November 01, 2010/ Frances Kai-Hwa Wang/ Voices of Adoption RainbowKids.com Adventures in Multicultural Living
My neighbor was cleaning out her college-aged daughter’s room and gave me a large sombrero for the kids. Maybe for Halloween, she suggested, if they do not already have a costume.
Six-year-old Little Brother already had a costume, but he was thrilled to discover his new sombrero when he came home from school, so stately and grand, with its sweeping green brim, pink accents, and fancy blue stitching, that he immediately put it on and ran outside to “show the guys.”
The older neighbor boys good-naturedly teased him: “Where’s your horse? Where’s your guitar?”
He came home puzzled and embarrassed that he had thought it was a cool sombrero when, by their comments, it must have been some sort of cowboy hat. But it did not look like what he thought a cowboy hat looked like. So what did they mean exactly?
How to explain this? How to protect him? Little Brother knows some (real) Hispanic Americans, but none who wear that kind of garb. (Hey NPR’s Juan Williams! Check out Muslims Wearing Things at Tumblr.com.)
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