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Brizuela 1

Alex Brizuela
Professor Beadle
English 113B
February 15, 2016
Reality
The value of culture has diminished over the generations. Today, it is hard to meet
someone who has remained unfiltered by modern society. I am a victim of this culture
diminishing era, since I was the only one born in the United States in my family I had to
adapt to the culture in a country different from my origins. Living in two different
cultures allowed me to view the world from different sides of who I really am, I am
American born of Salvadorean descent.
Growing up I realized I had to act a certain way depending on where I was,
different place equaled different etiquette, different rules, etc. My Salvadorean culture
taught me to act a certain way towards certain people in certain places. For example
while at a family gathering or any family outing I was told to not start with my
shenanigans in front of other people outside of my family, reason for that was the time
and place I was in, being around other people I had to be a good child, to not be a part
of the stereotype we belong to from being Latino, stereotypes such as bad parenting. It is
one of the biggest stereotypes that fall under the Latino Culture, I fortunately did not fall
under that stereotype.

The media always over exaggerates with everything, even with how people are in
other countries. Although what the media puts out there is too harsh, it is accurate.
Visiting El Salvador made me completely aware of was going on, and what the media
decides not to publish. The poverty is horrible. People work like slaves for extremely low
wages. What an American makes in an hour, a Salvadorian citizen makes in one day.
There are good and hardworking people who live in El Salvador, however there is a huge
group of people that poison the country. Gangs such as MS13 and 18 Street control the
safety of the people. The media focuses on these groups, making it seem like every
Salvadorian is a worthless savage, but that is not entirely the case.
However aside from the views of the Latino culture that the world portrays, there
is a decent side to who we are. Our culture is shown through different activities that get
people through a day in the countries rough areas. Food and music are the biggest factor
in unity in El Salvador, these activities bring hundreds of people together in peaceful
gatherings.
Another factor of culture is beliefs. One is made to believe that they should follow
certain religious beliefs because thats what everyone in their country follows. This is not
always the case. My family has always looked to Catholicism for guidance and comfort,
however, I always looked into Christianity and became the only one to actually practice
and believe differently about religion in my family. No one agreed, but it is not about
what makes everyone comfortable, it is what makes you comfortable as a person, and
Christianity was my comfort zone, even if my family did not accept it.

The Hispanic culture has been recognized for a numerous amount of things,
especially the fact that the Hispanic race is one of the most fertile cultures in the world.
The view of women is much broader in Hispanic culture. This is because of old beliefs
like believing men have the say in absolutely everything and that men are the dominant
ones in everything including household and government. This belief is still practiced in
many Hispanic countries. Women are viewed as servants or at times sex slaves to males.
Sounds horrible but it is what actually goes on in these third world countries in Central
America behind the media. In the article My Hips, My Caderas Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez
goes into detail about how in Hispanic culture women sexualized to a huge extent.
However in this article she explains how she used her Latin roots and her American
mindset to ignore and tease the way men look at women in Latin culture. Valdes feels that
men only look at women in a sexual way, only paying attention to a womans body and
not her personality. She states So when I want to be loved for my body, I am Latina. But
most Latino men will not love me for my mind as they do my body, because I am an
Americanized professional.
Qualities like the men Valdes-Rodriguez wrote about are ones that I am glad I did
not pick up. Unfortunately that factor is a huge part of my culture. That creates a space I
try to stay away from. Working with different type of Hispanics my whole life has been
an impact on who I am today. Growing up in the Flea Market business I met a substantial
amount of people, some good people, along with not so good people. I feel like I can give
an opinion on how people are depending on their race because I deal with all types of
people from different backgrounds every workday. I do not talk much at work, but I do
observe what goes on around me and how people act with one another weather it is in a

good manner or a bad one. One thing that stood out to me was the fact that some people
with children expose their children to certain beliefs that their culture follows. The most
common belief racism is the most expressed at my work place. Folks from several
countries look upon me as a threat because of the color of my skin. Crazy part about this
is that these groups of people belong to other cultures, one might believe that only
American people express racism, well according to the media. However this is not the
case, one hundred percent of the time it is people from other places around the world
other than the United States and Central America. In reality, everyone from every culture
has a form or racism inside of them. It is just the way it is expressed, some feel stronger
about it than others. James A. Blaut from the University of Illinois at Chicago states in
his article Nowadays we seem to have a lot of racism but very few racists. This
statement can be talked about for days. Looking at it makes a person think about the
reality of things when it comes to racism. In some ways it is normal, but everything has
its limit.
Observing these beliefs for years has filtered my mind in a great way. I see people
who hate and actually ruin their days hating others, also making others hate others.
Simply because of the way they look. I have been a victim a handful of times, however I
said to myself I would never be the criminal in this case. Of course like everyone, I can
have my racist moments, like a lot of people do and that is completely normal. I believe
racism will always exist, but it is nothing to kill or cause damage over. I feel like I have
created my own space. A very neutral space.
Works Cited

Blaut, James M. "Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography." Antipode: A Radical


Journal of Geography. Columbia University, 1992. Web. 24 Feb. 2016.
Valdes-Rodriguez, Alisa. My Hips, My Cadreas. MSN: Underwire, 2000. Print.