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Here in the U.S., many Filipinos grow up in Latino neighborhoods, further cementing the cultural bond. Plus, it’s not that much of a culture shock for Filipinos when your vocabulary is basically the same. Most Filipinos can tell you what mesa, cuchara and tenedor mean because of the huge overlap in language.
Filipinos are also often mistaken for Latinos due to their physical appearance and Spanish last names.
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“Filipinos are really hard to place. We don’t really have a distinct look. We can look Chinese, we can look Mexican,” says Ocampo.
As a result of all of these factors and more, the population of over 3 million Filipino-Americans often identify more with Latinos than their so-called “own race,” causing us to wonder what truly defines race to begin with.
Read more about the overlap between Filipino and Latino culture here.
Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic? You’ve heard all of those terms before, and you have, of course, also heard the arguments that come over their use. Nowadays, many younger generations of Latinx folks decide to opt for “Latinx” because it’s more inclusive but there are still others who haven’t fully accepted or adopted this term in their daily lives.
Many people who are of Mexican, Argentinian, Cuban, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan (and many other countries!) descent, have a difficult time coming agreeing to one term that everyone can identify as.
But that’s the point of having different opinions and experiences, so it’s important to learn more about one’s history and also be open to another’s point of view.
“We’ll probably never find a perfect term, especially as some prefer to identify as their (or their family’s) country of origin.”
Arturo Castro went on the Daily Show last month to talk to Trevor Noah about his latest sketch show “Alternatino.” In the segment, Castro spoke to Noah about how difficult it was to juggle his characters from “Broad City” and “Narcos.” But he also talked about his heritage and how his experiences as a Latino influence his work.
“You know, being Latino, everybody sort of expects you to be, like, suave, you know, and really like spicy food or be really good at dancing,” Castro said. “I really like matcha, you know?”
In “The Daily Show” interview, Noah then asks Castro, “what do you think some of the biggest misconceptions are about being Latino that you’ve come across in America that you try and debunk in the show?”
To which Castro replies, “Well, you know, there’s this thing about being ultra-violent or being lazy. Like, you know, the most common misconception is about Latino immigrants being lazy. Where I find Latino immigrants to be some of the hardest-working people in the world, right?”
While Arturo Castro dropped some gems during the interview, notice that his quotes all referred to his community and himself as “Latino”? Well, when The Daily Show shared a promotional post on Facebook about the interview, they used the term “Latinx” and people were not happy about it.
“Arturo Castro pokes fun at Latinx stereotypes on his new sketch series, “Alternatino,” the social team for The Daily Show wrote on Facebook.
It didn’t take long for the backlash to pop up in the comments section.
Users were quick to comment on the use of the term Latinx, and criticize the show for inserting the word into Castro’s quote.
While the argument about whether one should use Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic is still up in the air, people can’t help but have opinions about it.
A reddit user argued that “you can’t really say [Latinx] in Spanish. I mean you can ‘Latin-equis’ but nobody does. The whole thing just reeks of white liberal wokeness being imposed on a community of smelly unfortunates. If they’re so concerned with gendered languages why don’t they do the same thing with French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.?”
But other Facebook commenters weren’t going to let people off the hook for criticizing The Daily Show’s use of “Latinx” in their promotion.
As one Facebook user pointed out, “not everyone identifies as binary male/female…hence the use of Latinx…it is for people who can’t or won’t identify as either. If you don’t like Latinx then don’t use it…see how simple that was?”
So, what’s it going to be? Latinx, Latino, or Hispanic? This social outrage also begs the question, if someone didn’t refer to themselves as “Latinx,” then should you omit the use of that term completely? Should brands be thinking harder about this before they hit post?
You tell us! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Besides our moms, abuelas, tias and comadres, there are so many strong Latina icons like Selena Quintanilla, Frida Kahlo, Celia Cruz, Jenni Rivera and Rita Moreno that we can look up to.
However, we need to give proper credit to another important feminist figure in the Latinx culture.
“La Chona” is one of the original feminist icons of our generation and she needs to get the proper credit she deserves.
Twitter / @bonitaapplewend
“La Chona” is a song from 1995 by Los Tucanes de Tijuana — a norteño band from Tijuana. The fast beat and up-tempo song tells the story of a woman named La Chona. As the song goes, La Chona is a “city girl” who spends her nights out at the clubs dancing and basically living her best life. Think of “Hotline Bling” without Drake.
The lyrics below will help you understand (if you already don’t) why La Chona is an important feminist figure.
“I’ll tell you the story of a famous city girl. Everybody knows her and La Chona is her name. Everybody knows her and La Chona is her name. Her husband is crying, he doesn’t know what to do. Daily, she is dancing and spending on her booze. Daily, she is dancing and spending on her booze. The band has started, they’re playing the first song. La Chona is ready, ready looking for a boy. La Chona is ready, ready looking for a boy. People are watching and they’re all singing aloud. Bravo, bravo. Chona, about dancing, you’re the one.”
Twitter user @bonitaapplewend wasn’t the only one to declare La Chona one of the original hot girls.
Twitter / @dig_apony
As this tweet says, we stan a strong, confident woman. La Chona is the kind of girl who knows what she wants and isn’t afraid to go after it — no matter what other people think about her choices. She isn’t afraid to leave her toxic husband behind and enjoy herself. We have to appreciate that level of self-confidence.
A thread by @UnTalFredo goes even further into the La Chona lore and is a good read if you want to learn more about the legend.
Twitter / @UnTalFredo
As the thread details, La Chona isn’t the kind of girl to let things happen to her. She’s going to experience life to it’s fullest because she knows that we are all on borrowed time. If she wants to dance, she finds a partner. If she wants to drink, La Chona buys her own bottles — she doesn’t wait for someone else to treat her. She’s an independent woman who doesn’t need a man to make her nights worthwhile.
Not only that but, La Chona is adored and respected by her community and she loves them in return.
Twitter / @UnTalFredo
La Chona isn’t just dancing for her own enjoyment, she’s also doing it for her community. She shows her appreciation for them by doing something that she is generally great at. She doesn’t dance for the ovations but she appreciates the love that she gets from her audience. Considering how important community is to the Latinidad, this exudes big Latina energy. La Chona is like a local celebrity and we’re certain girls in the clubs she dances at dream of becoming as carefree and acclaimed as she is.
La Chona is so important in Latin music lore that she deserves a place in our hearts alongside other legendary music figures.
Twitter / @monitolegoazul
As this tweet suggests, La Chona would be the perfect partner for “Sergio el Bailador.” The song by a Nuevo León group, Bronco, it tells the story of Sergio el Bailador — a handsome dancer that all the girls come to see groove. His noteworthy style and reputation is a perfect match for La Chona. We’re sure she would save him a dance or two but remember, La Chona doesn’t need a man to get her party on.
La Chona would find a home with another legendary dance group, too.
Twitter / @datfoosaul
Named after an indigenous woman who translated for Cortés, La Malinche was a dance trio created in the 1950s by famous dancer José Limón. Their dances were based on the Mexican fiestas that Limón remembered from his childhood. La Malinch was very popular during the ’50s and it could be said they were the ones that paved the way for other expressive dance groups. La Chona would be just the dancer to make this trio troop into a quartet.
We have to give props to La Chona. She lived her life on her own terms, was immortalized in a song and is still being talked about 25 years later. She’s a true feminist icon and we can all benefit from living a little more like La Chona.
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