Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month

HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH

Before talking about celebrating anything Hispanic, there has to be an acknowledgement of the native civilizations that lived in harmony with Pachamama (mother earth) prior to the colonization.

This is something Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano said about the colonization: “They came. They had the bible and we had the land. And they said: ‘close your eyes and pray’. And when we opened our eyes, they had the land and we had the bible.”

The conflicts I mentioned earlier stem from:

  • The confusion between the “proper term”. What is Hispanic / Latino / LatinX?
  • The fact that Hispanic leaves out Brazil and other countries in the Americas which don’t necessarily speak Spanish as a main language
  • The fact that it’s a celebration of HISPANIC heritage month. Vindication of Colonization?
  • The fact that it’s celebrated in the USA but not really in hispanic countries, these countries don’t even know about it
  • The fact that it’s Sep 15 – Oct 15, mid month to mid month, instead of a regular month
  • The fact that a lot of countries and cultures were put in one bag for the sake of a celebration simply because many of these countries’ Independence Day falls during that month long period
  • The fact that Columbus Day is celebrated in the same month
  • The fact that Indigenous People’s Day is also celebrated within Hispanic Heritage month

Honestly, Hispanic Heritage Month feels like a made up marketing tactic created by politics to gain support from immigrants.

But hey, it’s supposed to be a celebration! I understand that in this new world society, cultures and people who come to the USA from Spanish speaking countries have their right to, deserve to -and should- be celebrated, with respect.

With that premise in mind, let’s take a U turn and celebrate some of the beautiful things related to the so called hispanic culture!

It’s a celebration of the immigrants who shaped and continue to shape this country. A celebration of their people, their culture, their art, their music, their food, their indigenous roots.

There’s a lot to celebrate there!

  • It’s a celebration of CULTURE: Día de los muertos, Cinco de Mayo (Richmond, CA hosts the largest Cinco de Mayo celebration in Northern California every year)
  • It’s a celebration of ART: Frida Kahlo, Botero, Dalí, Diego Rivera, Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez
  • It’s a celebration of MUSIC: Chavela Vargas, Jennifer Lopez, Maná, Tito Puente, Ruben Blades, Shakira, Gloria Stefan, Armando Manzanero, Julieta Venegas, Natalia Lafourcade, His~Panic
  • It’s a celebration of PEOPLE: Cantinflas, Cesar Chavez, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Shots from Richmond
  • It’s a celebration of SPORTS: Messi, A-Rod, Valderrama, Maradona, Chicharito, Juan Toscano Anderson, Pablo Sandoval
  • It’s a celebration of DELICACIES: tacos on 23rd St, café, arepas, mofongo, empanadas, cubanos, cacao, dulce de leche, chimichurri, Quesabirrias from El Garage

Hispanic / Latino/ Latinx references many countries, but make no mistake, each region has its own nuances and unique flavors, they are beautiful in different ways. If curious, explore and learn before extrapolating the customs and traditions of one country to all the other countries, simply because they happen to fall in the “Hispanic” category.

I’d like to close with this amazing song that brought tears to my eyes when I first heard it, Latinoamerica by Calle 13.

Written by: Dani Lanis

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