Tag Archives: culture

Does eating Mac & Cheese make you less Latino?

23 Jul

I enjoy being a customer of Dish Network and this weekend they gave me laughs which is another reason to love them. On a regular basis they give us a few weeks of free channels that we don’t normally get with our current subscription. So far, we’ve been able to enjoy them without actually upgrading but they are making it harder.

This go around we are able to get a free preview of Nuvo TV, a channel that serves bi-cultural Latinos in English. Kraft Mac & Cheese chose an appropriate network to air their latest commercials, even if the commercials are in Spanish. Actually, the programming is in English but a lot of the commercials are in Spanish? (These commercials might air on other networks but I, personally, have only seen them on NuvoTV.)

The new Kraft Mac n Cheese commercials had me cracking up!

This one is about how a mother and a son are ‘secretly’ making the other happy. The son does his best to be Latino for his mom and the mom does her best to be American. Yet, they both agree on Kraft Mac n Cheese.

In this commercial the father and son prove that eating Kraft Mac & Cheese doesn’t make you any less Latino.

So thanks Dish Network, NuvoTV and Kraft Mac & Cheese for the laughs! See all the commercials on Kraft Mac & Cheese Youtube Channel.


This is not an endorsement or a paid review for any product, network or service. The commercials just really made me laugh, I had to share.

Mexican-ness Identity Crisis

1 Jun

I have heard of this insane idea of blogging each day for 3o days. I thought “Wow! That would be fun but a lot of work.” This month I am up for the challenge! Not just 30 posts but 35! It’s a special number because it is how many years my presence has blessed this earth. Oh wait, I mean I’m blessed to be turning 35 this year!  So here’s post 1 of 35.

This blog originally began as an “Identity Crisis”. Struggling with my career identity and my identity as a wife and a mother, I realized a lot of it stemmed from my culture identity as a Mexican-

American living in Texas. The best way to describe it is the scene from the movie Selena. Edward James-Olmos, playing Abraham Quintanilla, shares how tough it is to be a Mexican-American. “We’ve got to prove to the Mexicans how Mexican we are. We’ve got to prove to the Americans how American we are. … It’s exhausting. … Nobody knows how tough it is to be Mexcian-American!”  (Just watch the whole movie, it’s one of my favorites!) 

Personally, I dealt less with Mexicans from Mexico and more with Mexican(-American)s in Texas. This felt a bit more tragic as we all lived in the same place but somehow I still wasn’t as “Mexican” as them. I didn’t speak Spanish or ‘know’ many Mexican traditions. (read my Story of  Qué) And you can feel really lost when you don’t know “who you are”. While I love  immigrant stories of Latino families that came to the US, my story isn’t one of immigration. I am third generation Texan from both my mom and my dad’s side of the family. Which means only my grandparents’ parents were born and lived in Mexico.

Honestly, I’ve spent most of my life feeling like a gringa learning about a Mexican-American family. And that is the honest to God truth. As time passed along, I had put this burden on myself to prove my “Mexican-ness” to others.

Maybe if I wear a Mexican Flag Badge??

Now, I’m in a different place. Now, instead of focusing on what it seems I may be lacking as a Mexican-Latina-whatever you want to call it, I celebrate all my Texicana-ness in Spanglish! (English with un poquito Español) Recently, it’s due to a large part of my online community that I have learned to embrace me just as I am. Meeting supporters from mommy bloggers, Latina bloggers, groups like LATISM (Latinos in Social Media), the Hispanicize conference and like-minded people on Twitter  has contributed to me becoming aware and confident of myself and my own “Latina-ness” or “Mexican-ness”.The more people I talked to about my ‘identity crisis’, the more I found that we actually have a lot in common no matter what their background. This makes me want to keep the conversation going!

It has been a moving, hilarious and crazy adventure exploring my “Mexican-ness”.  Thanks for reading and giving me a space to create, celebrate and share my culture. ¿Qué Means What? allows me to explore my culture with emphasis on justice, healthy living, education, family and faith. And I’m not just talking about lessons from the past but also what is relevant for the Latino community today.

Do you have an identity crisis? Or do you know who you are and celebrate your culture? Or how about a little of both?

post 1 of 35 … 

Cinco de Mayo Hangover

6 May

So it’s the day after Cinco de Mayo.  I didn’t celebrate, mainly because I didn’t plan a party.  Well, I did have a great twitter chat party with my #latism family.  That was in itself a celebration.  Anyway, it was because of that chat that I type this post.

I celebrated Cinco de Mayo for years in college (and some after) with at a fiesta that included a Miss Cinco de Mayo pageant, Little Miss Cinco, Menudo cook off and of course, a baila!  I even entered the pageant once.  Thanks Crystal for insisting that I participate in that pageant with you.  She was a pageant girl, I wasn’t.  Sure was fun though!  Now, if I only had those pictures, a laugh for everyone!  My dress was gold sequins!

This fiesta was an event that I would look forward to year after year.  I made plans around this event and celebration.  Today, I realized that I never really celebrated “Cinco de Mayo“.  I partied!  What a great excuse to party!  And I think that this is true for many Americans.  The alcoholic beverage companies are certainly happy that we do have an excuse to party, they definitely contribute to creating the party with advertisements and literally sponsoring las fiestas.  There is nothing wrong with partying!  (I love how “party” is turned into a verb, by the way.)

It’s just time for me to celebrate in a different way.  What do people around me know about Cinco de Mayo?  I don’t know, I haven’t asked them.  Wouldn’t this be a great time to educate others while we “party”?!  Wait, what do I know about Cinco de Mayo?!

Here’s what I know:

  • It’s turned into a Party Holiday much like St. Patrick’s Day.  And it’s here to stay, cervezas, margaritas and more!
  • I can wear a sombrero and variation of the Mexican flag.  Oh, and I need one of those “peasant dresses.”  I should be able to find one in San Antonio, no?!
  • It is NOT Mexican Independence Day.  That is September 16th.
  • Time to eat my favorite Mexican food!  Okay, I eat Mexican food everyday.  Sooo, time to share my favorite Mexican food?
  • ‘Tis a day to embrace my own heritage.  I get that the Battle of Puebla doesn’t encompass all of Mexico’s history.  It does bring about a sense of Mexican pride.  Can’t explain it, it just does.  This is something that I don’t do everyday: think, “I should learn more about my heritage.” So, on Cinco de Mayo, I should! (learn and share)

Seriously, William Booth’s story has made me even more aware of today’s Mexico…the drug war they are in now…all the innocent deaths, violence and sadness.  I don’t think Mexicans and others who have lost loved ones in this war are celebrating.

This is a holiday that I enjoy celebrating and don’t know why I am celebrating.  A holiday that somehow stirs up so much cultural pride in me and at the same time in Mexico it is culturally a minor holiday.

Next year, I hope the holiday to remind me of my heritage and in honor of that, I will share with others what I am proud of and what I have learned about my heritage. Creating it to be an eating holiday and less of a drinking holiday, we will celebrate with food, family y amigos.  My children and other people around me deserve to know the history and some beautiful parts of Mexican heritage.  Things I still am learning myself. 

And as I spend this next year searching and learning and sharing, I pray for the victims of today’s war in Mexico.  And I will not forget them as we continue to celebrate their country’s holiday.

Read “Don’t You Cinco de Mayo Me” from Elianne Ramos about how it came about to be a major “unofficial” holiday.

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