Japanese-Spanish Parent Spotlight

At McDonald International our children have the opportunity to study for the half the day in Spanish or Japanese. For some families having exposure to both languages makes perfect sense. This is the second installment of a parent spotlight series featuring members of our community with connections to both Spanish and Japanese.

This week's spotlight: Lulú Roque Weda

Children at McDonald International: Emiliano (1st grade Spanish)

How is your family connected to both Spanish and Japanese?
I was born and raised in Chiapas, Mexico. I grew up only speaking Spanish, but also hearing about my great grandfather (on my mother's side), who was Japanese.

We don't know tons of details, but we do know he was from Fukuoka, in the southern part of Japan. He and some of his friends emigrated to the US and tried to settle in California, but they weren't able to stay because of the Immigration act of 1924. So he continued on and eventually settled in Mexico City. He married my great grandma and they had four kids. My mom remembers going to the Japanese community center every now and then when she was a child, so she was able to celebrate that part of her a bit, but sadly, it wasn't often enough. Neither she nor her siblings learned to speak Japanese.

In Mexico, we have two last names, so in my full name, I still have my Japanese last name (my name is Lourdes Roque Weda). However, 'Weda' is misspelled, as it is the case with a lot of last names of foreign origin in Mexico, and other countries. From what I've been told, it should be 'Ueda'.

My son Emiliano, who is in 1st Grade Spanish, has been taking Japanese after school at McDonald since last year, and it makes us so happy he is somehow reconnecting with that part of our history.

Remember you can strengthen your Spanish and Japanese cultural learning at home by hosting an intern in the Fall! Please email if you are interested in learning more about hosting!

Back to: McDonald Elementary News

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