Keeping the Memory of Argentina

mateHolding onto the memory of your home country can be difficult after one has migrated.  There are things I do to preserve a living memory of my life and family in Argentina.  I definitely take advantage of the nostalgia that immigration produces.  It’s as though I live in that nostalgia; it’s like a place.  I have the advantage that my wife is also Argentinian, so we speak Spanish in the Argentinian accent at home.  I go back to Boston and buy dulce de leche or yerba for my mate, which I drink every day.  Or grilling asado… All of these connect me to my family and the things that I miss.  My colleagues in the department of Spanish and Portuguese from Cordoba function in the same way, as living memories of a place I have left behind.  We get together and connect over our childhood and twenties, Argentinian music and books.  We’re the same generation so we share the same tastes and experiences.  And more recently, the Internet has become another very important way immigrants connect.  It’s different, and I don’t think it’s as meaningful as human contact, but in a way you’re still interacting with part of the culture.

The one thing I unfortunately could not hold on to in Hanover was playing rugby.  When I got to Dartmouth I had many academic commitments that kept me from playing rugby at the same level I had while I was in Ann Arbor.  I also had torn my ACL playing indoor sevens at Michigan and had intensive knee surgery.  After that it was different.  I was getting old – you know in your twenties you get better.  Even though I had an amazing rehab, my body works in a different way.  Rugby was, and some ways still is, a huge part of my life and I would love to continue playing but at this point I just can’t.  I still talk about rugby with my father and brother and it’s another way that I keep the memory of Argentina.  It still cannot compare with actually playing rugby and that is something that I really, really miss.

 Transnational Connections