What it really means to be Hispanic

Tell me honestly… Who has never enjoyed a good tacos or guacamole? Or heard about the planetary successful telenovela “Jane The Virgin”? Or bought a piñata for a birthday? Quite frankly sometimes, I think that I myself have a little something of Hispanic or Latino in me… But what does that really mean?

First things first, is being Latino the same thing as being Hispanic? Different sides of the same coin? From what I understand, Hispanic is an ethnicity and regroups all people from Spanish-speaking countries such as Spain (Europe) and Mexico (Latin America). On the other hand Latino refers to geography and is defined by people who are from Latin America. So all Hispanics are not Latinos. And all Latinos are not Hispanics. So I guess I am more Hispanic than Latino 😅.

So now that we have cleared that, what DOES it mean to be Hispanic? Is it just a question of speaking Spanish ? Gosh no! It means much more and can be resumed with the 5 Fs which I’m sure you can guess without my help…

I am pretty sure you thought about: Family, Fiesta, Faith, Food and Football… Maybe not in that order. I agree with you, I thought about Food first too! 😁.

La “Familia” (family) 👪 goes beyond parents and siblings; it means maintaining a strong relationship that binds people based on honor, good manners and respect. It’s not just a question of blood. But a matter of the heart.

Fiestas or celebrations 💃, and to many are regarded as the best way to become immersed in the culture of the Hispanic community. Some of the major celebrations will included el Día de Muertos , Las Fallas (Spain) without forgetting the fiesta de quinceañera which corresponds to a debutant ball for girls when they turn 15.

Furthermore, most of these celebrations are of religious origin: el Día de los Reyes Magos (Epiphany),  las fiestas patronales de San Salvador or Las Posadas (Mexico and Central America) which commemorates Mary and Joseph’s journey to Bethlehem as they searche dfor a place to stay. Catholicism has been present in the Iberian Peninsula since Roman times. A faith they have kept since it was introduced in Spain and brought to the new world. Religion is therefore regarded as a key part of their culture.

Like many ethnicities, the food and flavors of Hispanic cultures are something people are proud to share with others and use as a way to connect with their family history. When we think about Hispanic foods certain dishes automatically come to mind: tacos, enchiladas, burritos or even churros for the sweet touch. But Hispanic cuisine et wide and varied, each country having it’s own national dish. Ropas Vieja (Cuba) consists of shredded meat (e.g. beef), vegetables and a delicious tomato sauce. Ceviche de Camorones (Ecuador) This recipe is made using the traditional flavors of thinly sliced red onion, lime juice and fresh cilantro to season the shrimp which is served with a side of plantain chips or popcorn.

Last but not least: Fútbol (football), or soccer, is a passion, if not a religion, in the Hispanic community. It is the equivalent of American Football for Americans. 84% of Hispanics follow the sport compared to 47% of non-Hispanics. In fact, the simple act of enjoying sports, activates several other cultural touchpoints for Hispanics. It’s an excuse to gather with friends and family around food and drink, to celebrate and mos importantly to instill a sense of pride in the generations to come.

Diego Maradona, international footbal player from Argentina nicknamed “El Pibe de Oro” or “The Golden Boy.”

Now that I have a better understanding of the 5 Fs , the basis of the Hispanic culture… I may just be Hispanic after all! 😂 Well maybe if you just take away the Football part 😅 though I do love sports. Family, Celebrations, Food, believing in something greater than thyself and practising a sport… don’t we all share the same standards? Aren’t we all Hispanics after all?

By the way, how much do you think you know about Mexican food? Test your knowledge on the Facebook page. Good Luck! And don’t forget to like the post!

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