Latinoamérica/All American?

Cambia su idioma y cambiará sus pensamientos—Karl Albrecht. Recientemente, La Flaquita me mandó un enlace al video música “Latinoamérica” por Calle 13. No soy una aficionada verdadera de Calle 13—me gustan solo algunos canciones de ellos. Pero me gusta esta canción con las palabras vibrantes y desafiantes y el video con los imágenes de la gente y su vida cotidiana. A veces, el patriotismo puede ser divisivo. Pero este video no trata del patriotismo de solo un país, sino la fuerza, la unidad, y la historia compartida de personas de Latinoamérica.

Antes de empezar a aprender español, refería a mi mismo como americana. Vera, una colega brasileña de El Marido me dijo, “En realidad, todos los habitantes de America del Norte, America Central, y America del Sur son americanos”. Después de estudiar español, refiero a mi mismo como estadounidense (y también gringa). Ahora soy mas consciente de la diferencia y la similitud entre la gente y los países. “Cambia su idioma y cambiará sus pensamientos”.

Change your language and you change your thoughts.—Karl Albrecht. Many years ago, JB and I had dinner with one of his co-workers, a young woman from Brazil. During our after-dinner chat, when we were talking about the different aspects of our two countries, I kept referring to “America” and “Americans.” Vera challenged me, arguing that anyone who lives in the Americas—North, Central, or South—is an American. I was a little annoyed and thought to myself, “It’s too late to try to shift THAT concept.” For better or worse, the term was co-opted long ago, and now “America” is synonymous with the United States. Learning another language has made me “change my thoughts” however.  When conversing with a Spanish speaker, I now usually refer to myself as “estadounidense.”

What sparked this post was the accompanying music video, which The Kid recently shared with me. “Latinoamerica” is part love song, part anthem. “I am what you left behind. I am all that was stolen.” “I am the picture of a missing person, I am the blood in your veins.” The refrain (in Spanish and Portuguese) warns that “you cannot buy the wind . . . the sun, the rain, the heat, the clouds, the colors, my happiness, my sadness. You cannot buy my life. My land is not for sale.” (For the complete English lyrics, click here.)

I know that some of you who follow this blog have no interest in Spanish or the niceties of grammar that I obsess over; you simply go along for the ride and read my ramblings out of friendship. So I hope you’ll bear with me once again and take a look at this video. Even if you don’t understand the lyrics, you may enjoy the artful way the video captures everyday moments, cutting from one person to the next.


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