I’ve mentioned before that I both am and have a 3rd Culture Kid and had a weird moment of Deja Vu this weekend I wanted to share. I was listening to NPR and the song Cielito Lindo came on as background to a story. I know the song is a bit of a cliche with the “Ay Ay Ay Ay” refrain, but the song brought back strong longing for a place that, frankly, isn’t my own.
I moved to Nogales, Arizona, when I was 3 and lived there for 10 years before moving to South Florida (which has a 3rd culture of it’s own). In the 1970s before immigration was such a hot button issue, we grocery shopped in Mexico, went out to dinner in Mexico, and in school I learned Mexican History and music the same as you might have kids learning your state’s history or playing “America the Beautiful” now.
“Cielito Lindo” is strongly woven into my blood, the same way I crave refried beans on a bad day instead of chocolate, the same way I knew the story pictured above without reading the caption. They all feel like “home”.
I don’t have a drop of Latina blood in me, hadn’t even been to Mexico (besides the beaches) in 20 years until last month. Visiting Mexico was tonic to me, for more than the sun, but I didn’t realize why until I got back. I was going home.
Do you have strong ties to a place that you aren’t “from”? Please share in the comments.