Tengo Tiempo Para Tango.

March 28, 2021

Tengo Tiempo Para Tango.

May 29, 2023

In English, age is an identity as in “I am 60 years old,” just like “I am a man” or “I am Asian.” Unfortunately, age is an identity that often brings shame. A friend recently said she was “65 years young,” as if being “old” is a curse. I get it. It can be a curse, but it can also be a blessing.

In Spanish, years are considered a valued possession. They’re not an identity. They’re something you’ve earned, a bragging right. Instead of saying “I am 60,” they say I have 60 years as in “Tengo sesenta años.” The act of owning one’s years may have a subtle psychological effect on Hispanic culture, such that age is seen as a cherished possession, not something that defines you.

I’m not sure whether age is an identity or a possession, but I do know that the older we get, the more free time we often have in our lives, which means more space for tango, fiestas, and siestas.

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