by: Rachel Slaiman
According to the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau for New York, “persons of Hispanic or Latino origin is 17.6%”. This percentage reflects one of the fastest growing minority populations in New York City. For many generations, Latinos used to be the minority in the country. This impact even expands further aboard while more Latinos come to New York for a better life. Now with this growing ethnic group many of them are now becoming both bilingual and bicultural and issues like religion are also impacting the new generation of Latinos.
Someone is bicultural by combining the attitudes and customs of ethnic groups together. Student, Linette Olmo-Cook commented on why she wanted to learn more about her culture. “I would want to learn more about my culture because when you are born in the United States, you learn about American History and their culture. When in another country you learn about that culture instead of the American culture”.
Bilingual means that a person is able to understand two languages through speaking, reading, and writing. It is said that English is the hardest language for people to learn. Speaking another language in this case for the Latino community; Spanish, showcases individuality about that person.
Cook went on to talk about speaking another language at home and around friends by stating, “It’s more important speaking Spanish at home because I grew up speaking it and that my parents know more Spanish than English”.
Religion can be one of the most debatable things along with politics that people can talk about. Having some kind of association or church to belong to promotes community and a sense of unity with others. The sense of community that is within the church is the praise and worship at the beginning of the service to get all the attendees together to get up and praise with each other through songs in both Spanish and English.
Cook also comment about how the religion has affected her while attending the Rock Church in Queens, New York. “The church is very open-minded to bring different cultures and to come in as you are. I think that generally in public places our relationship with Christ is that we have peace in our hearts. Personally, the term “religion” defines it as having rules and regulations”.
Bicultural, bilingual and religions play a big role for the Latino community in the sense that the new generation of Latinos is inspired to make an impact to their desired communities. Traditions can still be the norm, but growing in these areas makes a stronger community.