Arts & Culture

Poem: “It’s Pronounced Ty-ana”

Tayana Osuna, arts & culture editor

My father originally wanted to call me Sagnitae

But my mother feared children would tease me and call me


Because of the pronunciation 

She wanted a “unique” name, but feared the culture that came with it

So they settled for Tayana

A name deemed “appropriate” enough for my mother

And proud enough for my father

My name means loyal

However I have often felt unfaithful to my name

A name full of character and culture

“It is Mayan,” my father told me

“Just like you”

Just like me

I’m  reminded of this attribute with how I am addressed by my father

“Tepehuána,” or “Tepe” for short

The Tepehuán are the primarily northwestern Indigenous people of Mexico

In the Aztec language, Nahuatl, tepehuan means mountain dwellers

I am no mountain dweller

I was not born in Sinaloa, a place I call home

And I may have been born with blonde hair an blue eyes, a gift from my polish grandmother

But I am Latina

My ancestors would want me to identify as that

My father has asked me to identify as that

So I will


Growing up I definitely felt like I wasn’t “allowed” to identify as Latina because I didn’t look the part, whatever that means, and honestly that was completely ignorant of me because I was basically ashamed of being white. I grew to acknowledge that I have privilege, but it doesn’t take away from my identity as a Latina. I was also complying with racism for thinking Mexicans had to look one way and have the same story. That is not the case, so stop telling people “but you don’t look” such and such! Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!