Holidays in a Latino Culture: Greetings from a “Gordito”

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Jorge Reyes

Everyone seems to enjoy the holidays because they get to see their family and friends at a special time of the year. As college students, we love the holidays because we get to go back home, see our families, and enjoy free rent, free cable, and especially enjoy the FREE FOOD. But that is not always the case for everyone.

I remember being seven years old with my family during the holidays. There are always those aunts and uncles who you have never met, the awkwardly-shaped gifts under the Christmas tree, and, of course, family members feeding you left and right. I remember eating turkey, oven roasted beef, tamales and bread (lots and lots of bread) with a cup of hot chocolate on the side.

I also remember being called “gordito” – meaning “little fat kid” – every time someone would address me because in the Latino culture “gordito” is considered a term of endearment. Even now I don’t understand why Latino families think that is a cute saying for children. Growing up I would get referred to as “gordito” and it would bother me because of the stigma behind it. In middle school I left behind that “gordito” image, even though my family still used the nickname for me.

As I grew up, I was able to realize that the nickname no longer has power over me because I know that I am happy the way I am and “gordito” is a part of me. I am not letting a silly nickname get in the way of my self-confidence or the time I enjoy with my family during the holidays.

So if you have ever been called a “gordito” or “gordita,” let’s celebrate together because we are more than just a nickname!

Jorge Reyes is a graduating senior from California State University Northridge majoring in Broadcast Journalism. He is part of the Proud2BMe On Campus CSUN group. After graduation he plans on continuing his education and work for a non-profit organization.

This content was originally published on in 2014.