Hispanic Heritage Month at EHHS: To Celebrate or Not to Celebrate?
Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration from September 15th to October 15th where all cultures commemorate the Hispanic community's hard work, dedication, and influence in the United States. Many cities have festivals, exhibitions, and parades to pay tribute to the event that runs throughout those months.
At EHHS some teachers like to plan activities with their classes and others take time to raise awareness about Hispanic Heritage Month. “I went over the dates and explained to my students why it runs throughout the months of September all the way to October. It is because most Hispanic countries became independent around these months,” Mrs. Marsico, Spanish teacher claims. Meanwhile, some other teachers feel like it should be celebrated all year long. “I do activities throughout the whole year not only throughout the time frame of Hispanic Heritage Month because the EH community has been greatly impacted by the Hispanic Community, the town has positively improved ever since the Hispanic influence started expanding,” Mr. Michael Hickey, MSL/ESL teacher reveals.
Immigrating to another country is not easy. The aspects of adapting to another language, rules, laws, way of living, mindset, and difference of cultures might affect someone's experience. We have to remember that people need to also stay true to their heritage and not forget their identity. Some Hispanic students revealed that they didn’t feel the need to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month because they now live in America. Other students stated that celebrating these kinds of festivities is important because it is part of their identity and it allows them to recognize the influence of their culture. It makes them feel closer to their heritage and the people and things they learned from and left behind looking for a better future. Comet reporter Willow Torres dives deeper into the definition of minority and cultural identity.
Historically, according to the Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute from Columbia, College of Arts and Sciences, this celebration only lasted a week when it was first established in June of 1968 by California Congressman George E. Brown. Towards the end of the initial civil rights movement of the 1960s, there was a growing movement to recognize the contributions of minority populations in the USA, that’s when the festivity started expanding around the nation.