Spanish Influence in Texas

SpanishInTexasAs you may know, Spanish has become an integral part of Texas culture. Words andphrases like taco, ¿Cómo estás? and Tú eres feo can be heard everywhere from your typical Spanish I class to your local grocery store. Spanish has always had a huge impact on our culture and will continue to do so in the future.

History tells us that Texas used to be a part of both Spain and Mexico and, to a lesser cultural extent, France and the Confederacy. This long period of Spanish and Mexican influence provided a chance to introduce horses, ranching and many other “Texan traditions” to Texas. Our cowboys were modeled after Mexican gauchos. Many of our towns and landmarks like El Paso, Amarillo and the Rio Grande were named by the Spanish and Mexicans. Even our love for frijoles (beans) comes from our Mexican counterparts. This cultural diffusion has assisted in the facilitation of Texas’ unique and vibrant culture; however, when people spout anti­immigrant rhetoric, their ignorance is unequivocally exposed. What they fail to realize is that by speaking negatively about our brothers from the south, they are slandering the very state they swear to love.

It has been said many times that knowing your history helps you make decisions for the future, and in that case this statement is very applicable. It is up to us as responsible and educated youth to not look at our differences, but to examine our similarities. These socioeconomic andracial problems that plague our community will not be fixed overnight, and just like with anything, it takes baby steps.

The next time you’re in the store and you hear, “ ¡De ninguna manera, no veo la novela anoche!” don’t feel ostracized. Indulge in the culture. You might be surprised to find out just how good those novelas are.

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