Yerba Mate

Relationship: Child of im/migrant

In Argentina you can think of yerba mate as the equivalent of water, or really even air. This staple drink has always been a norm in my family. Mate has been a way for everyone in the family to gather round, pass the gourd around, and connect. Even though I never really understood the cultural meaning behind it, when I was little getting passed the gourd was always a special moment. Now I know that it was such a wonderful feeling because I was able to participate in a huge part of my mother's life. To many, mate might just seem like a drink, but to my family it is something that brings everyone together and a way of keeping their Argentinian culture present in North America. Being so far from family is always hard but even something so simple as making a drink has kept me feeling close to everyone, even those I’m only able to see every few years. Now, I’m old enough to realize the importance of keeping your culture alive. it’s important that immigrants are able to come to America and are able to stay true to their original culture. After all America was built by immigrants, and even with the pressure to assimilate, we all know that the mix of cultures is what it really means to be American. While my mother’s family spread across the country, anytime we all come together you can bet we’ll be around the table drinking mate, reminiscing, gossiping, and supporting each other.

Place(s): Argentina
Year: 1982

– Asha R-B

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant