El Día de la Raza Or Columbus Day

El Día de la Raza Is Not Columbus Day by  Rudy Girón

In Guatemala, October 12 is a national holiday known as Día de la Raza or Day of the Race. October 12 is celebrated as Columbus Day in the United States, as Día de la Raza in many countries in the Americas, as Discovery Day in the Bahamas, as Día de la Hispanidad and Fiesta Nacional in Spain and as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Uruguay. These holidays have been celebrated unofficially since the late 18th century, and officially in various countries since the early 20th century.

So, once you know that in Guatemala the October 12 holiday is officially known as Día de la Raza and that in Spain is known as Día de la Hispanidad I found a little ironic that Prensa Libre published a note with the following title: Marchas y carreteras bloqueadas en el Día de la Hispanidad since the news report is about manifestations in Guatemala. Certainly editors in Prensa Libre have a monkey on their back, which is just a reflection of the Guatemalan idiosyncrasies and low self-esteem. For a country with an official indigenous or native population of 60% or more and unofficially close to 90% most Guatemalans will tell you that their grandparents were pure 100% Spaniards. Another characteristic, or let’s call it a feature, of Guatemalans is how much emphasis is put on last names; like if by magic a Spanish-sounding last name could erase our mix ancestry.

All this talk about España and Spanish reminded me about a recent study entitled “El español en la red” (Spanish on the Internet) which found that the Spanish language is the third most often used language on the interwebs, after English and Chinese. So if you want to understand 46% of what’s available on the Internet or at least comprehend the song below, you must learn Spanish. That’s right, October 12 should be a reminder that soon enough Spanish will the official language of all the countries in the American continent; and by American continent, I don’t mean the U.S., but all the countries from Canada to Argentina. 😉

To finish this entry with a smile on our face, I would like to share with you the humoresque piece Valona de la conquista by Botellita de Jeréz, a Mexican rock band, formed in Mexico City in 1982. Their music is a fusion of rock, cumbia, and Mexican traditional music like mariachi and son, creating the genre called guacarrock (rock and guacamole). If you want to know more about Botellita de Jeréz, follow the white rabbit to Wikipedia. Enjoy!

© 2010 – 2020, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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