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Julia Borger Blog Post 10/4

I thought the reading “From Borderlands/La Frontera” by Gloria Analdua was extremely powerful and eye opening. I had no idea that some of the different sectors of the Spanish language were considered illegitimate. As I was raised speaking English in the United States my entire life, I have realized how easy it has been for me- to speak the most universal language in the world without second thought. Language is such an important part of culture and identity, and to have one’s language categorized as “wrong” is unbelievable. I think a major problem with our world today is not recognizing smaller languages, as we believe everyone should have to learn English or Chinese or Spanish, and we just gloss over the other languages. I am worried about the effect this will have on the future, as elements that made a specific group unique and special are erased, and people become more and more similar until whole cultures are ultimately eliminated. In addition, from the reading I was inspired by Gloria’s tone and outlook on the topic in general. Although she acknowledges that she did experience adversity with her identity and language, she states she will not let this get to her as she claims, “I will no longer be made to feel ashamed of existing. I will have my voice. Indian, Spanish, white….I will overcome the tradition of silence.” I think this empowerment is very influential for every audience reading- those who can relate to what she is saying, and those who are having their perspectives enlightened for the first time on the topic.

I was also struck by the “How The Other Half Lives” chapters for many reasons. It really made me think about the concept of immigration for the past, present, and future of America. The fact that immigration is such a controversial and difficult subject today, when none of us would be here if we did not have immigration to the United States back in the late 1800s and early 1900s, is very concerning. How can we keep calling ourselves a “Melting Pot” when there is nothing in the pot?

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3 Comments

  1. Isabela Keetley Isabela Keetley

    “How the Other Half Lives” really stuck out to me as well. This gave me insight as to how immigrants were viewed during this period of time. The language the author uses to describe the living conditions of the Italians and the stereotypes against the Chinese astonished me. There has been anti-immigrant rhetoric in the US, I wonder if it will ever go away. Or will immigration always be a “hot topic” for politics and debate?

  2. Sofia Adams Sofia Adams

    I think it is important to realize how damaging the act of invalidated languages other than mainly English, Spanish, and Chinese is. Language is arguably the most important part of our identity. It is how we form relationships, communicate our ideas, and define ourselves. If we diminish many languages we loose that culture. This is scary because whole groups of people who loose who they are. If we all become the same and speak the same languages then what would the world become? I think different cultures interacting/engaging with each other and learning from/about each other is what makes the world a beautiful place.

  3. Kathrine Yeaw Kathrine Yeaw

    Gloria Anulduas reading was powerful to me too. I never considered the smaller cultures, languages, and communities that are hurt because they aren’t recognized or accepted the same way larger ones are. Your concern about what will happen to them in the future is something to be very aware of, especially for schools and educators, because the less we learn about the wide arrays of cultures, the less they will seem to even exist. I also found it interesting that the US is described as a melting pot, yet languages like Gloria Anulduas aren’t widely accepted even though it really is a mix of different languages.

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