For my Fish Out of Water I attended the “Inaugural Selena Tribute” event that happened this past Saturday at a venue in Downtown San Jose. This event celebrated the life of the singer/songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Pérez and the 20 year marking of her death in 1995.
Since Selena was a wildly popular Mexican American singer, the demographic at the event was predominately of the Mexican decent. The music played was mostly the music that she came out with and featured in, as well as other Latin songs. Being half Iranian and half Irish, this culture and background displayed so strongly at this event was definitely a bit foreign for me. Nevertheless, I completely enjoyed myself. I was exposed to such a passionate atmosphere that ultimately really didn’t matter what decent you were or where you came from to recognize. Music was what brought the individuals there together, as well as the talent created by such a young woman gone too soon.
Most people there spoke Spanish, but they definitely weren’t limited to just that language. I know a few Selena songs so I was able to even sing along to some of the tracks playing. There was photographs of her all around the venue, and two different rooms with two types of music. One room was called the Selena Room, where DJs played her music and Spanish styled music, and the other room was called the Caribbean Room, where DJs played Caribbean influenced music, both celebrating Selena’s legacy and life. Last, but not least, there was a Selena look-alike contest! I thought that was so cool, although I didn’t partake, there were tons of beautiful Latina women there that qualified for the contest.
Overall I had a really fun time, it was interesting throwing myself out of my comfort zone and coming out with a positive experience. Although I did feel like a “fish out of water”, it opened my eyes to a completely different culture other than my own. This experience inspires me to see what else is out there and gives me confidence to try it with another culture, since I now feel more open to explore other environments.