Three Reasons We Are Obsessed with Hispanic Heritage Month
Why You Should Be Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Not Cinco de Mayo
In tradition, language, food, and people. They are all unique and different, but simultaneously very similar. What happens to add even more flavor to the salsa is that eight countries all happen to celebrate their independence the month of September. Hence, the observance of Hispanic Heritage Month (which runs from September 15 – October 15) and here are three reasons why we can’t help but be obsessed with it.
1. An Epic Celebration: Imagine eight of your closest friends all celebrating their birthdays within a week of each other. Well, that is sort of what Hispanic Heritage Month is, one big, epic celebration of independence. The start of Hispanic Heritage Month which falls on September 15th marks the Independence Day of five Hispanic countries; Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico achieved independence on September 16th, Chile on the 18th and Belize on the 21st. The observance of Hispanic Heritage started in the U.S. as a week in 1968 and was expanded to a month in 1988. If that isn’t one big fiesta, we don’t know what is.
2. Viva la Cultura: Over one-fifth of the U.S. population is Hispanic, that is the reality. The United States is one big melting pot of cultures, that’s a fact and the influence of Hispanic people on American culture has been tremendous. From food, art, language to traditions, the impact is growing and is felt in almost every corner of the country. People from Hispanic countries are deep-rooted in their traditions both cultural and ones that come from their families. Their sense of community and brotherhood is a driver for their daily lives. It is no coincidence that we are seeing an increase of influence from these countries. Take for example the award-winning Pixar movie Coco. This isn’t just a mainstream movie about sugar skulls, bright colors and music, this movie tackles a tradition that is hundreds of years old. A tradition that is near and dear to the people of Mexico that ties them to their ancestors, history, and traditions. Another fun fact – other Hispanic and even non-Hispanic countries hold similar observances.
3. The Impact: Now that we have laid all the groundwork let’s talk about impact and numbers. While this month pays tribute to the generations of Hispanic Americans who have impacted, influenced and enriched the U.S., it is important to note that it is a growing population and it’s growing fast. This is an important acknowledgment because this isn’t something that is slowing down or changing anytime soon. It is imperative for companies, organizations and the populace as a whole, to begin to embrace this. In Arizona alone, Hispanic immigrants hold over $7Billion in spending power. To not address, embrace and include this demographic is detrimental to the economy and community development.
Take this month to inform yourself, embrace and adopt a little bit of the Hispanic culture. Small things like knowing that Cinco de Mayo is not Mexican Independence Day and in Mexico, that day is not really celebrated is important. Imagine if Mexico over hyped Memorial Day and used it as an inaccurate day to celebrate the U.S.’ independence – doesn’t sound great, does it? Just as everyone loves the food, culture, countries, and traditions these countries bring, it is important, above all, to love and embrace those who make those things happen – the people.