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Leave Your Name at the Border by M. Munoz - Article Example

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The article "Leave Your Name at the Border by M. Munoz" is about the tendency of Mexican Americans living in Dinuba to change their name and adopt those of the American culture. This is in their quest to feel more accepted in the American culture…
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Leave Your Name at the Border by M. Munoz
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One of the reasons the Mexicans prefer to adopt the English names when they get to America is to make it easy for people who cannot easily pronounce Spanish names. However, Munoz feels that the main reason is an attempt to hide their identity. Munoz argues that it has now become a custom for Mexican parents to give their children English names. He emphasizes on this point by giving an example of how her nephews, as well as second cousins and other children in his hometown, have evaded their Spanish name in favor of English ones. This paper is an analysis of Manuel Munoz's essay, which attempts to demonstrate how Mexican Americans are increasingly deserting their culture particularly their names to assimilate English ones.
As Munoz argues, Mexicans appear not to be proud of their culture. As much as they argue that they change their names to make it easy for other people to pronounce, it is not understandable why they would do so even in their own hometown. It is for sure a cultural problem when people completely alter their own way of life to assimilate another one. Names are very crucial since they are used for identification. Most names tell where a person comes from hence his or her culture. Altering one's name is thus a sign that one does not want to be associated with his or her culture. However, I think that Mexicans have a reason for this. It happens that a lot of stereotyping against the Spanish h speakers exists such that people tend to generalize when they speak of Spanish speaking people. A name being a way of identifying one as Spanish, then those who do not want to be associated with anti-Mexican stereotypes have no choice but to assimilate the new culture and avoid being viewed as illiterate (Munoz, 2007).
Self-identification is very crucial and the fact that some Mexican Americans cannot even pronounce their names well and are astonished when some do it correctly, demonstrate the extent to which they have run away from their own culture. According to Munoz, a lot of prejudice exists against the immigrant Mexicans in America who are always regarded as under-educated or viewed as illegal immigrants. This is what could have pushed them to try to act like the Americans, and the best way to appear American is to have an English name. Munoz thinks that alteration of the way Spanish names are pronounced is not just meant to make them pronounceable but it is a way of Mexicans hiding their identity. The English culture is for sure a popular and almost global culture, however, Munoz argues that the Anglicization of the Spanish name makes them lose meaning in the Spanish culture. This is depicted by the way the airport agent pronounces a Spanish name, which makes it sound completely different and more English (Munoz, 2007).
Other than the idea that Spanish culture is increasingly being replaced by English one, the author also wants to how little people especially the young know about their names. Most students, having a Spanish name means that you are an immigrant with minimal English skills. The Mexican students thus have to avoid being branded as illiterate by avoiding pronouncing their names in the Spanish way. It is for sure appalling when people have to abandon their culture because others use it to victimize them (Munoz, 2007). Read More
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