30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 10: Culture

In the month of November, I’m meditating on my gratitude for something different each day.

Being Cuban-American, I get to enjoy two cultures in one. While it can be hard to reconcile the two sometimes, I wouldn’t trade being bi-cultural for anything. It really has shaped who I am and how I live my life. I love sharing it with friends and instilling it in Aidan. I’m really lucky, because I get to claim two languages, two histories, two catalogs of music, two ways of celebrating several holidays… you get the picture. Below, I break down a few random things I’m thankful for about both.

On the Cuban side, I’m thankful for:

loud, absolutely humongous family;
long lifespans, which means more time to enjoy my loved ones (and if I’m lucky, to enjoy my life);
the really strong personalities;
the value placed on hard work while still putting family first;
the food (ZOMFG the food!!!);
noche buena, which is when most of us celebrate Christmas;
the warmth of Latin culture;
the music;
being part of a larger common cultural group (being Cuban means being Latina);
Cuban coffee;
Sabado Gigante, violetas, dominos;
the glorification of curves;
and of course, the beautifully seductive language of Spanish (which we totally butcher in Miami and mix with English to create Spanglish.)

On the American side:
Fourth of July (stereotypical, I know, but how can you not love it?!);
a certain “we can do anything” mentality;
an extremely diverse and expressive language, argued by some to have the most words of any living language in the world;
a really diverse landscape to explore;
Disney (yes, I said it. Deal with it.);
BBQ in all its iterations throughout the U.S.;
Thanksgiving (duh!);
diaspora of other groups (I can get a taste of nearly any ethnic group somewhere in the US, which I friggin’ love!);
my freedoms;
classic American style;
baseball, football, basketball (I’m not a diehard fan, but there’s something about it…);
and last, but not least, the truly American musical genre known as Jazz.

Background images: unknown & Aaron Escobar

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