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Sunday, October 18, 2009
I wish I had my favorite book here with me in Mexico, Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldua. While I always seem to go back to it, once again, I find it fitting for what I am living today. Her book explores the realities of Chicanas, whom live simultaneously in two places, cultures and languages, creating our own third "borderland" world. I picked two quotes from Anzaldua's book to give you an idea of what I mean by it being so fitting for what I'm living today-
"I had to leave home so I could find myself, find my own intrinsic nature buried under the personality that had been imposed on me." (38)
"The U.S. Mexican border es una herida abierta (an open wound) where the Third World grates against the first and bleeds. And before a scab forms it hemorrhages again, the lifeblood of two worlds merging to form a third country---a border culture." (25)
Obviously the two important themes of these quotes, identity and the intimate and complicated relationship between our two countries is something that is of great concern to me and is close to my heart. It is one of the main reason I choose Mexico as my country of study for my scholarship. In order to help heal the wounds of prejudice and exploitation between our two countries we have to listen to one another with loving kindness.
Anzaldua writes of the challenges and beautiful opportunities of being in this in between land we Chicanas find ourselves in. I highly suggest this book, but not for those who are unfamiliar with Spanish as the book constantly flows between Spanish and English. As I continue on my journey here in Mexico, I am also continuing to grow my "borderland" culture and identity that will always inform the way I feel, the things I value and the decisions I make. I am thankful for being fortunate enough to have the Mexican and American cultures form the physical and immaterial bridge that I am today as I am thankful for the opportunity given to my by Rotary to grow in this way.