Abrazando la Diversidad en la Escritura

Embracing Diversity in Writing 
By Aurora Garcia

Being a Latina whose first language is Spanish, I prefer to read and write in Spanish.  There are a couple different reasons for this. First, I love my language. Spanish is a rich, vast, delicious, poetic and fun language. I will in English, especially when something was initially written in English. However, I believe that we often lose some of the meaning the author had intended when writing is translated. Some things just cannot be translated. Yet, when it comes to diversity, not everything needs translating, because some feelings and situations are universal.

My favorite author is Gabriel Garcia Marquez and 
One Hundred Years of Solitude is my favorite book. Garcia Marquez, in my opinion, personifies a perfect writer.  First, the richness of our vocabulary is overwhelming. I can’t get over how he interlaces words that can be so simple and quotidian, yet he and only he could create such magic with those common words.  I love the way he can make you look at a life in a snapshot and make you know that character with all virtues and defects.  I’m in love with his sarcasm, sense of humor and realism. He is realistic in the way he paints a character and then he adds the magical realism that allows you dream and wonder how he came up with those ideas.

I believe that we should all be exposed to diversity in reading. The world is a small place and we need to focus more on the similarities than in our differences. I have read stories about people in China or India and it always goes back to how we can relate or understand their situation. 

Regardless of the culture, we share the same feelings and situations. It probably comes natural for me to feel that way, but it may not be the case for everybody. I witnessed a lot of racism and closed minds. I have seen Caucasians with a sense of entitlement and don’t care to even consider trying to understand other cultures. Or they will travel to other countries and expect the people to adapt to their American ways, instead of enjoying the differences and the richness that each culture has to offer. 

I’ve also seen a lot of rejection in the Latino culture in terms of language. Some may say that their country speaks the best Spanish. People have a need to compare and feel superior to others. For me, loving Spanish, I see differences in language as an excuse to make it more vast and interesting.  When I hear a different Latin-American accent or wording, I find it great and enjoy listening to the different ways of speaking. If everyone were more open and more welcoming to diversity in reading, it would open more possibilities for tolerance amongst everybody.

Thank you to author Terra Trevorwho invited me to join the growing number of readers, authors, publishers and writers who are passionate about diversity and have launched an online campaign calling for more diversity in publishing, and inviting writers to answer the following questions:

Q. Why do you write what you do? And, how does your work differ from others of its genre?

My writing is informal, and sometimes I feel awkward being called a writer. I write off and on, and sometimes there are long stretches when I read instead of write. I enjoy writing, but it is a process I cannot force. Also, when I read works by great writers, I question my writing. I write personal essays, intimate writing, but I also write about society. I believe as a Latina I can write about the mistakes we make as Latinos. It’s like in a family, you feel like you can tell your family what they’re doing wrong, but you cannot stand hearing anybody else telling them the same thing.

One of the first mistakes we make as Latinos is segregation. It would make a huge difference is if every Latin American could see other Latin Americans as part of the same culture. Just like in the language, it would make a tremendous difference if we embraced the different cultures and enjoyed the differences instead of being so defensive. Yes it is great to have a sense of pride in one’s country, but I don’t think it’s contradictory to at the same time have a feeling of inclusion towards others. Embracing the multiplicities of the Spanish language will make us stronger, and offer respect from other countries when they see segregation is not an option.

Q: How does your writing process work?

I write whatever appeals to me, and I believe my passion for writing (and reading) was inherited from my father who wrote songs and poetry.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Aurora Garcia is a nonfiction writer and essayist who was born in La Piedad, Michoacan, Mexico. She moved to California in 1989, when she was 14 years old. This is about the time when she began writing, but throughout her teen and young adult years she kept her writing to herself for fear of being exposed. Although fluent in English and Spanish she instinctively writes in Spanish, as it is her native language. 

Aurora lives with her husband and son. She loves life, nature, art, music, and diversity, admiring the contrasts and richness of her homeland culture, as well as the beautiful language that Spanish is. Aurora believes her passion for writing was inherited from her father who wrote songs and poetry.


"We have stories / as old as the great seas / breaking through the chest / flying out the mouth, / noisy tongues that once were silenced, /all the oceans we contain / coming to light." —Linda Hogan

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