23 September 2009

I forgot it was Hispanic Heritage Month


To be fair, as a month it was only instituted in 1988 but no one really cared until1996, which mean that at the end of my elementary experience, someone in Washington made noise about a formerly passed law, which made teachers and the media have to start incorporating what it means to be Hispanic into their lesson plans and the media. This sounds like a great idea right? Well the problem with this is that very few teachers in the schools I went to knew about this proclamation from Washington. Or if they did they were a) the ESL teacher (a class I was NOT in) or b) the Spanish teacher (who spoke Spanish with an Italian accent that made it different for certain native speakers to understand her). Needless to say, its understandable why I would forget that September is Hispanic Heritage month.

I often say my family hails from 2 countries in Latin America. Cuba. Colombia. When people ask me what my background is, they usually assume I'll say Sicily or Italy or something to that nature. Usually I just smile and say "No, I'm Cuban-Colombian." What follows next is the most insulting remark ever: "You don't LOOK Latino." I smile and shrug and say "Well you know."

What I'm thinking is this: Latin America is very diverse. Hispanics (I prefer this term over Latino) are usually made up of former inhabitants of the Iberian peninsula, the Netherlands (remember Spain used to own them) and even some Germans and Austrians, in some places the decedents of indigenous peoples and along the coastal regions, Africans.

Anyway, I thought about what do so that's special about this month, but really, I am Hispanic, I live it out each day with out effort since its my way of life, so what's to celebrate? I think there should be a Christian Heritage Month because that would give me something more challenging to live out. But maybe I'll hop on over to Babalu blog and check in on the Cuban-American news?

(book reviews resume next week).

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