Last night I stayed up watching Our Family Wedding, which features America Ferrera and Carlos Mencia. If you haven't seen the previews, the movie is about a young Mexican American woman, Lucia trying to break the news to her family that she is engaged to a black man Marcus, and that she has dropped out of law school.
In the aftershock of their announcement, the two families try to get along and things get pretty hilarious. However as the wedding date gets closer the couple begins to experience some difficulties in deciding what type of wedding is best for them. Since of course both families have their own opinions on the proper wedding ceremony, (hence the title).
I was quickly frustrated most with the Mexican American family, partly because it reminded me of my own so much. The family took Mexican tradition so seriously, that it ended up almost ruining the relationship between Lucia and Marcus. I had to wonder, when does tradition, such an important part of our culture, become a form of tyranny? This reminded me of a chapter in Gloria Anzaldua's Borderlands, which focuses on cultural tyranny; the traditions and mindsets of our culture that keep us down. Many of my friends still believe they have to marry within their own race, that they can't leave home for college, or even that their success in life is measured on how many kids they have and how well they can cook!
Yes, tradition is important because it is founded on our past. However our past isn't nearly as important as our future. Tradition should not consume our dreams, for we have the potential to be whatever it is we choose. We as Latinas must never forget our roots, but we must also never forget to use our wings!