Throughout this three part series, you will see Pamela Blattner’s journey from ignoring her Peruvian heritage to becoming confident as a blended Latina. In part one, you explored her upbringing where she tried to fit into the molds of Swiss culture. Now, in part two, discover how the cross-cultural adult (CCA) took action to embrace both Swiss and Latin culture.
Being raised in Aarau, Switzerland, Blattner was comfortable assuming the roles of a traditional Swiss child. The Swiss-Peruvian reached a turning point, however, when she realized that she looked and felt different from others in her community. Blattner’s interest in uncovering her South American roots and identity soon intensified.
Finding the missing piece
As a 20-year-old, she searched for her biological father “with the urge to understand myself more fully.” During those years of self-discovery, Blattner felt unsettled in Switzerland and quenched that thirst by becoming a flight attendant before attending university. “I was happiest when I was out in the world,” she shared.
I was happiest when I was out in the world.”
Around this time, she found her biological father. “When I connected with my biological dad again, he invited me to live with him and his family in Seattle. Overnight, my dream of a big family came true, and I found out that I had a half-brother and another half-sister in the U.S.,” she remembers.
At 22, she spent half a year with her biological father and family in Seattle, Washington. They have been in close touch ever since. As she spent more time with her father, the Switzerland native felt a stronger connection to her Peruvian roots.
Merging two cultures
Blattner solidified her identity as she moved to Los Angeles in 2012—a long-time dream of hers. “I felt so at home and at ease in this whirling melting pot. That’s when I started integrating my Latina side. I’m more aware and more proud of my bicultural heritage in a sense.”
She contended, “Now when people asked me where I was from and I answered from Switzerland, they just nodded talking about cheese and chocolate. No one wondered why I didn’t look so Swiss. And definitely no one cared about my accent.”
I’m more aware and more proud of my bicultural heritage in a sense.”
The CCA said her father figures “popped up in the perfect moments of my life to support the process of finding my identity. My Swiss father showed up when I just wanted to blend in and not be different as a child. Then, my biological father welcomed me when I was interested in my identity, roots and wanted to feel whole,” she exclaimed.
The pieces of her world came together when both of her fathers walked her down the aisle at her wedding. For the CCA, it was a beautiful moment that represented the “somehow completed process of finding myself, my identity and the gratitude for everything it has given me.”
Fabian Biedermann, Blattner’s husband, remarked, “she is an even stronger woman, even more alive, and even more passionate” after integrating her Latina side.
she is an even stronger woman, even more alive, and even more passionate.”
Being comfortable as a blended Latina is empowering to the Swiss-Peruvian. “I get to live all my facets to the fullest now.” She elaborated, “only with getting to know myself better and embracing all of me, I got to know and appreciate the Latina parts in me as well.”
Read part three, the final edition of the series, to find out how this blended Latina lives in-between Swiss and Peruvian culture and how a cross-cultural life benefits her. Part three: https://cultursmag.com/series-part-3-of-3-culture-without-boundaries/