You are not Mexican, Irish, or Italian, you are an American

Discussion in 'Salser@s Anonymous' started by Marcos, Oct 5, 2017.

  1. Marcos

    Marcos Son Montuno

    So I wanted to discuss the issue of the US penchant to have people who are born and raised within the country, in some cases for generations, refer to themselves as members of another country, which causes us Latinos a lot of confusion and consternation.

    For example the American who says they are Irish, German, Mexican, etc.

    In Puerto Rico we don't seem to have that penchant, as it appears to me of other Hispanic nationalities. Both of my grandmothers refered to themselves as Puertoricans. One was actually born in Cuba but brought to Puerto Rico as a baby, the other had a father who was born and raised in Spain. Shakira doesn't refer to herself as Lebanese, but as Colombian.

    Examples of this confusion:

    A career Airman starts a speech saying he's Scottish. He then goes into a speech about why the United States is so much better than any other country. All the meanwhile I'm thinking he's a dirtbag of a Scotsman, and I brought up asking "aren't you a Scotsman?", causing quite the awkward moment. Years later I figured out he probably had one grandparent or great grandparent who actually carried a Scotland Birth Certificate.

    A friend of mine tells everyone in college he's Italian. Everyone thinks he was born and raised in Italy, when he's actually never even been there, nor have either of his parents.
    matty likes this.
  2. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    To add to that ( and I agree with your posit ) African americans ?, It's a CONTINENT..
    The assumption by many is if they ( in states ) see a person who's black then they are stereotyped from the git go..

    I had a very close friend from PR who was black. He got accosted in a parking lot in front of the restaurant/club he owned , by some jerk who called him by the N word for no good reason ( is there ever one !! ) . Needless to say, he was incensed and tried to chase him down. The guy apparently had called the cops and my buddy got arrested ( He never touched the guy )

    It is worth noting that in the UK we still define origins here as in Welsh, Irish and Scottish ( as tho we cant tell when they speak ! :rolleyes: )
  3. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I forgot to add this ; I have just watched a 3 part doc. on the origins of civilisation , from the discovery of hominids in Africa and how they evolved and created a world wide diaspora... ergo.. we ALL have African ANCESTRY !!
    MAMBO_CEC and Smejmoon like this.
  4. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    It's quite funny and confusing at first,but most of the time it just means they prefer certain ethnic food. Also all Americans are Irish on st Patricks day and Mexicans on Cinco de mayo. :D
    I've met people who have never been to Africa saying they are from there (opposed to me, who has been there) and people who claim to be Russians, except when I start talking Russian to them.
    wol, azana and MAMBO_CEC like this.
  5. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    This is simply because the people are almost all immigrants and many take pride in their ancestry and traditions - such as food as was mentioned above. It gives them some sort of a sense of identity to identify with particular culture and set of traditions even if the US is supposed to be a melting pot. As smejmoon said - nearly everyone celebrates St. Patrick's day, etc.
    Marcos, G809, MAMBO_CEC and 1 other person like this.
  6. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    [QUOTE="Smejmoon, post: 333010, member:

    Also all Americans are Irish on st Patricks day and Mexicans on Cinco de mayo. :D


  7. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    This is the funniest thing I heard today. Thank you for the laugh. But no, it isn't because we prefer certain ethnic food. Otherwise I would be Mexican on Tuesday and Italian on Friday. lol
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2017
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  8. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    Exactly. We are NOT saying we are members of another country but that our ancestry & tradition is from another country.
  9. Smejmoon

    Smejmoon El Sabroso de Conguero

    I hope so. I was just kidding, but it does illustrate confusion that people face when they first time meet USians who claim to be some other ethnicity. :)
  10. G809

    G809 Changui

    The question, "Where are you from?" could indicate that you want to know the person's ethnicity ("where are your ancestors from?"), nationality ("in which country do you have citizenship?"), or native country/region ("where did you grow up?"). Some people have different responses to each. Confusion among these meanings is the reason you might not get the response you were expecting, unless you clarify the question.
  11. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    It depends upon HOW one poses the question. My children were all born in the States, and I guess they may respond with " My dad is from the UK " followed by where they were born city wise .
    Americans are always eager to delineate their origins ( don't know why ) but I guess it's the belonging to a group mentality, and identity if you will. People like to be unique .
    Smejmoon likes this.
  12. timberamayor

    timberamayor Maestro 'Guaguanco' Rodríguez

    By claiming kinship in a group LOL ;)
    Smejmoon likes this.
  13. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Aint that ironic ! :D
    timberamayor likes this.
  14. tallpaul

    tallpaul Pattern Police

    That's fair enough, but if you say "I'm Italian" rather than "I'm Italian-American", and if you say it in some other part of the world other than the USA, it sounds hilarious.

    I remember a Californian girl being asked to introduce herself to a room of people in Northern Ireland. "Hey, my name is Jenny, and I've studied at Vanguard University. Let me see, something interesting about myself? Oh yeah - I'm Irish! ... What? Why are you all laughing?"
    (Bless her!)
    MAMBO_CEC likes this.
  15. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    I like it the best when they divide their heritage into quarters/parts especially those who claim to be part Indian !..IF they said my ancestry is" this ", then that would make a little more sense .
  16. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    That is funny!

    One thing to keep in mind the US has only been a country (400 years or so) for a short time compared to every where else (couple thousand). Everyone here (except native Americans) came from somewhere else. Everyone spoke a different language and ate different foods before coming here.

    For example: So if you have blonde hair and blue eyes it isn't because you came from Boston but that you have Irish blood. Or if you have brown hair and eyes it is because you Portuguese blood.

    Now of course not everyone in those countries have those exact features but it is how Americans identify where you came from. Perhaps when this country has been around for 1000 years that will change.

    Americans also like to look at their family history/genealogy. It is interesting to see where and when our families came over the pond.

    One question for you. If two French people move to Germany and have a child there. Stay in Germany and raise the kid. When the kid grows up is the kid French or German?
  17. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    The child normally adopts the ancestry of the parents ( also has dual citizenship in some countries )..

    MAMBO_CEC Capitán Del Estilo

    He/she will be an EU citizen.:)
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  19. dav7802

    dav7802 Son

    Makes sense but not in the US. If born here, you are now American. Which points to why some ppl hold onto their ancestry and say they are Mexican-American.
    Marcos likes this.
  20. SalsaGipsy

    SalsaGipsy Capitán Del Estilo

    I raise you to this (not hypothetical) situation: a family of three where each member is born in a different country (let's say A, B and C) and they all live in a fourth country (D). Some of them are citizens of D, others - not.

    It can get very complicated. To me, your personal feeling of where you think you belong is very important. The child of this French couple could feel French but they could also feel German, or they could associate with neither or both. Other factor is how others perceive you. Maybe you see yourself as American but others (maybe even your own government) consider you Mexican-American based on your appearance, family, etc.

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