Blending Cultures Essay

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“Blending Culture” In Gina Valdes’ “English con Salsa” and Rhina Espaillat’s “Bilingual,” the merger of two cultures, Hispanic and American, is displayed with from the very beginning. These poems represent what many hispanic families or individuals face when trying to learn the English language. In “Bilingual,” the decision of what language to speak in the household is the root of a conflict between a father and daughter. Rhina Espaillat applies simple humor in the depiction of a common theme. “English con Salsa” and “Bilingual” illustrate that the learning and acceptance of a new culture may be achieved, but an individual’s own culture should never be relinquished. The titles, “English con Salsa” and “Bilingual” are strong indicators of the cultural poem that the reader will soon engage. The use of the word salsa, a Hispanic condiment, in the title along with the English language foreshadows the two cultures that will be integrated. Salsa can also be perceived as a symbol for the Latino culture. The word bilingual in the title does not portray which two languages or cultures will be discussed; however, the word itself suggests that the ability of two languages is possible which as well can represent two cultures. From the beginning the authors show the importance of not relinquishing one’s culture and becoming multicultural. The word choices by Gina Valdes and Rhina Espaillat are essential in the insertion of the reader into the merger of two cultures. Both authors used bilingual diction throughout the poems; Spanish and English were the languages used because the Latino and American cultures are the ones being integrated. The Spanish diction in “Bilingual” is denoted with parenthesis. Spanish when read by a Spanish speaker has a voluptuous sound to it. Being a bilingual reader adds power to the poem and strengthens the symbolism of the title. The diction in
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