Hispanic Heritage Month – What is it?
Each year we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. I just wonder how many of us really know the root causes of why Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in September.
I took this from: https: //www.hispanicheritagemonth.gov/about/
Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens (italics mine) whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30-day period.
Do we teach that so-called wars of liberation were led by Criollos, the aristocratic class, and fought by the poor, uneducated peasants? When we speak of peasants we are talking about a great majority of the population. Fast forward to today. If you look at the Central American countries, who are the rulers and who are the workers? The vast majority of people are poor and uneducated. This history goes back a long way. to get out of this horrible situation two things are required education and voting. This can only change with the involvement of parents and the community.
The word Latino is a French creation. Hispanic is an American creation. Latino applies to all countries where a Latin language is spoken or shall we say Spanish, French and Portuguese. Hispanic refers to all people in the US that have a Spanish surname or who identify themselves as Hispanic. Both refer to a specific geographical area. I noticed during my visits to Spain that the word Hispanic was used to refer to all countries in America that were once a part of Spain. There is nothing there to suggest that Hispanic is a race or that we are a homogenous group. It is however a label.
If we are to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month then individuals from each country should teach us the history of their respective country. Our culture and history are different. For example, this is how we are different. I was born in South Texas. After my military service I settled in North Texas. We say that if you draw a line south from El Paso to San Antonio to Houston you are in Tejano Country. During a political season you see signs everywhere with Spanish names. Hardly any signs with Spanish last names are visible north of that line.
Hispanic Heritage means something only if we learn something from it.
“Latino applies to all countries where a Latin language is spoken or shall we say Spanish, French and Portuguese.”