‘Barriga llena, corazón contento,’ a full belly and a happy heart: diffusing culture and diverging h
Published: Monday, October 1, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 1, 2012 16:10
In the little time I have spent so far in Fargo, I have made more Spanish and Latin-speaking friends than any other. I am not surprised, because my culture and theirs share the common “love of food and color.”
If there were one example I could quote about unity in diversity, it would be about the Hispanic people. With the ongoing Hispanic Heritage Month, it was natural to me to be writing about the diffusion of Spanish culture in American society.
Critics can keep pointing out the segregation and discrimination meted out to the Hispanic community in America for a long time, and I will keep disagreeing. My “hispánico amigos” don’t agree with them either. Everyone that I meet from the Spanish community always talk about how they have been embraced with open arms in America.
Here at NDSU, the Hispanic community is growing at a steady pace and the second largest spoken language of the world will soon be heard around the campus more often. And why shouldn’t it be? It sounds very beautiful and has vivid colorful expressions that go with it.
Vice President Evie Myers of Equity, Diversity and Global Outreach (EDGO) has been working with Hispanic students for a long time now, and she is amazed how the community has grown to be so integral part of America.
When asked about contribution of Hispanic culture to U.S. culture, she says, “Music, language and food- we have derived a lot form them.”
She adds that she loves the “Mexican red beans and rice, but I also love chicken and tacos.”
Mariana Lopez from Mexico, who is a senior majoring in computer science at NDSU, feels that Spanish culture has blended with U.S. culture faster and better than most others. The reasons she mentions this is because food is an important aspect to the Mexicans (and other Hispanic cultures), and it is “not hard to find tacos or burritos or white corn tortillas, even in a small town like Fargo.”
It is wonderful to notice how her eyes light up when she is talking about the different Mexican foods available here, like the “Flan” or “Chilaquiles.”
Talking about the differences between Spanish society and the United States exchange student Alberto Gutiérrez said, “In Spain people always have time for a cup of coffee or a walk with a friend. But in America, life is so busy.” He says that he likes how Americans are so open in displaying their patriotism. He said, “this is not common in Spain.”
Talking about how American culture binds all the Spanish speaking community, Ivonne Rodriguez, a freshman from Peru says, “Back home we often notice differences between the Incas and the Mayan cultures, but here it’s the opposite. We try to find out similarities between all Hispanic students. It is what binds us together.”
The Hispanics are very close to their families and their culture. It is not uncommon to see that most people from these origins are so attached to their roots that they have adapted to the modern world, but brought forward their Spanish values.
The best part about Hispanic culture is that there is utmost importance for honor and truth in their families and societies. It is something they are brought up to uphold throughout their lives. One important aspect of Hispanic culture, whether from Spain, Central America or South America, is the idea of beauty, which is wonderful. Latin people believe in preserving natural beauty in themselves and their surroundings. With all said and done, one cannot forget that Hispanics have been through a lot of hard times, but the reason they have come up is because of the undying tireless efforts.
The Spanish community symbolizes hard work as an important value. That is one of the abstract aspects of Hispanic culture that is fast diffusing in American society, and it is what keeps the United States moving ahead. It will be not long until the two cultures blend enough to be one.