LatinaLista — For a lot of families, Thanksgiving and Christmas are the two times a year when “family traditions” are observed.
Whether it be the same menu that is repeated every Thanksgiving Day and Christmas or how and when Christmas gifts are opened or even the yearly ritual of eating Thanskgiving dessert clustered around the television set watching football, this seems to be the time when “American tradition” can really be seen practiced in homes across the country.
Yet, after the holidays, on a national scale, “American tradition” seems to be put away until the next year.
Unlike in the Latino culture where so much tradition exists on an almost daily basis that, to most of us, other cultures seem almost dull – even American culture.
Yet, upholding the cultural traditions handed down by our grandparents, seems to many outside the Latino community to be “un-American” or unpatriotic – and that is hardly the case.
The restrictive mindset that something must be “all or nothing” just does not apply when people have the experience of two or more cultures.
We learn to integrate the two to form our next set of family traditions.
Mariachis take to the streets of the Boyle Heights neighborhood in East Los Angeles to celebrate the area’s patron saint’s day.
It is because Latino cultural traditions are so strong and intertwined in our family histories that they are not put away to be brought out at only certain times of the year.
If today we are to be thankful for anything, it’s the fact that Latinos can still hold on to these traditions and work them seamlessly into our daily lives.
We are who we are â€” and we are all richer for it.