By Maria Chavez, Our Tiempo
The 2010 Census data estimates that within a few more years, U.S. born Latinos will dominate the 18 to 29 year old age segment within the Hispanic population. This only means a more assimilating Latino society that will experience a potent cross-cultural progression in the near future. A recent article by Target Latino depicts the rapid cultural changes trending amongst the new Latino generation.
Hispanic Millennials are rapidly assimilating to the American ethos, yet are fervently holding on to their Latino values and traditions. An example of this inclination is how Hispanic Millennials are obtaining college degrees at a greater pace and/or achieving financial security; despite this they are still opting to live with their parents. So why are so many Latinos deciding to stay at home instead of moving out to become fully independent?
The reality of life at home resonates all too well with my circle of friends and I, who are in our newly thirties, in successful careers and still living with our parents. Ironically, we touched on this theme over a recent brunch and found ourselves in a deep discussion over the encumbrance that follows us as Latina women and the expectations that are customary though slightly losing ground as we embark towards a more contemporary Hispanic-American culture.
A few of my friends stated their preference is to be on their own, however their choice to still live with their parents’ has been mainly a guilt trip imparted by their parents (usually mom) to remain, despite maintaining a lucrative career. The rest of us felt it a wiser decision to remain at home as a way to save money for our futures, which our parents gladly encourage.
In the traditional Hispanic setting, which most of my friends and I find ourselves in, the expectation for us as women is to move out only after marriage. However, the growing trend of educated and empowered Latinas is experiencing a distinctive norm, one that emulates American values and traditions. Increasingly, Hispanic women are placing some of their traditional customs as secondary and focusing on acquiring a successful future rather than opting for marriage and motherhood. This cultural trend can also be applied to Latino men, as their priorities have also shifted with their focus becoming more education and career based before deciding to start a family. As the economy remains (uncertain or at a standstill), the financial component definitely plays a vital part in the decision to remain at home even after establishing job security. Life with your parents is a way to save money and secure a stable future, which is rare in these economic times.
What I found perplexing during our brunch was the unspoken yet conspicuous theme that is a key attribute in our decision to remain in the nest. The cultural element is undoubtedly a dominating component in helping us preserve and prolong what is an integral part of who we are. The music, traditions, food, and familial aspects are essential in helping us keep a strong affinity to our culture, as much as we may not want to admit it.
This article was first published in Our Tiempo.
Maria Chaidez Maria is a PR major at DePaul University |HACE @ DePaul Student Chapter President| Aspiring Community Leader| Proud Latina| Sprinkles Cupcakes Aficionada. Find her on twitter @curlyhairgirl80[Photo courtesy Our Tiempo]