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I wonder if this is some New York thing. I've spent a lot of time in Mexican-American and multi-flavored Latin-American communities, and I've never heard someone Latin-American describe themselves as "Spanish". There are "Latino" markets (Spanish food is actually quite different) and with restaurants, the name of the actual country is used, e.g. "Mexican Restaurant", "Peruvian Restaurant", etc.

That's interesting too about the samples/displays. I've seen that all over. It's the best reason to go shopping on Saturday morning..free samples.

Long Island must be a special place.
 

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Originally Posted by soilman View Post

...2. Recognizing that while in their native lands each nationality was distinct, once in the US, they want to hang together, as there is power in hanging together.
See the folks I know use the word Latino for this purpose. If you talked about going to a "Spanish" restaurant, it would be assumed that you meant a restaurant serving Spanish cuisine (tapas, etc.). If you said "Spanish people", you might be understood, but you'd be considered ignorant. This is quite interesting to me, as not once have I heard someone Latino/a refer to them in this way. Occasionally, I may have heard "Spanish-speaking", but only when it was necessary (such as to describe a church group for example). Even the racist, couldn't give a crap about PCness folks where I grew up didn't saying Spanish, preferring "Mexican" (which isn't technically correct either)

Quote:
Originally Posted by soilman View Post

I spent a few weeks as a temp, working in the accounting department of Jewish owned wholesale auto parts co, where every single person in the accounting department and purchasing dept, except me, was "Spanish." That was the term the ALL used. All 15 or so of them. They all seemed to have a highly formed sense of "Spanish" pride and interest in things from the Spanish world -- despite the fact that 9/10 of them spoke English without an accent and were highly acculturated to the Anglo world, and able to pass for Anglo if they wanted to. This was NOT a place where the Spanish-speaking didn't learn English. They even made good-natured fun of those few who still spoke English with an accent.
This is the kind of thing that makes me wonder if it's a regional thing that I've not heard of before. Not to make it a pissing contest, but my experience with Latino culture is more than fleeting. My family lives in a town that's about 25% Latino (primarily Mexican), my high school was even more integrated, I taught in an all Latino school, I've been to Spanish-speaking church services, translated for a crisis line, etc. My on-hiatus grad work is in the area of bilingual education, focusing on Latino children. In all these experiences, both professional and personal, in 4 regions of the US, I've never found someone of Latin American ancestry to refer to themselves this way. It's a bit interesting to me.

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Originally Posted by soilman View Post

By the way, isn't the word "Hispanic" simply the Spanish word for the English word "Spanish"? Why use the Spanish word when speaking English? And isn't the word "Latino" or "Latina" simply the Spanish word for the English word Latin?
Basically, yes, that's what Hispanic means. Latino however, isn't the same since there is no country of "Latin". While Latino (or Chicano) folks I know would understand and not be particularly offended by the word Hispanic, neither would choose to use it. The implication is that their culture then, is "Spanish", when in fact, it was only influenced (to varying degrees) by Spanish invaders. It's a matter of pride.
 

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Originally Posted by bstutzma View Post

I have to agree that I have NEVER heard anyone of latin-american descent call themselves "spanish". In fact, I know that it really makes my husband irked when someone calls HIM spanish (he says he is puerto rican... NOT from Spain! And that he finds being called Spanish just plain ignorant. No different from if someone were to say I was "English", when I'm a US citizen. It just isn't right.)
Heh. This reminds me of a school acquaintance I have, whose family is Puerto Rican. She's constantly referred to as Mexican. Most of the time, she just let it go, but her father always corrected people.


Which made this exchange from the movie Crash all the funnier to me:

Quote:
Ria: You want a lesson? I'll give you a lesson. How 'bout a geography lesson? My father's from Puerto Rico. My mother's from El Salvador. Neither one of those is Mexico.

Graham: Ah. Well then I guess the big mystery is, who gathered all those remarkably different cultures together and taught them all how to park their cars on their lawns?
 
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