By Naoma Serna-Zahn
The culture you grow up in and around is what shapes you and how you think – but what happens when you grow up in a bi-cultural world? While this can shape you into a more well-rounded person, it can just as easily lead to feeling alienated.
I grew up with an American single mother and my American great-grandmother in Mexico. We watched I Love Lucy reruns and Bob Barker from The Price is Right. We celebrated Thanksgiving in the house while the kids outside were playing in the street, eating spicy candy, and going to the neighbor’s patio to play Loteria (essentially Mexican bingo).
When I was younger, I knew I was different. I was called “Guera,” la “Gringilla,” and la “Pecas,” among other nicknames I hadn’t heard other children being called. When I would visit the U.S. and my American family, I still felt like I didn’t belong. Being half-Mexican, half-American, I never felt like I belonged here in the U.S., or there in Mexico. People didn’t understand me, ...