say, in Italy, chances are that most men will be Italian and probabilities of dating one of them are higher as compared to other nationalities.
3. The Salsa thing. You are a latina, so you are supposed to be a wonderful salsa dancer, right? Never danced salsa before leaving Mexico because this latina comes from the West Coast, where we have some other equally interesting rhythms, like this one.
4. The normal skin colour. Yes, we are generally tan, but Latin America is rich in mixture and sometimes people is white, blond and blue/green eyed. Do you know this lady, Sofía Vergara? Well, her normal self is more like this, than like this. Just to put a famous example.
5. The exotic accent requirement. My spoken English is not the best in terms of accent, but my French is quite good as for me this language seems more natural because of certain proximity with my mother tongue. The number of times I´ve heard “your accent is quite good for a latin girl”. So, do we all have weird accents worth of being mocked at? Is that the meaning? Otherwise, should we make the effort to get these?
6. The siesta at noon. Once you get the context it´s easy to understand why this cliché is the most offensive of them all. See? If you see the first image, the guy sleeping is someone working the land, like a farmer or an agricultural worker. They usually start working with the sunset as the more you go south, the more working under the sun all day is hard. By noon all labours are done and being awake since 4a.m., your body needs to rest!!! Is it a crime to get a short nap after an intense work day going from 5a.m to noon? Wouldn’t you love to have the chance to take a nap after lunch even if you (like me) are a 9to5er?
I am pretty sure that everyone has been victim of some kind of wrong cliché… maybe I’m overreacting, but my belief is that instead of going violent and cursing people, it´s better to talk about things and crash all myths. It´s all about giving the information and making people aware of things. I would be curious to know about those stereotypes annoying you! Feel free to comment or to post about this and share a link with me!!!
And after this “rant”… I send you kisses,
And now May is gone! This month was so intense!!! As I mentioned in previous posts, I went to Europe for a couple of weeks to visit some very good friends. It was an incredible experience that allowed me to observe other lifestyles and cultures while enjoying delicious food and drinks in the best possible company. I brought my traveler Nemo with me haha. I know that this is not the most original idea, but the thing is that my sister bought that Nemo for me when she was living in Australia. After her time down under, she traveled a bit until finally heading back home, where I was visiting my family and she gave me Mr. Nemo who came to Montreal after visiting some other cities. So, as you can see, this Nemo is a natural traveler.
A single post is not enough to talk about all my impressions and thoughts on the huge number of fantastic things that I saw, eat or drink haha. I have a few examples, such as the Churros con Chocolate from San Ginés, a nice and very famous chocolate shop in Madrid, or the Sangría my hosts made for me along with a delicious Paella Valenciana.
I visited nice castles, like the Alcazar of Segovia where I get a better sense of the context at the time of the discovery of the New World. And also, I could see the great influence that the arabic world had on Spain and, in consequence, on my own native country.
So many nice feelings by visiting historical places and literature references, like the windmill from Don Quixote, or walking through the streets that are all plagued with millions of stories to tell. And as a good trip usually includes a beach… I was blessed with a quick visit to the Valencian beaches, at the Mediterranean Ocean.
May, you are gone, but believe, you will never be forgotten!
P.S. Honorary highlights:
Montreal Habs stayed for a while in the Stanley Cup play offs. We missed our chance for the finals, but heck, I am proud of the great accomplishments they made. They brought so much happiness to the whole city!