The general American identity of people usually base on social cultural basis such class, ethnicity, race and gender. Rarely do we investigate the role played by our culture in our life including the way we relate and interact with each other. Our culture forms the most influential innate thing in our life. I have come to realize this through experience and interaction with several people as I was in the search for my indigenous identity. I trace my identity to European origin having an historic arrival to Argentina in 1502 and most probably this is the time when my family arrived to the Latin America. Latin America just as my culture has a crucial historic background of colonization. I have been facing an issue of being ethnically a Caucasian but I have been laying my identity to be a Latina. This has appeared to my identity of choice and that I have liked to associate myself with. The Caucasian identity has been laid to me probably due to my fair skin and blonde hair which in America is referred to as white. The Argentine population comprises of 97% white ethnic group coming from Italian and Argentina. Latina identification is more ethnic describing than racial (Allen, 2011).
Being an Italian descent is something that has been of importance to my life because I have lived the prominent part of my life as a belonging to the majority group. This has cultivated a certain unique mindset in my life. I had various privileges over the minority groups in the Latin America. Racial tensions have culminated in the Latin America though the majority of the population is of the same ancestry origin. The majority have at time looked down to the minority enforcing a prejudice that I have at times participated unknowingly. I came to realization of my actions when I personally got myself at the footage of the minority not because of the color of my skin but my immigration status. Luckily enough, I had to switch my identity to international studentship. However, the unknown humanity of Americans kept on agonizing as we were at every occasion being reminded that we are the others, we are the alien (Allen, 2002). This was like fighting an identification war with a state that kept on struggling to assure me that I do not belong to it. The traditions of my culture are still embedded in me though America is termed as developed. The various perspectives of ethnicity stated in Thinking Like an Anthropologist have modified and harmonized my living in America including holding to my cultural traditions and being proud of my Latina identity (Omohundro, 2008).
At times I feel that my identity is contradicting in a way since I have partly accepted to place my national identity to America of which I am not fully accepted but I have assimilated their culture. On the other hand, I identify myself as a Latina. It is contradicting to handle this to issues as I am not American enough and neither am I an Argentine enough to be accepted back home. It raises questions on where do I belong? And where will my children belong? My engagement with other fellow citizen has been base on the criterions used to place Americans by culture. It is until when will people realizes how their culture influence their life and that of others?
Allen, S., & Xanthaki, A. (2011). Reflections on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Oxford: Hart Pub.
Allen, C. (2002). Blood narrative: Indigenous identity in American Indian and Maori literary and activist texts. Durham: Duke University Press.
Omohundro, J. T. (2008). Thinking like an anthropologist: A practical introduction to cultural anthropology. New York: McGraw-Hill.