Sept. 15 marked the beginning of Hispanic Heritage month, which runs until October 15. Although so many years of tradition, culture, and achievement definitely cannot be packed into just 30 days, it is still an opportunity to be intentional about experiencing and enjoying Hispanic culture.
To kick things off, Sigma Lambda Gamma, in conjunction with the Hispanic Heritage month committee, hosted “Miscultured” – a discussion on Latin American history, how race and ethnicity are defined in Latin American, and what it means to be Latinx.
“In academia, there’s been a push to move towards using the term Latinx,” said Camila Rodriguez-Rojas, a member of the sorority. “Latinx is a gender-neutral term to refer to people of Latin American descent because, you know, there are transgender people, gender fluid people, and people that just don’t fit the gender binary. Unfortunately, the Spanish language doesn’t allow a lot of opportunities to express that.”
This was not an ordinary history lesson by any means, she said. This was an event meant to provoke thought and spark conversation.
“Latinx, Latin American, and Hispanic are all European constructs; they don’t mean anything,” Rodriguez-Rojas said. “‘Latin America’ had thousands of different names before colonization. How can we really define this piece of land by European constructs?”
In case you missed this event, here are six other ways to celebrate:
Viernes Culturales, September 28
Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays, are held every month in the heart of Little Havana and offer nights bursting with fun and culture. Attendees can enjoy live music, new restaurants, museums, galleries, and more
Viernes Culturales is held from 7 p.m. till 11 p.m. on the last Friday of every month on Calle Ocho, between 13th and 17th Avenues.
SalsaCraze is one of the largest student organizations at UM. Membership is open to everyone, and with their goal to teach people of all ages and skill levels how to dance salsa, this is the perfect way to truly get immersed in Hispanic culture.
SalsaCraze meets twice this month– Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and Oct. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the Storm Surge Room in the UC.
“For a busy college student like me, my connection to my heritage and culture is best accessed through food, whether it’s my mom bringing me something from home or just enjoying a cup of coffee from Vicky’s,” said UM student David Cline. For a slice of Cuba on the go, stop by Vicky Café in the food court and grab a pastelito and some Cuban coffee.
Vicky Café is located in the food court and is open Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., as well as on Tuesdays and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
UM Cuban Heritage collection
The University of Miami Cuban Heritage Collection preserves and displays a wide array of artifacts which are linked to Cuba and the Cuban diaspora. It is a resource that has grown into one of the largest collections of Cuban artifacts outside the island itself. Stop by to learn about Cuban history and the impact of Cuban-American communities.
The Cuban Heritage collection is located on the second floor of the Richter Library and is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Caribbean Students’ Association dance workshop
The Caribbean Students’ Association is hosting a dance workshop at the beginning of October for students who want to experience Caribbean culture first hand.
The event will take place at 7:45 p.m. Oct. 3 in Multipurpose Room C, located in the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center.
Hispanic Heritage Month closing ceremonies
On Oct. 11, UM will host closing ceremonies to wrap up the month of fun, vibrancy, and culture. Be on the lookout for updates and more information; closing ceremonies are currently scheduled to take place at 6:30 p.m.