Essay on The Blend of Cultures in English con Salsa by Gina Valdes

Essay on The Blend of Cultures in English con Salsa by Gina Valdes

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Gina Valdes was born in Los Angeles, California and grew up on both sides of the U.S.A-Mexico border. Growing up on both sides of the border greatly influenced her life and her writing, since she was able to experience both traditions and customs at first hand. Crossing borders and identity are both reoccurring themes that Gina decides to interpret in her writings. The English and Spanish languages as well as both cultures weave through her life. Valdes received degrees from the English and Spanish departments at the University of California, San Diego. She has also taught both languages at various universities such as at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University. Gina Valdes is the author of two bilingual poetry collections Puentes y Fronteras (Bridges and Borders) and Comiendo Lumbre (Eating Fire) both are from the Bilingual Press. English con Salsa is a poem from one of her poetry collections where she uses all the techniques and themes she is best known for.
I decided to analyze the poem English con Salsa by Gina Valdes, because I can identify myself with this poem in many different aspects. Both my parents and I were born in Mexico, but decided to move to the United States on February of 2000. With us moving here, we brought along our traditions and customs. My family has a blend of American culture with Latino culture since a few of my uncles married American women and had children. I feel that Valdes poem is about finding that “in between” feelings that are brought up when two cultures are mixed together.
Gina Valdes in her poem English con Salsa used many literary techniques. One of them was humor and throughout the poem it is used greatly. An example of it starts in the beginning where the po...

... middle of paper ... right away I could relate it since English is my second language. In this poem there is a combination of the two languages I know, English and Spanish, which then converts into a new language Spanglish. Many Latino teenagers and children, like me, speak English at work and school and speak Spanish mostly when they are at home. Therefore, the way we Latino people speak is almost like the way Ms. Valdez wrote this poem. This poem is also a reality in the lives of those who migrate to the United States. Many immigrants see that everything is different and new. They also see that they have to slowly adapt to the new environment. Through Gina’s choice of words and imagery, she makes the Latino audience feel more serene with the American Language and culture. All of the humor, imagery, and similes used in this poem made this poem much more enjoyable and relatable.

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