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Asturiano-Americans: How Do You Self-Perceive?
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4479
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As Bob says, racial pride is humorous because we had absolutely no role in what we became.

I'm surprised you'd equate Spaniards with "Caucasian," Terechu. It seems to me that there are strong African and Semitic undercurrents, too. We're all mongrels, of course.

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Como dice Bob, el orgullo racial es cómico porque teníamos absolutamente ningún papel en lo que "estamos".

Terechu, estoy sorprendido que corresponderías españoles a "caucasiano". Me parece que hay raíces subyacentes pero fuertes africanas y semíticas, también. Somos todos chuchos, desde luego.
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Terechu
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Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2005 6:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, you know I couldn't care less what we are!
It's an age-old simplification we are taught in school. And it's the same simplication used by the US Immigration Service when you enter the USA for the first time. My resident alien card reads:
"Maria Teresa Rondo Moore, Female, Caucasian", as does my US Driver's License and my Military Dependant ID.

When I was a kid, we were taught in biology and history classes that all European countries were populated by successive waves of Indo-German (now called Indo-European) tribes. Their origin was supposed to be in the Caucasus region, and to look at my father and most Spaniards, I believe it. In fact you will find that the Italians, Swiss and French, who never had large-scale Arab invations and certainly no domination, look very much like us.
Of course there are Spaniards who are almost Berbers (In Andalusia) or Arab and Semitic (in Catalonia and the Eastern Mediterranean coast), but if you consider that the Jewish population of Spain at its highest point was only 400.000, concentrated in the major cities, and not mingling much, you will realize that it's more likely for Sephardic Jews to have Spanish blood (and Spanish good looks Laughing ) than viceversa.
The same goes for the Moorish Spain. The Moorish ruling classes didn't much mingle with the Christian "trash" (mozárabes) and then, 500 years ago, the Moors were expelled and the Jews told to convert or leave. Something I will not enter into, but I believe it was a great mistake to expell the Jews.

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Art, ya sabes que a mí me importa un bledo lo que seamos.
Es una simplificación antigua que nos enseñaban en la escuela. Y es la misma simplificación que usa el Servicio de Inmigración de EE.UU. cuando entras en los EE.UU. por primera vez. Mi tarjeta de residente extranjero permanente dice “Maria Teresa Rondo Moore, mujer, caucásica”, al igual que mi carnet de conducir americano y mi carnet de dependiente del Ejército.

En mis tiempos nos enseñaban en clase de biología e historia que todos los países europeos fueron poblados por oleadas sucesivas de tribus indogermanas (ahora se llaman indoeuropeas). Su presumible origen era la zona del Cáucaso – y a juzgar por mi padre y la mayoría de los españoles yo lo creo. De hecho si te fijas verás que los italianos, suizos y franceces que nunca tuvieron invasiones árabes de importancia y desdeluego ninguna dominación, se nos parecen mucho.

Claro que hay algunos españoles que son casi bereberes (en Andalucía) o árabes o semitas (Cataluña, Levante), pero si se tiene en cuenta que la población judía en su momento álgido no superaba los 400.000 individuos, concentrados en las principales ciudades y sin mezclarse mucho con los demás, te darás cuenta que es mucho más probable que los judíos sefarditas tengan sangre española (y la “guapura” española tambiién Wink ) que vice versa.
Lo mismo pasaría con la España mora. Las clases moras dominantes no se relacionaban mucho con la “chusma” cristiana (mozárabes) y luego, hace 500 años, explusaron a los moros, y a los judíos se les dijo que o se convertiían o se iban. No voy a entrar en esta cuestión, aunque sí creo que fue un grave error expulsar a los judios.


Last edited by Terechu on Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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Art
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 06, 2005 4:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've often wondered about my own "heritage". My hair is very thick. When it's about 4" long, it will stand up by itself and look a little like an "afro" (except that it's blond and straight, not dark and curly). (Women have sometimes been jealous of it! They don't know that you can't control it.) I've always wondered if the dark skin tones of some of the people in my family and our thick hair were African, Berber, Arab, or maybe Rom (gypsy) characteristics. I don't believe any of us are "pure" bred anything, but I find it fascinating that we can be the result of seemingly distinct groups of peoples.

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A menudo me pregunto sobre mi "herencia". Mi pelo es muy espeso. Cuando tiene aproximadamente 4", se levantará por sí mismo y mirará un poco como "un afro" (pero es rubio y lacio, no oscuro y rizado). (¡Las mujeres a veces han sido celosas de mi pello! No saben que no se puede dominarlo.) Siempre me pregunto si los tonos oscuros de piel de algunos en mi familia y nuestro pelo espeso son características africanas, beréberes, árabes, o tal vez gitanas. No creo que ninguna persona sea de raza "pura", pero lo encuentro fascinante que podemos ser los resultados de pueblos que parecen tan distintos.
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Mouguias



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Posts: 151
Location: Asturies

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 4:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art
Of course you are right, race is a meaningless issue, but yet...
Well, at times it is a little annoying the way some "northerners", in Europe and in the US, tend to put the limit of the white race in the Pyrenees, or even further northward.
We are not as pale as Swedes, here in Asturias, but sure we are as white as they are. Narrow noses, never curled hair, eyes often light coloured...that is white race. And we all fit the description, in Asturias as much as in the rest of the Peninsula.
The blending of the white and the black race starts in Northern Africa, which means that you can find there both whites and mixed people. The queen of Morocco, for example, is a red-haired beauty which might pass as French. Even as south as in Mali you can find some white individuals (I saw it once on TV, I never went there).
I don`t pretend to be bitter, OK? Of course all this is just idle, meaningless stuff. Wink
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Bob
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouguias and Art,

As a geneticist and evolutionary biologist, I think that a few points about the so-called human races are well worth repeating.

First, racial catergories are arbitrary. For example, in the US the children of a Norwegian and a Zulu would be described as "black." It would be every bit as logical to describe them as "white." This does not mean that there are no biological differences among various human populations in terms of allele frequencies (how common different forms of the same gene may be).

Second, the differences in skin and hair color, hair form, etc., that are associated with "races" in the minds of many are external characters that are in many cases adaptive and easily shaped by selective forces. For example, dark skin is adaptive not only as a protection against sunburn and UV induced skin cancers, but also as a protection against excess vitamin D synthesis. It is common among people whose ancestors have lived at high altitude (not as much atmosphere to screen out UV) or in equatorial regions (more UV because it comes from more directly overhead with less atmosphere to eliminate it) for many years.

Third, there is no such thing as a pure race. We are all mixtures of genes from many different sources.

Last (for now at least), human populations have been combining their genes for many, many years, and show every indication of continuing to do so.

My father and his five brothers--all of "pure" Asturian ancestry-- were blond as kids and had dark hair as adults (before shifting to pure white in late middle age).

Bob Martinez
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Mouguias



Joined: 18 Jun 2003
Posts: 151
Location: Asturies

PostPosted: Sat Feb 19, 2005 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob
As I told you once, I feel at loss on genetics, but I guess the gross clasifications of old, before genetical research was developed, still work. I mean, external traits are quite a neutral source of clasification, aren`t they?
I heard short ago that our species can`t be divided in "races" according to genetics; only phenotipically it is possible to make clasifications inside human species. And yeah, phenotipical traits may be unimportant, but they are make also a firm and apparent criteria. If we can divide wolves into "grey", "red", "white" wolves, why not people?
I agree that in the US (like anywhere else) the ideas of race are strongly biased due to culture, all that stuff about the "one drop myth" and that.
By the way, I was blond until I was three. Now I am grey, and I am not 30 yet.
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Art
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Joined: 17 Feb 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 12:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's funny, my hair is grey and I'm not yet 30, either! (I wish. Ha.)

Yes, I understand that often Asturians have fair hair, eyes and skin. Some of the members of my family were much darker.

I think that the wolves of different colors are different species and we're not.
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!Qué raro, estoy canoso y tampoco tengo trenta años! (Ojalá. Ja.)

Sí, entiendo que normalmente los Asturanos tenen ojos azules, pelo rubio, y piel blanco. Algunos de mi familia lo tenían más oscurcos.

Creo que los lobos de colores distintas son distintas especies y nosotros no.
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Carlos
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Location: Xixón

PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, permíteme que te corrija un error bastante frecuente entre algunos extranjeros, antiguamente prácticamente entre cualquiera de más allá de los Pirineos, y hoy en día (debido a las relaciones más estrechas entre todos los europeos) más limitado a los anglosajones.

No es cierto que entre los españoles (hablo en general de los habitantes del país, independientemente de la zona geográfica concreta) exista un fuerte sustrato poblacional-genético de origen semita (árabes y judíos) o africano (magrebíes o sub-saharianos).

Aquí hay una polémica más basada en cuestiones políticas e ideológicas (derivadas del problema vasco) que en un sólido fundamento científico. Como sabrás, la lengua de los vascos es una lengua no-indoeuropea y además, no emparentable con ninguna otra (es decir, en el sistema de clasificación de las lenguas no es posible establecer un parentesco con ninguna otra conocida de la actualidad ni desaparecida del pasado).

Cuando se descifraron las inscripciones ibéricas, los textos no eran comprensibles, pero al leerlos tenían un cierto aire "vascoide". Lo cierto es que a día de hoy sigue siendo imposible "traducir" estas inscripciones ibéricas mediante la lengua vasca. Pero durante mucho tiempo se atribuyó un "indudable" parentesco a los vascos y los iberos, a pesar de no poderlo demostrar ni mediante la arqueología ni mediante la lingüística. Ésta es la llamada "teoría del vasco-iberismo", que hoy en día ya no se tiene en pie.

El caso es que, en el campo extracientífico, por otros motivos, la polémica continúa, tanto, que al final no hubo otro remedio que hacer estudios genéticos para, en la medida en que ello fuera posible, dilucidar esta y otras cuestiones, un poco siguiendo la estela de los trabajos emprendidos por Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza y sus colaboradores en un montón de países, trabajos que seguramente serán bien conocidos por Bob.

Pues bien, hechos los estudios genéticos correspondientes, resulta que no sólo la presencia de una herencia genética norteafricana es muy reducida en toda la Península Ibérica (con un máximo del 14% en Andalucía), sino que además la barrera genética del Estrecho de Gibraltar es la mayor de toda Europa.

Esto quiere decir que, para el caso que nos ocupa, hubo más mezcla y por lo tanto, mayor proporción de intercambio genético, en otros lugares europeos, propicios a ello por los avatares históricos y el flujo de población derivado de la cercanía geográfica. Hablo por ejemplo del Mediterráneo oriental (Grecia-Turquía-Egipto-Oriente Próximo) o del sur de Italia y Sicilia con Túnez y Libia.

Además, el análisis que muestra un parentesco genético entre algunos andaluces y los norteafricanos muestra, mediante una técnica cronológica de laboratorio (al parecer se puede medir la velocidad de las mutaciones de los genes y de algo llamado "microsatélites"), que los genes comunes a Andalucía y Norte de Africa datan de aproximadamente el año 700 de nuestra era, es decir, que provienen de la época de la invasión musulmana en la Alta Edad Media.

Nada que ver, por lo tanto, con las épocas paleolítica o neolítica, puesto que en el norte de Africa se detectan unos marcadores propios y exclusivos de esa zona y que no son compartidos por la población española, ni siquiera las más sureñas o la de las zonas por donde se extendió la civilización ibérica.

Por lo demás, la herencia genética "española" está claramente correlacionada con la del conjunto de Europa. Así que si es posible poner un nombre a una tipología humana, eso que antiguamente se llamaba "la raza blanca", ahora "tipo caucasiano" o "tipo caucasoide", como la típica europea, el conjunto de la población de la Península Ibérica (España y Portugal) entraría perfectamente en ella.

Por otra parte, aunque posiblemente Bob lo podrá explicar mucho mejor, hay que diferenciar lo que se llama el "genotipo" del "fenotipo". El color del pelo, de los ojos o la tonalidad de la piel se retrotraen a una adaptación al medio, datable con la llegada de los primeros Cromañones (homo sapiens) a Europa, en plena época de las glaciaciones, provinientes de latitudes mucho más soleadas.

De ahí que un mismo tipo físico, dolicocéfalo-mesocéfalo, pueda ser rubio (tipo nórdico) o moreno (mediterráneo, de baja estatura, o atlanto-mediterráneo, de estatura media-alta). En Asturias predominan las cabezas redondas (braquicefalia), aunque también es posible encontrar mesocéfalos y dolicocéfalos, sobre todo en la parte central asturiana, eso sin tener en cuenta emigrantes modernos llegados de otras partes.

En Asturias hay rubios, cierto, pero tampoco son demasiado abundantes, la mayor parte de la población es castaña o morena (pelo marrón o negro), como puede apreciar fácilmente cualquiera que circule por nuestras poblaciones. Algo más abundantes son los ojos claros, independientemente del color del cabello. Pero siempre acompañados de piel de tonalidades claras, aunque no tan sonrosada como entre algunos ingleses, alemanes o suecos. En alguna ocasión leí no sé dónde que el mayor porcentaje de rubios se encontraba en Cataluña y la costa levantina en general.

Y dicho todo esto, aprovecho para decir que yo me siento tan cómodo con mi aspecto como si fuera más claro o más oscuro, y que lo más importante no es la apariencia o el origen de cada cual, sino su calidad como persona.

Si a alguien le interesa, puedo pegar aquí el texto completo del estudio genético del que hablaba más arriba, hecho por un equipo de especialistas de la Universidad Pompeu Fabra de Cataluña, de la de Leicester (UK) y de la de Göttingen (Alemania) y publicado como actas de un congreso especializado en el año 2003. Es más, de hecho creo que está disponible en Internet en inglés, pero ahora mismo no sé la URL. Sólo encontré esta pequeña reseña:

http://springerlink.metapress.com/app/home/contribution.asp?
wasp=253x5mltwq1qpn1jxdf1&referrer=parent&backto=searcharticlesresults,1,14;
journal,1,1;linkingpublicationresults,1:100421,1
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Bob
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mouguias,

The various human human racial classifiations have come more from anthropology than from genetics and evolution, and different people have come up with different numbers of races. Today, most people tend to assign others to races on the basis of appearance (phenotypes) colored by their own perceptions of what is important and what is not.

Of course we can divide wolves into "grey", "red", and "white," but this has relatively little to do with actual biological differences bteween different wolf population. As far as I know, the different populations of wolves are generally regarded as being different subspecies rather than as different species (I am no taxonomy expert, however). They trend to very in terms of size, color, size of molars, etc., with geography, as least in part for reasons that make good evolutionary sense.

There is a wolf sanctuary in Ipswich, Massachusetts, that has a population of wolves drawn from several different regions of North America. Well worth a visit from any of our members to happen to find themselves in Eastern Massachusetts.

Bob
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Sonia Garcia Mandzok



Joined: 03 Feb 2004
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Thu Apr 28, 2005 11:25 pm    Post subject: Hispanic or not? Reply with quote

I realize I'm late in responding to the original question, but here goes. I dislike the term Hispanic and do not classify myself as one. Although when questioned, I say Spanish, because let's face it, what American knows anything of Asturias? And here in California, if you say Spanish, they assume Mexican. There is a joke out here, "What's a Spaniard?" "A Mexican with a job." The last class reunion (in Pennsylvania) I attended, I polled my Spanish classmates on being Hispanic and not one of them liked that term.


My Dad taught us all about Asturias and was extremely Nationalistic. He would say, First I am Asturiano, Second, Spanish and Third, American. (He became a US Citizen) But his heart was always in Asturias.
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el californiano



Joined: 08 Dec 2003
Posts: 11
Location: Torrance,Ca

PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reading these comments makes me recall a conversation that I had with a Salavdorean-American friend several years ago. I utilized the term hispanic in my conversation with her and she flatly stated that this term was a "mis-nomer." This person believed (strongly) that "Hispanic" was equated with those who came to conquer America and thus, the term was racist. Racist???

Eventually she told me the name or term "Latin" was more appropriate because it connects the person with the land and the indigenous aspect of the latin american background. Naturally I was left befuddled by all this
information.

Then I realized that the reality of each individual is rather limitless. I am very proud of my Asturian-Spanish Heritage. Other individuals are proud of their latin american culture. In the end we are bonded by a common language (castillian) and incredibly enough, a culture. The indelible mark (positive or negative) left by Spain is seen throughout Latin America and the United States. We must be able to recognize the similiarties and not only the distinctions as difficult as it may seem.

Just my two cents worth...
Wink
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Art
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2005 2:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that would be hard to figure out!

I talked with a smart but quirky man today who said, "The Mexicans are capturing the US in a bloodless war. In twenty years, our schools will be teaching their classes in Spanish."

That's a little melodramatic, but it is quite true that in the past decade, or a little more, the number of Latin Americans in the US has increased immensely. Hispanics have surpassed African-Americans as the largest minority group in the country. In 2003, Hispanics constituted 13% of our population.

There can be no doubt that immigration is changing America. I don't think it's bad, just very striking.

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¡Vaya, es verdad que sería difícil de entenderlo!

Hoy hablé con un hombre simpático pero estrafalario que me dijo, "Los mexicanos están capturando los EE.UU. con una guerra sin derramamiento de sangre. En veinte años, nuestras escuelas enseñarán sus clases en castellano."

Es un poco melodramático, pero es bastante verdadero que en la década pasada y pico el número de latinoamericanos en los EE.UU. ha aumentado enormemente. Los hispanos han sobrepasado a afroamericanos como la minoría más numerosa en el país. En 2003, los hispanos constituyeron el 13% de nuestra población.

No hay duda que la inmigración cambia América. No pienso es malo, solamente asombrosísimo.
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Donna Alvarez



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Espanola,New Mexico,USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 12:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend who several years ago migrated from Oviedo hates filling out such forms. He works for the airlines in Lauderdale (they often request it) and says he's simply caucasian.
I don't like to say I'm caucasian either but obviously that's it. I'm confused by all the catagories they list, so I expressed my uniqueness as 'other'. That'll show 'em! I guess I am a European (aka caucasian). Even tho' the Spanish language is ubiquitous about the globe, and in many genres, we want to distinguish ourselves and we want to relate with eachother.
In New Mexico they call me Coyota. It's suppose to be an insult. It means that I am mixed, but it's better than not being Spanish at all. There are few here that can truthfully say that their ancestors have not mingled with the natives since coming from Spain in the 1500's, or with their American conquerors. I'm certain that I have more authentic Spanish blood than they do, but they say that they are Spanish and I am not. But it's unanimous! Everybody WANTS to be a Spaniard. Hey!


Last edited by Donna Alvarez on Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:04 am; edited 4 times in total
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Bob
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every population on earth is the result of intermarriage, conquest, etc., and the same is true of cultures.
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Donna Alvarez



Joined: 08 Aug 2009
Posts: 24
Location: Espanola,New Mexico,USA

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So true, Bob. Verdad. My sociology teacher, my freshman year, referred to a most beautiful girl in our class. She was of 4 races defined as black, yellow, red and white. He said that eventually we would evolve to one mixed race, just earthlings. He thought that we might become most beautiful, most perfect. I don't know if all that's true, and it's a long way off, but it's a good perspective. It defies prejudice.
How are you doing?
Much love, many regards.
Donna
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