Sunday, July 20, 2008

The meaning of July 20th

Image via BBC News

With Colombian Independence Day drawing to a close I cannot help but feel very proud to be of Colombian background. I feel this way when…

…hundreds of thousands of people Colombians representing distinct races, creeds, and ideologies united to march against the kidnappings, massacres, and violence committed by black-hearted criminal groups.

…I eat such lovely delicacies as bandeja paisa, calentado, and huevos pericos (naturally)!

…I visited the grave of my father and thanked him for sacrificed everything and moved to the U.S. to provide a better future for his children.

…I cheered for futbolistas such as “El Pibe” Valderrama and “El Patron” Bermudez and continue to root for players like Macnelly Torres and Juan Pablo Angel.

…I quietly took the brunt of the numerous taunts hurled at me during my childhood and vowed never to allow their teasing to shake my pride.

…I laughed during “Mi Papa, Mi Abuelo, y Yo”, cringed during “Rosario Tijeras”, and wept at the end of “Maria, Llena Eres de Gracia.”

…I look at the weathered face of my grandmother while listening to her sage advice.

…outsiders conditioned with the stereotypes of cartels, coke, and whores find out that the myths do not always coincide with reality.

…I listen to the myriad of musical styles from artists like Grupo Niche, Los Aterciopelados, Pinker Tones, and El Binomio de Oro.

…I wear the bracelet given to me with the yellow, blue and red colors of the Colombian flag which was a gift by my extended family when I visited them after going nearly two decades without seeing them.

…I explain to others that “I’m an American of Colombian background” and the joy that I feel of being part of two vibrant, warm, diverse, and generous cultures. The best of both worlds!

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