Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Hispanic or Latino?

This question continues to pop up in daily conversations. Latino or Hispanic?
My story on the issue


  1. As a Spaniard, I was shocked the first time I came to the US when after saying "I'm Spanish" I had to specify from which country!

    Personally, I prefer the term Hispanic, because for me it refers to the language and cultural heritage -and blood, which some tend to forget-, and that's what people from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Mexico, etc. have in common. And I'm far from trying to evoke Spain's infamous empire (especially coming from the Canary Islands, also violently conquered and for centuries treated by the central power not very differently than the colonies).

    The etymology of "Latino" is actually even more misleading. It comes from "Latin America", OK, but "Latin America" is a term coined by the French under Napoleon III to imply the cultural affinity of that part of America with all Romance cultures, including themselves to justify their interest in occupying Mexico. And that was in the mid-19th century, when most of those countries had already achieved independence without using the term.

  2. Wait, I forgot to say great article!