I was reading a flier for Nahuatl Classes going down in Queens. It reminded me that the regional Mexican music scene is diverse enough to accommodate a group that sings in Mixteca. New York, already a melting pot of cultures, is the melting pot of indigenous languages as well, so says the NYT.
When I went to N.Y. this spring, I attended a presentation on Mixtecs in Nueva York. It was held at the National Museum of the American Indian, and organized by a local Mexican culture group, called Mano a Mano. The panel featured a guy, probably Oaxacan, who had to deal with the challenges of his otherness, and his language, when he arrived on the East Coast.
Yet another story about the ¨Mixtec transnational social experience¨.
The panel was mostly about the challenges children who may only speak Mixtec face when trying to integrate into local U.S. school systems. First, they have to be taught Spanish, then English. Columbia University Head Start, which tailors its work to support the immigrant Latino community, played a featured role in the presentation, showcasing language cards developed to teach the basics. A woman on the panel who works as a teacher in the N.Y.C school system recalled several instances when school administrators opted to place Mixtec children in classes with learning impaired and retarded kids, because of the difficulty in communicating.
If, as I, you haven´t lived in or near N.Y.C in the past 4 to 5 years, you´ll notice a bit of Mexicanization going on. Maybe it´s just something I notice, from spending so much time in L.A. The established generational communities that exist in Chicago, and especially in Houston, or Long Beach, just don´t exist in the East. But they´re starting to. This all feels like a new trajectory for the movement of people, and it can only increase. A shifting of migration patterns.
Here are some photos from the event. They include shots of a slide show the hosts presented on a screen. It teaches Mixtec children how to speak Spanish.
(click on any image to make large)
Mixteco, now a New Yorker.