Aranza when spoken like AhRrranZAH in the soft, tender warm way that my mother spoke sounded completely different to the the abrasive and exaggerated vowels pronounced when my boss calls me UHRRAHNZZZUH, What created that difference? The tone? What made the same combination of letters different in another language? Why did I stand out when I said the same name in spanish and English? How did people know I wasn 't from here or there? I had foreigner branded in bold capital letters on my forehead, if I spoke perfect spanish or english people could tell still tell me I didn 't belong.
I grew up in America, but I was born in Mexico City. From the door to the inside of my house, it was Mexico, from the outside it was America. Spanish was spoken in the home as a respect for my abuela. My grandmother. The words that equate to the same meaning have a different level of respect when spoken.. One is warm and close, the other distant , cold and rigid. Growing up we spoke Spanish to ease the communication with my grandmother and even a father who to this day continues to struggle with English.Spanish had different tones,according to my family I sounded like a Chilanga from el DF which sounded fast, exciting like speeding vehicle or a busy street in Los Angeles.Crowded and fluid, sharp and curvy. However my mother 's Spanish was from Las Lomas, the snooty preppy Spanish spoken by Fresas from the wealthy neighborhoods in Mexico City Mother 's Spanish was sweet like french pastries and bubbly as champagne, it was innocent. On the other hand, my father spoke a Spanish that hinted at his roots from Oaxaca. A Spanish that booms like a lion, but warms you like a sunrise. My father 's Spanish commanded your attention, it boasted confid...
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...n existing accent and the clarity of my words. I catch myself repeating phrases in both languages that I hear on Tv or other people speak. I want to blend in and not stand out. I imitate the sounds in words like a chameleon to its environment. Assimilating is difficult when no one allows you to blends in, when you are forced to stand out and declare your individuality that has nothing to do with my mind or personality. I am forced to not belong, pushed away like oil from water.
Bruce Lee was once asked if he considered himself Chinese or North american, he simply stated” I want to think of myself as a human being. Because under the sky, we are but one family, it just so happens we look different” and in my case, sound different. Acceptance and integration is hard to achieve when speech and color scream bastard foreigner. No mother country, no place to belong.
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