nalia-r  asked:

One of my projects is the story of a Mexican Catholic girl and an Ashkenazi Jewish boy. Due to a citywide disaster, their large feuding families are forced to move in together. There's tension due to religious differences and an unresolved dispute from years back. Because there's a tight focus on these two families and their home life, what are some things I could write that would ground readers and read as authentic? FMC is second generation immigrant, MMC grandpa was holocaust generation.

Mexican Catholic and Ashkenazi Jewish Family Tensions

If you’re looking for reasons to get into conflicts, the first thing that comes to mind is just that kind of mutual secular xenophobia that happens when marginalized people date outside their group.

I’ve never seen Christians of color try to drag non-Christians to church the way white Protestants do, so I don’t know if that’s realistic… I could see pork being a conflict – even if the Jewish family doesn’t keep strict kosher, they might still eschew pork for tribalistic reasons and that might seem unreasonable to the Mexican family.

I don’t know if Mexican Catholics “blame us” for Jesus’s death, but some other types of Christians do so that’s worth looking into. I could see the Ashkie family being secularly racist if they were super white-passing – not that it’s a particularly Jewish problem, just a white problem. It’s learned behavior.

Or, maybe I misunderstood and you’re not looking for realistic sources of conflict but just general details that would add verisimilitude to your setting. From the Ashkie/Shoah refugee standpoint:

Does this family have a mezuzah outside the door? It’s a little tiny box with a protective prayer inside.

Passover and the High Holy Days (the stuff around new year’s, i.e. Sept/Oct) are more important than Chanukah in the Jewish calendar but because of Christmas, Chanukah got blown out of proportion and some of us have taken the ball and ran with it (which is ironic, for an anti-assimilationist holiday lol.) Nevertheless, don’t treat Chanukah as bigger than those other things if you’re writing from the outside.

How closely do they observe Shabbat? That can be anything as casual as having challah and other slightly more culturally significant foods (chopped liver, matzo ball soup, etc.) on Friday night or something as observant as asking the Mexican family to help out with turning the lights on and off until Saturday evening. Do they go to shul? Have families invented a shul in someone’s living room bc of the citywide disaster?

Do they have books like my grandparents had, huge compilations of Jewish humor and books about the history of Yiddish, etc.?

Are there smells that the grandpa can’t smell without being triggered? (This is an example from my own life.) Are there memories he doesn’t talk about? Did he get out before everything went to shit or does he have a tattoo? Do you have a specific country in mind that your grandpa character was from?

The Mexican characters can affectionately make fun of Ashkie food for not being spicy, if they want.

It’s gonna be up to you how strict kosher they are. Some of us don’t care. Some of us leave out pork but otherwise don’t care. Some of us leave out pork, shellfish, don’t mix meat and dairy, but don’t care about the little mark. And some of us check the package for the little marks that say yes, this chicken breast is kosher, etc.

If you’re not Jewish, if you’re gonna write us, please go read something we’ve created first. Something relatively light-hearted and easy to deal with is the Rabbi Harvey graphic novels. They’re a retelling of old Jewish stories set in the Old West in Colorado, and if you read one of those books you’ll probably feel more comfortable recreating our culture.


The first thing coming to my brain is that there’s a lot of Jewish influence in Mexico, particularly our food. We have a family tradition here, us Rodríguezes, of doing cabrito for special occasions and I am told that this is a Jewish thing.

There’s the ugly and awful history of the Inquisition, on the one hand, with people burned publicly for being Jewish.  Then there’s the part of our history where we had a LOT of refugees coming in in the late 1800s. Today there are vibrant communities and big synagogues and so forth, but there was this long period of basically being Secretly Jewish and mixing your culture with Mexican culture, like I remember there were these little deserts that is basically unleavened bread for Passover, that Mexican Jews made to participate but not be outwardly obvious about it to duck persecution. 

Anyway point is, because we have a fusion culture of things we don’t even realize on its face are of Jewish origin, you could maybe do one of those “we’re not so different” ways of resolving their differences.

– Rodríguez



Made with Vine
Riarkle One Shot

Riarkle one shot au thing! 
Rating: G
This is where Riley and Farkle realize they have feelings for each other, but then Farkle goes to Europe for 2 months. 

It had been 2 months since she’d last seen him. Farkle had gone to Europe with his family for the summer, leaving a lonely Riley behind. Of course she had her other friends to keep her company, but ever since she had realized her feelings for Farkle were more than platonic, he was her favorite person to be around. Maya teased her incessantly by calling her Riley Minkus, thankfully after Farkle had already left.

They texted and facetimed on a daily basis, but that wasn’t enough for Riley. She missed going over to his house to watch movies. She missed going for ice cream on the hot summer days. This summer had been so different without him. Thankfully, he had left his sweatshirt at her house the night before he left accidentally. Riley had worn it to bed almost every night. When Farkle facetimed her, he caught her wearing it once. Riley could tell he noticed, but he didn’t say a word. Instead, he just smiled.

Farkle had always loved Riley. However, after Smackle realized they were too similar to be a couple, he noticed Riley in a new light. The way her hair perfectly framed her face. Her big brown eyes that glistened in the sun. How she laughed when he told a joke. The way she lit up when her friends were around. His love was deeper for her now, but he just didn’t know how to tell her.

Riley and Farkle were facetiming like they usually were. She was cuddled into bed, wearing his sweatshirt once again, forgetting he could see her wear it.

“So you’re coming home in 4 more days?” Riley smiled.

“Yep! I cannot wait to be home. I miss New York so much.” Farkle laughed. It was true that he missed New York. Mostly because Riley was there.

“New York misses you too.” Riley said quietly. Farkle smiled at her words. “What movie do you think I should watch tonight?”

“You must’ve watched every movie in existence by now!”

“Well you’re not here to watch movies with me, so I gotta make up for it.” Riley explained. Farkle smirked at the thought that she missed him. Riley squinted at the background behind Farkle on the screen. “Where are you? That doesn’t look like your hotel room.”

“Oh, I’m in the lobby of the hotel. Better wifi.” Farkle said defensively.

“But the lobby has the big chandelier and purple walls.” Riley tilted her head at the screen. Her eyes got wide. “Farkley?”

“What, Riley?” Farkle questioned nervously, bringing the camera closer to his face.

“Is that the hallway of my apartment complex?” Riley asked excitedly. Farkle was silent. Riley dropped her phone and sprinted to her front door. Farkle stood right outside, smiling.

Riley jumped into his arms, wrapping her legs around his waist. Farkle backed up into the wall, catching his balance.

“Why did you lie to me?” Riley squealed, unburying her head from his neck. Farkle placed his hands on the small of her back to hold her.

“I wanted to surprise you.” he chuckled. “I was going to come into your room and surprise you there, but your front door was locked.”

“The bay window is always open, idiot.” She chuckled, jumping down from off of him.

“How could I forget the bay window?” Farkle jokingly hit his forehead with his palm.

Riley smiled at him, totally in love with this dork. Without even thinking about it, Riley placed her hands on her shoulders, stood on her tiptoes, and placed her lips on his. Farkle froze in his tracks, completely in shock.

“I love you Farkle.” she smiled as she pulled away.

“And I love you.” he replied, leaning down to kiss her back. “Nice sweatshirt by the way.”

Riley laughed, dragging Farkle inside by his hand so they could finally watch a movie and eat ice cream like a normal summer.