United States: Let’s celebrate the month of the Hispanic Heritage

Hispanic Heritage Month will be celebrated with Chutzpah & Salsa, a play about being Latino and Jewish in the US

United States: Let's celebrate the month of the Hispanic Heritage

From September 15 to October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated in the United States. This is a date that, according to the artistic director of Jewish Women's Theater (JWT), Ronda Spinak, "is a time to celebrate the legacy and culture of all those who came to the United States from Latin American countries and enriched the US".

Leer en español: Estados Unidos: Así se celebra el mes de la Herencia Hispánica

For this reason, during a whole month, different activities and artistic presentations will be held. They seek to exalt the more than 50 million Hispanics and Latinos who were born or immigrated to the North American country. What many do not know is that, as she explains in a press release, this "immigration includes 200,000 Latino Jews who now live in the United States."

Chutzpah & Salsa: a play about immigration, identity, and memory

This is how Chutzpah & Salsa is born, a Latin Jewish play that is being mounted by Spinak and whose staging will be at The Braid Theater in Santa Monica, California. From October 11 to 14, Jewish Women's Theater brings us a collection of twelve stories about Latino Jewish immigrants who come to the land of dreams and freedom, written by Latinos.

These are "the stories of immigrants who came here speaking in Spanish, feeling they did not belong, but willing and eager to make their way in this land of unlimited promise", she declares. Thus, these are stories that narrate both the good and the bad of immigration, from the point of view of the Latino.

Read also: Let's celebrate! 100 years with the National School of Fine Arts of Peru

According to the same statement, these stories are "personal and mostly true" stories. The interesting thing is that, beyond talking about immigration, they also explore different topics such as memory and identity. An example of the latter is the story of the Mexican author Ivonne Saed entitled Yes, I Am, who writes about how she must constantly explain that she is Mexican, even if she does not look "Mexican".

There are also stories like that of the Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist, Sonia Nazario, who wrote The Value of One, a very personal proposal about a member of her family during Argentina's war.

Or the Cuban-American author of the MacArthur Prize, Ruth Behar, who brings us a nostalgic story about her visit to her native country, entitled In the Absence of Love. Both are staged that also explore the fragile theme of memory and emotions.

Here you can find more information about the Chutzpah & Salsa program, the writers, and actors.

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage through art

Beyond Chutzpah & Salsa, you will also have the opportunity to attend an art exhibition entitled "Latin American Artists – Mixography". This is an exhibition that brings us The Gallery @TheBraid, in which "five Latin Jewish artists will be presented: Arnold Belkin, Fanny Rabel, Gunther Gerzso, Mathias Goeritz, and Pedro Friedeberg".

According to the same statement of Jewish Women's Theater, here you can find different types of artistic manifestations, from sculptures and paintings to multidimensional relief prints of murals and much more. This is an art exhibition with which Jewish Women's Theater also seeks to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month.

If you want to know more about the shows and events that Jewish Women's Theater brings us, you can check on their website or click here

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Being Latino and immigrant in the Trump era

In an article published by The Guardian, Tina Vásquez explains that for her to live as a Latina in the Donald Trump era is to experience a new level of racism. According to her, "as long as Trump has a platform and a microphone, people of color will be put in danger, which can take the form of racist interactions I'm experiencing, or violence."

In an NPR podcast titled Being Latino and Southern in the Trump Era, one of the sources talks about how things have changed since Trump took over the White House. "You have the permission to be able to discriminate or express that you do not like certain foreigners", she said.

In recent years, Trump has been involved in several scandals, even before being the president, for his xenophobic and racist comments against Latinos. In 2015, for example, the president was in the eye of the hurricane for accusing Mexico of sending drugs, crime, and rapists to the United States.

The announcement of the closure of DACA, a migration policy created in the Obama administration that protected thousands of dreamers and protected them from being deported, also caused a stir in the Latino community. According to Los Angeles Times, this announcement was made hours after giving a speech at an event to commemorate Hispanic Heritage Month in 2017.

Now, on September 17 of this year, Donald Trump again gave a speech to celebrate this important date that seeks to exalt the Hispanic and Latino heritage and culture in the country. "Hispanic Americans embody American values: devotion to faith and family, commitment to hard work, business and service to the community, and fierce patriotic pride", Donald Trump said from the White House.

He also spoke about how Hispanic Americans enrich and inspire the country in many ways, their contributions to the US economy and the protection of its inhabitants, in reference to Latinos who serve in the military. At the end, Trump exalted again this community and recalled that "the United States is home to people of many origins, with many different stories and that come from all walks of life."


LatinAmerican Post | Diana Rojas Leal
Translated from "Estados Unidos: Así se celebra el mes de la Herencia Hispánica"

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