Buènos dias! Pònganse de piè para alzar nuestras alabanzas al Señor!
This past weekend, I had the privilege of leading the worship for our Spanish speaking congregation which stirred up a great blog topic. “Hello. My name is Sarah and I am a Mexican that does not speak Spanish.” …(“Hello, Sarah” you all said, drudgingly, in your minds)… I learned recently that a Mexican who does not speak Spanish is referred to as a “Pocho.” (Fun-fact for ya) ;-D
I have heard that when I was born, my first language was Spanish but that as I grew into “school age” my parents pushed proper English. My folks valued a Mexican who could speak English well. This is an admirable goal and they did a great job, however, now I feel like “less-than” because I am not bilingual. This is a controversial topic because there are some who think that if you live in the USA you’d better be able to speak the language and then there are those (you see them a lot in job descriptions) who value the English/Spanish speaker. Oh how I wish I was that person.
I have an ear for Spanish, probably because I have been around it more than the average “white” person. I took 3 years of it in High school but ….well, there was this one day when I was sick and tired of not understanding some kind of conjugate-rule that I just burst into dramatic tears. It was then that my fluently bilingual mother urged me to drop-out of Spanish. (Don’t be mad at her. She was trying to help me). I suffered through the rest of Spanish 3 and washed my hands of the entire experience….Fail.
Now (almost 20 years later) I try to work a little here-and-there on my Rosetta Stone computer program and I have been on several mission trips to Central America and I help, as best as I can, to support the music program for our Spanish speaking congregation, like this weekend, and with each encounter, I kick myself for not going into Spanish 4 or even taking some Spanish in college!
Over the past year or so, my 13 year old daughter has been trying to convince me to let her take French as her foreign language and I have to admit, my controlling, type-A personality is completely and utterly resistant to this idea. A part of me sees this as her rejecting her Mexican heritage -which admittedly hurts my feeling a little- (Like I invented it or something!) and then – I know that the most practical thing she could do is learn a little Spanish. She will likely go on several missions efforts where Spanish is the primary language and her French will offer little support. Seriously! What is the best that can come from learning French? Maybe, MAYBE one time in her life she will go to France….maybe?! whoop-dee-doo! Am I a bad parent? And am I just projecting my poor-little-rich-white-Mexican identity onto her? For those of you who took French…HELP!