An interesting thing happened to my perception of different cultures when writing about 5 traditions amongst Latino moms and talking to people in my life who could give some insight on the topic.
Instead of finding ‘5 traditions amongst Latino moms’ that distinguish them from mothers of other ethnic backgrounds, I found that such differences were superficial to say the least. In a way it is affirming for me as writer, a Hispanic and as a human to know that we are not as different as we, if not careful, tend to think we are.
Many of the practices and mannerisms that I remember my mother exhibiting, it turns out are not very different from those of the mothers of my non-Hispanic friends who were a valuable source of information and perspective.
Still, let us not forget that we are still talking about Hispanics so read the following list, remember fondly your own childhood, perhaps learn something new and most of all, let it be a reminder that we are all linked together by a stronger bond than we realize.
5 Traditions Amongst Latino Moms
This tradition is probably the one that has left the largest impact on my life. My life with my mother was so full of cariños (little affections) that I often do cariños in some form or another myself (mainly to dogs since I have no children of my own). I would hear cariños directed at me and whenever my mother encountered a baby, small child, my nephews, or really, anything she found adorable.
Cariños are basically little nonsense sayings usually spoken in a baby voice to infants and small children when a mother is so filled with love and warmness; there is simply no other way to express it.
If you are a Latino, then you probably know what I am talking about right off the bat. Latin moms use Vicks VapoRub as a cure-all when their child is sick.
For me personally, I believe the healing powers of Vicks is firmly limited but more than anything, it was the ritual of my mother gently rubbing it on my chest when I had a cold that was so therapeutic. It is a loving connection between mother and child and love is always healing.
Telling spooky tales can be fun and Latino mothers often share the satires and morals of our Hispanic heritage with their children. Tales like El Coco and La Llorona are some of the most common, the former of which is one I heard personally as a child.
My mother never formally taught me Spanish but I can’t count the number of times that she off-handedly let me know what my grandmother would call certain people or household items. She loved to tell me the little home-spun phrases of our grandmother and what they meant.
Many Latino moms do take time to make sure their children are fluent in Spanish which acts as a cultural and maternal link. Read here about Marcela Hede’s son and how to Plan Your Spanish Language Immersion.
Possibly the most well-known Latino tradition, the Quincienera celebrates a girl becoming a woman. This is an important time for a Latino mother and daughter to bond.
There are versions of these traditions present in cultures around the world but there is a definite Hispanic flare in the ones I have described here.
Some of the most interesting traditions are in the way Latino moms name their children because Hispanic baby names mean a lot to them. Hopefully this has interested you in finding your own correlations between your respective culture and that of the Hispanic culture.