Saturday, November 22, 2008

Which character are you?

I didn't know what 'Chicano' meant before taking this course. Honestly. On the first day of class I sat down having really no idea what kind of literature we were going to read. In actual fact, I had to look up where the Río Grande was on a map! (she admits reluctantly)

Fortunately, much of the literature we read in class I was able to relate to, despite my initial ignorance of who these authors were and where they came from. I can not relate to their stories of immigration and I couldn't grasp their feelings of identity loss, seeing as in my life I'm still trying to locate my identity in the first place; but I could experience their sense of humanity. Many of these authors wrote their stories (fiction or not) with such vividness, and oftentimes such poetic verse, that I was drawn towards them. It wasn't a chore to read their tales of coming and going, loss and gain, crippling pains and small victories.

I'm not going to say which works I liked or didn't like. I'm not even going to mention them specifically. I think that they have each left a mark on me, with many of the characters leaving their footprints on my mind. And those footprints are important, especially when living in a city such as Vancouver where caucasian is seen as a minority now in our 'cultural mosaic'. Many people that live here are immigrants or the children of immigrants. It would be like having the first day of school everyday...not to mention in another language. I have never been racist or against immigration; although I now feel more enriched on the subject. I don't feel like I can understand their situation completely or truly empathize with them; however, I do ask different questions in my mind now when I look at people of another nationality: Where were you born? Why did you move? How are you treated? Does this country feel like home to you?

And sometimes: Which character are you?

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