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Why First Gen Latinos Loved “My Big Fat Greek Wedding”​

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Growing up as a first or second-generation Latino/a/x there’s something important to understand…

You’re not selfish, you’re adapting (notice I didn’t say assimilating.)

When you’re a first or second-generation Latino/a/x, you often find yourself in a situation I call “The Crunch.”

You’re feeling stuck between the “collective world” of your family culture and the dominant “self-reliant world” of mainstream culture.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding is a perfect example of this.

Remember the main character hated going to Greek School? No one else had to do it and that was super frustrating for her. Throughout the film she was constantly having to listen respectfully to her father relating everything back to being Greek and finally it was totally relatable to see how she dealt with the expectations of her family to work and be a part of the family restaurant

Part of the conflict of the film was the main character grappling and reconciling her Greek heritage and all the expectations with mainstream culture.

It was hilarious, relatable, and heartwarming to watch. Also relatable would be “The Crunch” which I define as those moments of not being able to make anyone happy. Lol

When you’re stuck between two worlds, you often feel like you’re lost in cultural space.

Figuring it out requires a new sense of grounding and belief that you can make the right decision – even if that means that some people won’t be happy – and that’s happened in the movie too right?

You’re adapting.

You’re not being selfish.

You’re not making it all about you.

Give yourself permission to figure out and be who you really are – someone who embraces both sides and also someone who finds which part of both sides you want to incorporate into your own individual identity.

True happiness comes from letting yourself shine bright, not by meeting the expectations that are framed by others – even if those others are your family and the cultural expectations and norms they might represent. 

It’s an act of courage to discover what works for you and then go and live that life to the fullest.

Can you relate?

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