Happy Hispanic, Latino, Latinx Month!
So, who’s invited to celebrate? Well, Hispanic refers to anyone who traces their lineage to a Spanish language or cultural heritage, including those of us Mestizos of mixed blood (indigenous, Afro-Caribbean and Spanish). And Latino refers to anyone from a Latin-American country or a Latin-based language. That includes Americans of Latin ancestry, North-American Latins (Mexicans), Central and South-Americans, Iberian Peninsulars (Spanish and Portuguese), Italians, French, Brazilians and even Romanians. Sooo, a whole bunch of us! And Latinx refers to any gender in these groups; male, female, non-binary, LGBTQ+.
Need more of a definition? Hispanics tend to have the highest longevity in the US (due to our propensity to socialize, our pre-Colombian diet and our faith). We also tend to be the happiest of any ethnic group in the US. We are the least likely to place our elderly parents in senior homes and the most likely to have multigenerational households. If you are healthy, happy, family oriented, or enjoy your extended family then you qualify as a Hispanic.
Since our food defines us, if you enjoy a good mole, a thick, spicy, peanuty sauce with chicken (sort of like a good Indian masala, butter chicken or a Thai curry) or if you like a savory pork or beef, peppery, oniony, guisado (reminiscent of a Filipino adobo) or even a tasty torta (which is no different than a Vietnamese Banh Mi), then you qualify. If you have ever tasted tripas (chitlins) or carnitas (Chinese char siu), then you also qualify.
So Happy Hispanic Heritage Month. If you speak Spanish, or not, if you come from a Latin country or not, if you are happy, if you love your family, if you eat OUR food, if you want a long life, regardless of gender, then you are welcome to celebrate with us!
By Gerardo Lopez, MUSD Child Development Centers Coordinator / Historian of Hispanic Heritage