You know you are Latino/a when_____?

PeopleEver do something that feels so normal to you, but to others it may just seem odd? Well, it just may be that you are doing something from your culture that only you would know about. Of course, this is not a bad thing, but rather, culture is around us every day and is what makes people unique and different and we have to embrace it in order to live in this ever changing world that we live in today.

So what makes culture so unique? It is because each culture has their own language, their own puns, if you will that only they will understand. Ever heard of the phrase, “You know you are_____ when?” Well, here are some Latino/a versions of that phrase right from ordinary people just like you.

Raul Santana from Bronx, NY—You know you are Latino when “the novellas come on, and you’re told to be quiet, have an irrational fear of wooden spoons, have more the 3 religious icons in your house, you think words sound better in Spanish and use a piñata at every holiday.”

Telma Gomez from Houston, TX—You know you are Latina when, “you know the meaning of “chancleta” or “el cinturón” but, more importantly, you know their implications.”

Anthony Rosa Bayonne, NJ—You know you are Latino when “even in the summer you wear socks with flip flops.”

Maria Ferrer Queens, NY—You know you are Latina when, “I can recite the menu for every Holiday party I’ll attend this season– pernil, arroz con gandules, pasteles y flan de quezo! Everybody makes the same thing and nobody minds!”

Manuel Melendez Sunnyside, NY—You know you are Latino when “family beach outings begin early in the morning by taking the subway with a shopping cart filled with pots of rice and beans, maybe a pernil and carne guisada!”

Judy Hernandez New Brunswick, NJ—You know you are Latina when “you take your Christmas tree down after Three Kings Day.”

As stated earlier, the world is becoming bicultural and the mixing of cultures is becoming more and more popular. Seeing different cultures mix only enriches a person and educates them about that culture beyond the textbook. It is about opening up to the world and seeing that even though we may be different, we still have ways about ourselves, the puns above, that are unique to every culture.

Tell us how you would finish the phrase (of course being appropriate), either on our Facebook wall or Tweet us @latintrends2010 and #IamLatinTRENDing.

WEIRD BUT TRUE NEWS: Bilingual immigrants are healthier, according to new Rice study

Bilingual immigrants are healthier than immigrants who speak only one language, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University.

The study, which appears in the March issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, found that people with strong English and native language proficiencies report better physical and mental health than unilingual immigrants.

“Our research suggests that English proficiency gained at the expense of native-language fluency may not be beneficial for overall health status,” said Rice alumna and Stanford University graduate student Ariela Schachter, who co-authored the research paper with Rice sociology professors Bridget Gorman and Rachel Tolbert Kimbro. “It’s very important for the immigrants to hold on to their native language in addition to learning English.”

The study examined associations between English and native-language proficiency and usage and self-rated health for more than 4,649 U.S. immigrants from China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Mexico, Cuba and Puerto Rico.

The research showed that the favorable health reported by bilingual immigrants is not impacted by factors such as socioeconomic status, acculturation, family and social support, stress and discrimination and health behaviors. The researchers theorize that the health benefits may be the result of a kind of “cultural flexibility” that allows them to easily integrate with their surroundings while maintaining cultural ties.

“Individuals who maintain native-language fluency while also learning English may be better equipped to retain relationships in their countries of origin and form new ones in the U.S.,” Gorman said. “We believe this can help explain the positive relationship between bilingualism and self-rated health.”

“There are still big questions about why bilingual immigrants are healthier than their unilingual counterparts,” Kimbro said. “We hope our findings will encourage further research of the subject.”

The research was funded by Rice University.

The New Spiderman is BLA-TINO!

Peter Parker is dead and gone, but Spider-Man’s still slinging webs and fighting crime.

And it’s not just a new teenager climbing Manhattan buildings, it’s an entirely new crime-fighter, from the color of his suit to the complexion of his skin.

Meet Miles Morales, a half-black, half-Hispanic American teenager who, inspired to do good after the death of Parker at the hands of the Green Goblin, takes flight and has his first fight in the pages of Marvel Comics’ “Ultimate Fallout” No. 4, in comic shops on Wednesday.

The Ultimates imprint is separate from Marvel’s bigger universe where Parker is alive and well.

Writer Brian Michael Bendis, who has scripted every issue of Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man since it first debuted in 2000 to wide acclaim, maintained a new hero would replace Parker, felled in the pages of “Ultimate Spider-Man” No. 160 this summer.

But as to whom that was a closely guarded secret, until now.

Bendis said that the decision came down to the story, to keep it fresh and vital and new.

Morales, he explained, is nothing like his predecessor.

“He’s younger than Peter Parker, he’s coming from a completely different background, a completely different world view,” Bendis said. “It’s Peter Parker’s death that inspires this kid to step up.”

Bendis said his decision was made before actor Donald Glover’s efforts to be considered for next year’s Spider-Man film went viral. He had talked it over with Joe Quesada, Marvel’s chief creative officer.

“Joe and I talked about it at great length – what if he was an African-American and how interesting it would be,” Bendis said.

Later, he saw Glover on the television show “Community,” wearing Spider-Man pajamas, and knew he was on the right track.

Making Spider-Man a black character is not a publicity effort, it’s reflective of an industry keeping pace with modern society, said Axel Alonso, Marvel’s editor-in-chief.

“As someone who grew up on a steady diet of `Luke Cage, Hero For Hire’ and `Shang Chi, Master of Kung Fu,’ I am personally invested,” he said.

“This was a conscious decision. Here at Marvel, we pride ourselves on reflecting the real world in all its diversity,” Alonso added, adding that Morales’ stories would be on par with those of Parker.

“Morales’ adventures will be fleshed out in the coming months with the start of “Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man” in September that is being illustrated by Sara Pichelli.

Bendis is excited about the possibilities that Morales brings.

“I’m now sitting with a pile of legitimately new Spider-Man stories to tell and that is the best news a writer could have,” he said.

PHOTOS: Latinos at MayhemFest!

When one thinks of “heavy metal,” one usually thinks of screaming, motorcycle-riding, tattooed Anglos. But did you know that some of the most rockin’ bands have Latinos in their ranks? (Slayer, anyone?) Yesterday’s MayhemFest in Holmdel, NJ, demonstrated this perfectly – everyone from Atreyu bassist Travis Miguel to Winds of Plague drummer Art Cruz represented for the bilingual, bicultural crowd. And, when it comes to the mosh pit, the crowd accepted people of all shapes, sizes, colors, and creeds…the only requirement to get your thrash on? THE ABILITY TO ROCK!

You might say these Latinos are “Pop Culture with a Metálico twist”!

Peep some shots below…

For more exclusive shots from MayhemFest, please be sure to pick up a copy of the September issue of LatinTRENDS Magazine, on stands September 1st!

Photos by Bernadette Giacomazzo for LatinTRENDS