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Celebrating the Hispanic heritage in America

August 25, 2012
By Gustavo Estrada - Minority advocate , Marshall Independent

To celebrate the Hispanic heritage with you I will begin by telling you who are Hispanics, what the differences are and what it is like to be Hispanic.

The Hispanic community is formed by the people and countries that share a common heritage and cultural pattern. These include the 22 Latin nations here in America, and they are all Spanish Speaking countries.

The community can be classified into three geographic areas: European (Spain and Andorra), American (South, Central and North American) and African (Spanish-African territories, Equatorial Guinea).

A few countries in the Asia-Pacific region also have historical Spanish influence, although they no longer have Spanish as their official language. Various countries celebrate October 12 as the Dia de la Hispanidad ("Day of Hispanicity" or "Hispanic Day") a national holiday. Since 1987 Spain has celebrated this holiday as its Fiesta Nacional de Espaa. In the other nations of the community, the day is also celebrated as a commemoration of the date in 1492 when Christopher Columbus discovered America, called "Day of the Race" marking the beginning of the diffusion of Spanish language and culture as well as its lasting impact on the new world, America!

In Latin America each country has its way to speak Spanish. It identifies them and shows their character and their traditions. These traditions become the union of the family and to the community. It brings with them the color of their costumes, dances, parades, family reunions and the food that fills the home with smells of the traditional foods of each country.

"To be Hispanic signifies a lot when we are out of our country," is what a person from Mexico tells us and how she feels to be Hispanic.

She says she feels proud to be Hispanic. For her it means a lot to see how in another country a memorable day like the 5 (Cinco) de Mayo is celebrated.

It is celebrated in the U.S. with a great celebration with parades, dance presentations and the commemoration of the battle between Mexico and France. She says she misses where she came from. She misses the food, living together and relationship with other people. She says the relationship of people is a little more open where she came from, in the sense that they meet at the park, people walk more on the streets and so they have more opportunity to relate with each other. One of the traditions that she misses most is The Day of the Dead and putting the altar that represents the commemoration of the relatives that have died. Also, she tells us that to feel good during The Day of the Dead they make the favorite food of the person that died, which is a special tradition for them.

Like she is from Mexico, other residents from other countries that live here in U.S. miss their traditions and how they normally make them in the countries they come from. But this doesn't stop them from celebrating traditions. They do it in the family, inviting relatives and friends. This is so their sons and daughters continue their traditions and customs and make them proud to belong to a family, town, city or country they come from and show the Hispanic heritage in their new country.



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