I remember once, arguing about México’s independence anniversary party with a friend (I was stating that I don’t believe that México is independent) he came to a conclusion that I think was more accurate: “we” celebrate Mexico’s independence from Spain (back then).
Anyway, about this year’s Independence party, I didn’t even remember it, not just because of the fact that I don’t really believe in it (nor the country’s independence, nor my own for that matter), but also because I don’t have too many Mexican friends around here, and because I secluded myself for a long time inside my room at the computer to finish some projects (update some of the websites I manage, and other things).
And about Mexicans around here, besides the fact that this is a small town (compared to Guadalajara, or Munich, for example) and now, while the lectures for the next calendar haven’t started yet, people are out there traveling, and others in their respective jobs/internships, I must say that some of the Mexicans and Latins in general I found around here are a bit exclusive. Not everybody, of course, but I would think that, as they’ve been living for some months (or years) in Germany, they now feel like they are Europeans. And not only that, but they also assume that Europeans are better than Mexicans. And I strongly disagree with this.
I must admit that I, myself, have changed; I think I am a better person than what I was before, but this is not because of Germany or Europe, but because of a huge deal of different things: mostly because of myself and being on my own. My personal evolution took (and continuously takes) place because of myself, it just happened to be here in Germany.
And I clearly state it out loud: I am not embarrassed to be a Mexican, but nor am I also proud. I am proud because of being who I am, for me: it doesn’t matter where I come from, as Batman said:
It’s not who we are in the outside, but it’s what we do, that defines us
And it looks like a joke, because I am quoting a fictional character, and I am not a fan of sayings nor proverbs, nor anything similar, but I strongly agree with what this winged hero says.
I do love my family, and I am most certainly aware that the place where you grow (not necessarily where you’re born) has a big influence on how you evolve, and the surroundings, traditions, folklore, habits, rituals… But they are not you.
I want to believe that I can make my own culture, I want to believe in my own creed, I want to create my own traditions. Not because I think Mexican traditions are wrong, but because I believe I have the freedom to choose what I think fits me better. And I actually do believe some traditions are blind, unconscious, and too conservative for me. Even retrograde.
I remember I started this blog with an entry about Mexican’s independence, two years ago. And not only I haven’t changed my mind, but my beliefs have strengthened quite a lot in the last few months. What I’ve believed since then, I’ve better come to better understand it, so I can state it in a clearer way.
This is who I am, I was born in México, but I’d wish away those tags of nationalities. I like collecting flag pins from the countries I’ve been to, but deep inside, I think flags divide people. And then I wear these flag pins as a statement of my international beliefs: we are all persons, why hate or discredit each other? I believe Europeans are not better than Mexicans, just because they were born there, nor Mexicans are better than anyone else because of their nationality. Its people who build up their own selves. This is what I want to believe in.
Racists, xenophobics, religious fanatics, even sport fanatics… you name it. We don’t need to discredit anyone just because of the place they were born, or because of religion, or their skin color, the length of their hair, the team they support, or the music they like. It is but a mask, one that we often use to protect ourselves from the outside, but this shouldn’t be. We are more than mere facades. Why the hate? Why the tags? We should judge people based on who really are, out of their deeds. A murderer is a criminal, doesn’t matter where he was born. Even then, it’s more complex, for instance, let’s think: what about self defense?
Indeed I am not ashamed of my native ancestors, of my Latin roots, of my Mexican family and nationality. I am proud of who I am, but not because of the people (who I don’t even know) came to be the father of the line that first used the last name I now have. I love my parents and my grand parents, they have given me so much, maybe so much that I could never be able to pay back. And so maybe they feel the same way about their own parents and grand parents, and maybe this will go on indefinitely.
But they care, educate, feed and love us because they are unconditionally fond of us, not because they are expecting something in return. Else what’s the point? It becomes an economic activity, a mere business.
Yes I am thankful, but it doesn’t mean I must be a blind follower of traditions I don’t like. For me it’s somewhat irrelevant: it doesn’t matter if it’s my people, my roots, my traditions. I can have my own favorite music, I can choose my own religious beliefs, I want to create my own traditions. I want to be aware of what I like because I choose to like it, not because someone or something is telling me to.
This is what the Buddhist’s Noble 8-Fold Path basically states:
…being moral (through what we say, do and our livelihood), focusing the mind on being fully aware of our thoughts and actions…
And it is not about religion or gods, it’s about one’s self. You can worship whatever god you choose, it is not in conflict with this principle. Becoming aware, it can be very difficult. At least it is difficult for a mind that has been sleeping for a long time, like mine. But we grow in time, we evolve, we become better and wiser, at least I’d like to.
So maybe in some years I will be able to celebrate my own mind independence party, and you will be all invited, and we would do a magnificent and crazy costume party.