Photography by Devon Butler
I was born and raised in Canada, which makes me Canadian. However, I grew up in a household with Peruvian, Spanish-speaking parents, making me bilingual at a young age. I cannot express to you how thankful I am about this fact. Speaking two languages makes me feel like I am part of two distinct worlds.
Attached to my Spanish-speaking parents are their lives before they came to Canada, lives lived lustfully back in Peru, standing on the beach, soaking in the Sun and drinking Chicha. It is because of them that I have been exposed to more than one language, and subsequently more than one culture. The Peruvian culture is much like what you’d expect it to be: loud, passionately hungry, and dance-crazy. It is obnoxious (in the good way) and affectionate. Peruvians greet others with a kiss. This aspect of the culture frightened my Canadian friends at first, not quite understanding why my aunt and uncle, upon seeing them, kissed them frantically on both cheeks. It is my experience that Canadians are more reserved than Spanish-speaking folk.
With my right foot in one culture and the left foot in another, life is split right down the middle. We all know each culture is different; combining two is like gaining two separate perspectives on how to live life. My bilingual family offers me multiple viewpoints on the issues of culture, heritage and blood relations. The older I get, the more I appreciate my parent’s influence on me culturally and linguistically. I am their eclectic daughter, who is happy to be divided.
Fiorella Morzi is a first-time Blueprint contributor.