Excited to tell you about interview Lourdes Garcia Navarro did with Joanna Hausmann about being bicultural. Both women are far more than bicultural and show comfort with moving between ethnicities and cultures.
Lourdes uses her backgrounds to provide sensitively cultural reporting. Joanna, as a comedian on the Flame, uses her complex background and humor to ease folks into understanding just how diverse latinos can be.
- Excerpts from the Interview
“On my father’s side my grandparents were Holocaust survivors that went to Venezuela. On my mother’s side it’s Cuban exiles from Fidel Castro’s regime. And my parents found each other — first generation Venezuelans. I was second generation Venezuelan and then I had to leave. So it’s a lot of moving, and a lot of creating a new home in a new place.”
More and more of us have stories like this about how and where we grew up.
Joanna: I think that I grew up explaining who I was, right? As a white Latina with a Jewish last name…. There’s something about my identity that does not mesh with what people think the identity should include. … there are a lot of bicultural people in this world and in this country. And you don’t even have to be from another country to be bicultural.
- My Comment
Many Third Culture Kids and Adults find it a burden to always have to explain where they’re from, how they learned languages they speak, skin color that doesn’t match what’s underneath. For example: I look like an Anglo and I shock people when I speak Spanish without an accent because I learned Spanish before I could write in English.
[Growing up] I was trained in explaining my identity in a way that wasn’t surface level. And it also opened me up in understanding that people can literally have absolutely any background and what we conceive to be their identity, or their reality or their background is usually not the case. There’s a lot more to unpackage there. So I kind of see it as a gift now.
- My Comment
When asked about my background I often explain in an offhand way, in an almost dismissive tone, to minimize what others may find too exotic. Maybe I do it to attempt to put the other at ease. It’s time to update. Now that there are many more people like me I feel like I need to hide less. It’s a great idea to develop and value the telling a more complete version of who we are. It can increase understanding and appreciation of our multifarious selves.
Have you been “explaining your various selves” like I have or are you on to what Joanna was trained to do? Let me know what you do and why.