Hispanic Heritage Month; Live Boldly and Proud
By Ciel Mitrovich
2021's Hispanic Heritage Month is nearly finished. Even though it is coming to an end, let us take a moment to remember this year's theme. The theme for this year was ‘Esperanza’, which means "to celebrate". Just because the month is almost over, doesn't mean the celebration of our roots has to be!
Hispanic Heritage Month was officially created in 1989. It is celebrated from the 15th of September until the 15th of October. September 15th is a day of independence for many Latin countries. It is celebrated to honor the contributions of Hispanic and Latinx people to the United States. Throughout the month, people all over the country celebrate by using Latin recipes, learning about the many cultures, donating to organizations, and so on. It is all about celebrating who you are and living your life, boldly and proud.
There are many Latinx people who have done this, who have lived a life full of creativity with pride in their culture. Their heritage is beautifully expressed through their art, music, writing, etc. However, there are few as notable or as well known as the singer Selena Quintanilla. With her amazing voice and classy fashion sense, the Mexican-American singer will forever be in our history and hearts. Selena introduced a new sound of music into the American mainstream called Tejano. This new style featured some of the first-ever combinations of Spanish and English lyrics. Her music allowed her culture and heritage a stage to be celebrated, and gave new life to Hispanic music across the globe! And even though Selena’s life was tragically cut short, she is viewed as a hero and a legend to many, as she was a role model for embracing one’s heritage.
Another bold Latina is the infamous painter Frida Kahlo. Her self-portraits are world-famous, as they are extremely personal and unique. They deal with complex topics like one’s identity and truthfulness to themselves. Her portraits also break societal and gender norms. Many of the paintings also portray her strong connection to her heritage and roots. Even in the face of society’s oppression and ideals, Frida Kahlo did not change her way of life. Instead, she featured her culture through her fashion and style, proudly wearing her famous braided crown. Frida Kahlo has since become a feminist and Hispanic icon throughout the world, and she continues to inspire.
So, for the rest of this month, and every day after that, let’s live as these women did. They had pride in their roots, and a loving acceptance of their heritage. Let’s live boldly and colorfully, taking comfort in where we came from. Let’s let our heritage build our confidence, and let’s celebrate and cherish it every day!