I know I’m a little late on the bandwagon, but there has been a lot of talk about needing more diversity in books. I love that idea, and I love reading books with different cultures in them.
My mom was born in Japan, so I look much more Asian than I really feel. I wish that I knew more about that piece of my heritage.
After high school, I moved to Madrid. That was one of the most eye opening experiences I’ve ever had. Living in a completely different culture really taught me a lot about learning to see things through different perspectives.
I remember the first time I met my mother in law. She was a very sweet woman, but she said things that I just wasn’t used to. Blunt things. She didn’t mind saying that someone looked fat or that someone was wearing too much makeup. It took me by surprise at first, but then I realized that was normal for them. They’re not so worried about being politically correct. They say it how they see it.
Most of his uncles have nicknames associated with how they look. Chino, Negro, etc. In fact, I still don’t know most of their names because they’re always referred to by their nicknames.
|My Wonderful In-laws|
Of course, there was also adjusting to new foods, a new language and new hobbies. Before I met my husband, I couldn’t have told you a thing about soccer. Not anymore. The World Cup starts in a few days, and I’m actually excited for it. I may not know all of the players, but I have picked up on quite a bit since we got married. I've also learned that Hispanics know how to have fun parties. Wherever we meet, we always had something to dance to and food to eat.
I love delving into his culture. Learning more about who he is and what he knows. We never run out of things to talk about because we don’t have that much in common from when we were growing up.
There’s a reason why there’s so much of a push. The world isn’t black and white. Every country has immigrants, and we’re mixing more than ever. It’s time to reflect that in literature as well.
It’s been inspiring to read the posts of others who want to read more diversity. And whenever I come across a Hispanic character, I get excited. I love reading about them, they really deserve more time in literature. It’s made me decide to use the knowledge I have and really try and portray my husband’s culture more as I write.