Did you know there’s a National Hispanic Heritage Month, running from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 every year in the U.S. I didn’t until a couple of years ago, but apparently, it has been around since President Johnson established Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968 and was expanded to a month by President Reagan in the 80s.
I found this article about why and how to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month: Top 8 Reasons Why and How We Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. It’s a short but interesting read.
I love the image above from the Smithsonian Learning Lab article – it speaks to the importance of family, of multi-generational collaboration, of the kitchen being the center of the home. But it’s just one view of Hispanic life – there’s no single image that reflects the whole culture and its diversity. Using food as an example, there’s such a range – from the simplicity of a guacamole made in the molcajete to the complex and sophisticated flavors presented by the huge variety of mole sauces. The same is true of people with Hispanic heritage; there’s no caricature that can do justice to the breadth of their talents, interests and contributions to our culture.
I have my own very strong reasons to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.
Of course, I’m delighted to learn more about Hispanic history, culture, food, traditions, music, literature, art and their influence on and importance to American culture, but more than that, I have the privilege of having family members with Hispanic heritage and want to celebrate them, and their influence on and importance to our family culture and my own life. The best gift I ever got from my late brother was his decision to marry into the Castro family of Buda, Texas, and to bring those lovely humans into my life, our lives. He started us on a path to a shared history of love and laughter. These are family members you can feel squeezing your hand, tight, when you need support, whether or not they are actually there with you. They belong to me. I belong to them. We all belong to each other.
I am beyond blessed by my connection to this family, and celebrate them as individuals as well as their Hispanic heritage.
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month!
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