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Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. Her blog will tell stories about the Latino community, services, and events happening in Montgomery County. A blog about culture, different traditions and the diversity of people and businesses in the community. She can be reached... Read more

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To Be American or To Be Brazilian; A Foot In Each Home

Over the holiday break I had the chance to visit my family in Brazil. I had not seen my dad in almost two years, so I could not wait any longer.

Brazil One of the things I thought it was interesting were the questions and comments coming my way. I got “You’re probably glad to be drinking real juice,” or “I’m sure you miss summertime,” and “Are you discriminated there?”

While I answered all of them, I couldn’t help but to feel annoyed. Then I wondered, why do people think I do not drink real juice in the U.S. and why do they ask me if I were discriminated?

Well, I asked, and the answer: “Aline, things we see in movies. What we see on TV. Isn’t how it is there? I heard some people don’t like immigrants.”

“Hum, that’s not entirely true.”

What was I supposed to say? I can’t assume that everyone here likes foreigners, or that most people only drink fresh squeezed orange juice. I don’t know. So, I had to say “not entirely.”

I found myself defending the U.S. and the people who live here more often than I expected.

There’s so much stereotyping when it comes to how people “see” Americans. I had to explain many times that we have summer here; we can buy fresh food; and yes, people have treated me with respect since the day I moved from Brazil.

I don’t want to generalize. I am positive and hopeful that most people in my home country do not think that way. But I must say, sometimes it’s a weird feeling. Although, I am an American citizen I will always have to explain that I wasn’t born here, and every time I go there people will see me as foreigner.

Maybe one day that will change. Who knows!

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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at Abarros@mymcmedia.org and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.

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