Why I do not celebrate Latino heritage month
Latino heritage month just passed and throughout that time there were many events and ads that attempt to portrait their celebration of our culture. While there are some merit behind this, I personally do not agree with this month, the same way I do not agree with Black history month or Jewish history month. The reason as to why I do not agree with any of these, is because we as a people should not celebrate different cultures just because it is a national celebration. Not only that but to me it seems disrespectful, to think that one can celebrate a culture as diverse as the Latino culture in just one month, one can barely scratch the surface in one month. People seem to think that just because they have events with mariachi bands and foods like empanadas, tacos, or pupusas does not mean that you have respected and celebrated our culture, and now must wait until next year to do it again.
Our culture is not just about our intoxicating and rich foods, the ever evolving language that becomes totally different depending on who you are talking to, or to how passionate we are, and how that passion is reflected in our manner of speaking and on the dance floor. It is about our struggles to become a respected community, it is about defining who we are, it is about keeping our culture and language alive instead of being washed away by the mainstream.
Our culture is about our family and making sure that we get up in the morning to do what we do so that we can maintain them. The things that I have done are not because of me but rather for them, my family, it is to show the elders that their sacrifices are not in vain, nor shall they be, and that they will never be forgotten; it is also for the young ones so they can see that they can become something, that they should not be afraid to aspire or to dream. I pave the way so that they follow and create their own. I do not celebrate Latino heritage month because I celebrate it every single day.
Another main reason as to why I do not celebrate it, because the month ends with the celebration with a man that opened the floodgates to slavery and is responsible for that worst atrocities committed in human history, colonization, and that man is Christopher Columbus. To this day I still do not understand why he is celebrated, but what I do not understand mostly is why New York City holds a parade for him, and above all why the Empire State building shines with the Italian flag, honoring him. Portraying him as the patriarch of our culture.
Now I understand that maybe if it was not for him we would not have the diverse culture we have now, but that does not mean that I have to agree with what he did and the atrocities committed by the Spaniards following. Above all of that the Red Hawk council was charge a ridiculous amount of money just to have a festival and a Powwow. If Latino heritage month is really a month to celebrate our culture then Columbus Day needs to be changed to Indigenous people’s day as a show of respect and appreciation towards these magnificent cultures that have gone through too much. To celebrate our culture is to celebrate theirs as well, if not then why celebrate it at all.