WHAT TRADITIONS DO YOU CELEBRATE IN YOUR HOME? ARE THEY CONNECTED TO YOUR INDIVIDUAL CULTURES? WHAT HAVE YOU PASSED DOWN FROM YOUR FAMILIES?
We celebrate Noche Buena, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day in our home. Noche Buena is a Latin Tradition. Luchi’s family takes it to another level. Food, music, dancing, and gifts at midnight. The whole family joins for the festivities, like 40 people. It’s great.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CULTURAL FEATURE/TRADITION OF YOUR SPOUSE'S RACE? HAVE YOU ADOPTED THAT FEATURE/TRADITION IN YOUR OWN FAMILY?
Peruvian food...nom nom nom… It’s the best cuisine ever. Soccer. My family, or the way we grew up, was to be very mindful of everyone around you and be kind to strangers.
IS THE COMMUNITY YOU LIVE IN DIVERSE?
I live in suburban Texas. I was surprised with how much diversity is here, but sometimes I feel there is a pressure to be Texan. My ‘hood is 64% white, 12% Hispanic, 11% Asian, and 8% Black. There are a lot of mixed race children in my area, mostly Asian and White. There is hardly any diversity in the Hispanic population, unlike Miami.
DO YOU OR YOUR PARTNER SPEAK IN MORE THAN ONE LANGUAGE IN YOUR HOME?
My husband’s first language is Spanish. I can still barely understand German. We’ve failed passing Spanish on to the children. Giordana was bilingual until we moved from Miami to Texas. My husband and I now speak Spanish to each other when we don’t want the kids to know what we are talking about - now my daughter wants to learn Spanish because she is nosey.
ARE YOUR EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORTIVE OF YOUR MULTIETHNIC RELATIONSHIP?
My whole family has been mixed up for generations. Some of my great aunts and uncles decided to “pass” in the 1940s for a better life. All three of my sisters married caucasian men. I have mixed cousins. My husband’s Latin family consider themselves white-Latin (ancestry predominantly from European Spain), so although his parents are from different countries, their mixture was more cultural than racial. There was one extended family member who did not like our union because I am Black. That person is over it now.
WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR PARTNER'S ETHNIC-CULTURAL BACKGROUND?
Again, Peruvian Food. In Peru, you have this mixture of Indigenous, Spanish, African, and Asian and they figured out a way to combine the cultures into culinary experiences. It’s the best thing ever. Imagine fried rice with cilantro and peppers thrown in, it works. Sometimes cheesy and over-emotional, Latin music is typically dance-friendly. I particularly like the Afro-Peruvian music and dances. The songs are passionate with a good beat.
DID YOU FIND BIG DIFFERENCES IN THE WAY YOU GREW UP VS. YOUR SPOUSE DUE TO DIFFERENCES IN RACE?
Racially, no, but ethnically, yes - due to Luchi’s Peruvian father and his growing up in Miami. Luchi’s life was filled with soccer, Spanish, and comida Latina. His friends in Miami were first generation Cuban, Colombian, Honduran, Uruguayan, Haitian, Trinidadian, Brazilian, Argentinian, etc. He was exposed to all of these different cultures from an early age. I feel his experience growing up differently has just as much to with where he grew up as it did with his father being from another country. I grew up in Colorado at a time when most of the population was of European descent. I grew up sledding, skiing, and going to the mall and movies to hang out with my friends. My husband grew up playing soccer, the beach, and going to nightclubs to hang out with his friends.
WHAT IS THE MOST SURPRISING/UNEXPECTED THING YOU'VE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER'S CULTURE?
There is a lot of racism in the Latin culture. It isn’t covert racism. It is in your face and somewhat accepted. I remember I decided to work out while my husband trained with a Uruguayan coach. I was running and my husband told the coach I was really fast. The coach made a joke that I needed to be, so I could run away from the cops.