Our cultura is rich in history, art, music, folklore and my favorite, cuisine! Growing up we can remember the foods that we ate, maybe it was natilla con buñuelos, o pozole, o arroz con gandules with lechón, all while being gathered with our familias. We can remember the music that was playing and the stories being told. As children, those experiences helped us understand our culture, where our parents came from, and what being Latino meant.
But what about OUR kids?
We cannot assume that our kids will automatically absorb the culture and the language. While many of us are 1st generation born or raised in the US, for our families English was a second language and Español was their first. Thus, we were likely raised more Latino than Americans because of it. Our children likely have English as their first language and may be raised in a more traditional American environment as well, making it difficult for us as parents to keep the cultura alive.
So how do we do it?
You have to consciously work at it. Just like any successful relationship or career, you have to work at it consistently and consciously. With time you will start to help your children make that connection and you will start creating your own legacy.
Ok but where do I even begin? How can I pass down what my familia passed down to me if my child is only 3?
- Start with the language. Some of us are fluent speakers, readers, writers of Español, others are not. Wherever you are in the Español spectrum, it's never too late to learn as a familia. With audio books, youtube, podcasts, etc, you can have access to a Spanish lesson 24/7. Immerse your child in Español even if you don't speak it. Children absorb TODO.