Independent Reading
Period 3 PA 10-22-12

Chicana Falsa
Michele M. Serros writes clearly, vividly, and with great humor of her unique Chicana experience. With “Weight Watchers mexi-cuisines,” a sister guessing the values of appliances on “The Price is Right,” and a typical family silenced by old grudges at the funeral of a great-grandfather, one would be forced to think that these poems and short stories are only about Chicanos. For this is a very personal book, a book built on not only her Mexican culture but her American side as well. While reading the book, Serros??™s emotions and devastation captivates the audience, and Serros accomplishes this with amazing success by carefully describing how it feels like to live in a place where your heritage is the most defining thing about you and being split in the middle between two opposing cultures. In a struggle to find herself, she goes through many obstacles in her life and constantly battles the struggle of being a ???Chicana falsa???.
By reading this book, I have learned about Serros??™ Mexican culture. She mentions in the beginning of the book, that her sister ???La Letty, calls her a ???Chicana falsa???. This immediately infers that there are some sorts of expectations that Mexicans feel they have to meet to be a ???real??? Chicano. She calls her that because of her mixed cultures. Michele grew up in California and doesn??™t speak Spanish. To the Mexican community she is too American, and she is too Mexican looking for the American community. Although she does have undeniable American traditions, such as watching American shows with her family and eating breakfast at IHOP, she does have some Mexican customs as well.
It is mentioned in the book that Michele has a deep love for chicharrones, a Hispanic dish that consists of deep fried pork fat. Other things mentioned were ???no tortillera down your street.??? Tortillas are popular amongst Central American countries.
She mentions ???mariachi blaring???. Mariachi being instantly associated with Mexican culture is a traditional Mexican music genre.
As for her family, she has a highly outspoken aunt that tells Michele ???You could never be a writer, let alone a poet.??? Her mother died being an unrecognized artist, and thus becomes Serros motivation to disregard what her aunt has said and to not end up like her mother. Her uncle is said to run his own food truck and is described as the entrepreneur in the family. This implies that her family definitely does not consist of doctors and lawyers, in fact most have never gotten proper education. One would think because of her family??™s past, Serros shouldn??™t have much pressure or high expectations but it is the opposite. She feels that as the American of the family, she has the most pressure and highest expectations due to her endless possibilities.
Her aunt brings up Michele??™s grade and says that she got a D on her last book report. In a short description, Serros illustrates how her sister has drastically changed and how every morning she would be picked by a Mexican Cadillac riding slow and low. Spinning rims and candy paint on the car, driven by men in hair nets and dirty hands. These symbols and images don??™t depict a nice clean environment. On the contrary, when reading this I pictured the stereotypical Mexican gangsters riding in their low cars. This makes me believe that she must not have lived in a good neighborhood and infer that she mustn??™t have gone to a remarkable high school either.