7 WAYS TO CELEBRATE HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH
Updated: Sep 12, 2021
Get fresh ideas for National Hispanic Heritage Month, which is just around the corner. From September 15th to October 15th Hispanics have more of a reason to celebrate their culture. As a Mexican-American I look forward to this time where I can learn about my culture and share it with others. Read below about how you can celebrate this year and remember to show cultural appreciation and avoid cultural appropriation.
01 Participate in Oral History
Last year during Hispanic Heritage month I was able to interview my 90 year old grandfather, and if there's one thing you do off this list I recommend this one the most. Asking relatives about historical events they lived through and their own experiences growing up can help strengthen your connection to your heritage. Our generation is so quick to seek Google for information but hearing someone's own personal experience is arguably more impactful.
02 Support Hispanic Owned Businesses
Hispanics are proving to be a demographic that marketers can not ignore since our spending power has risen significantly over the years. According to Entrepreneur, our purchasing power is expected to reach $1.9 trillion by 2023. As a consumer it's always important to remember that money is power. So where you choose to shop, dine, get entertainment from and even your oil changed matters. Supporting a Hispanic owned business is not only an investment in the Hispanic market but it also contributes to an "American Dream". I try to prioritize local businesses and encourage you to do the same but if you enjoy online shopping checkout Shop Latinx which is a marketplace for Latinx brands.
03 Cook an Authentic Meal
You can't have a good celebration with out good food. You can certainly get food from your favorite local spot but there's nothing like making a traditional home cooked meal. Being passed down a family recipe and mastering it overtime should be recognized as an achievement. If you're still a beginner in the kitchen try following a recipe from Youtube or a cookbook. I just ordered Decolonize your Diet and will be making recipes throughout the month. Make sure to make it a party and get everyone involved in the cooking.
04 Support National Campaigns
Representation matters so when national organizations and corporations make a respectable effort of inclusion, we have to participate in order to encourage more. Target for example has launched their first Latino Heritage Month Collection with a campaign called Más Que. It features a curated selection from Latin creatives and entrepreneurs. If you're looking for something entertaining, The Hispanic Heritage Foundation will be hosting the 34th Hispanic Heritage Awards on October 8th which you can watch on PBS. It's such a unique and inspiring award show as it honors people who have contributed to the Latinx culture. As someone who loves award shows, I'll definitely be tuning in!
05 Share your Story
Before you think this one isn't for you; hear me out. Your story is important. Although many of our stories may be similar at the end of the day each story is different because we are all different. There are many forms of communicating your story such as a post on social media, a poem you write, or an art piece you make. Regardless of how many people see it, the act of providing your experience as a part of the Hispanic ethnicity is empowering for you and those that interact with it.
06 Expand your Knowledge
The importance of knowing the history of your heritage is very significant, perhaps now more than ever. Use this time to learn about the true history of your culture that the American school system may have failed to teach you. There is an abundance of resources available to us today; whether you choose to read a book, watch a documentary or listen to a podcast. If that doesn't sound exciting to you, I suggest starting with a topic that interests you. Such as a specific time period, invention, sports team or musical genre. If you are more of a visual learner consider visiting an art museum that is spotlighting a Hispanic artist. Today, many museums offer convenient virtual tours for free such as Museo Frida Kahlo.
07 Celebrate your Heritage
To conclude this list I encourage you to host a festivity of your own. You can combine ideas from this list and make it a special time by playing your favorite Spanish songs, listening to folk legends, dressing in your countries traditional attire and of course making your favorite authentic meal. On September 15th my family and I get together to watch "El Grito" which takes place in Mexico City with the President marking the start of the Independence day celebrations. Making an effort to partake in traditions is how we preserve our culture and pass it down to future generations. After all, our heritage is something that should be honored and celebrated.