Monday, January 18, 2016

Drink Cultura: Chicanismo by Jose Antonio Burciaga Amazon: This book is about the Chicano experience of living within, between and sometimes outside of two cultures--the damnation and salvation, and the celebration of it all.

"In some ways a book Erma Bombeck might have written, that is, if she were from El Paso, dressed in Tony Lama boots, and full fledged member of raza."--Gary Soto

"A passionately lyrical lección para todos about the history of the Western and Southwestern people. Burciaga is deeply rooted in the indigenous realities."--Carlos Santana

My thoughts: I bought this book many, many years ago while I was an undergrad. I graduated with a B.A. in Chicano and Latino Studies, so the theme of this book was the main focus of what I studied in college. I almost forgot I had this book until I was sorting things out of my book boxes at the beginning of the new year. I became very excited when I found it because it brought back memories of everything I held dear in my late teens and early twenties. I had high hopes for this book.

This book was a compilation of small chapters of Burciaga's opinions of different things in the Chicano culture (Chicano= A Mexican American). I especially loved reading his chapters on the origins of Mexican words and phrases as well as Mexican items, such as the pinata. Many of the things discussed in the book, like the history, I was already aware of. However, it was nice to view Burciaga's perspective on how the Chicano came to be. The chapters that I found to be less interesting were the ones on his family and friends. Burciaga was trying to give examples of Chicano life but to me I found them pointless. It felt as if Burciaga was trying to tell people that his experiences were things that ALL Chicanos go through. Being Mexican born but raised in California, my Chicano experiences were vastly different from Burciaga's, as well as any other Chicano living here in the U.S., thus I was not able to connect with most of Burciaga's experiences. Other than these chapters, the other chapters were very interesting and entertaining. 

In the end, I was happy to have found this book and finally cross it off my TBR list. It was not the greatest book, but I still found myself enjoying it (I even highlighted many parts in the book). The book is very small and it's a quick read. I recommend it to those who want to learn some of the origins of the Chicano culture. I rate it:

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