We are at the end of Hispanic Heritage month. It started on Sept 15th and ended yesterday, October 15th. This observation started as just a week of acknowledgement in 1968 by Lyndon Johnson. In 1988 it was expanded to 30 days by Ronald Reagan. During this month we’re paying tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have influenced and enriched our nation and society.
How awesome is that!?
And to think, still at 30 years later, we’ve experienced such a setback from feeling accepted in this country, even if we are citizens. The celebration or acknowledgement of Hispanic/Latino history is huge, because it’s a way for people who aren’t Hispanic to get a glimpse of the historical impact that Latin American countries have had on the US. It’s so easy to stay comfortably in your own little towns hanging out with the same groups of people that are similar to you, while being ignorant of the beauty of other countries and cultures, especially the ones that border your own and have made a direct impact on your own personal freedoms.
Often I see people who might enjoy the culture and foods of different countries turn around and spew hatred toward the same culture that brought the foods they love to this country.
While having specific months to honor different groups of people, (Hispanic Heritage month in Sept/Oct, Black History month in February, Asian History month in May, and American Indian month in November) is a great thing where we can learn about different histories and cultures, I think of when Americans as a whole will show more appreciation, compassion and understanding for each other.
It starts somewhere. It starts with you, and me; teaching our kids how to love differences, and to celebrate different cultures.