Latino festival draws multicultural crowd

David Do plays the guitar at the Hispanic culture festival in the Student Center in Lexington, Ky., on Thursday, October 4, 2012. Photo by Jenrette Romberg | Staff

By Jennifer Abreu
jabreu@kykernel.com

An event Thursday evening featured a salsa dancing stage, a history board game, Brazilian music performance and Loteria, a Mexican board game.

People crowded the Small Ballroom in the Student Center to participate in UK’s first Hispanic/Latino Heritage Month Campus Celebration.

Carlos Marin, assistant dean for community and cultural engagement, estimated more than 120 attended.

The H/LHM Core Planning Team had initially expected 70 people and set up for 90, Marin said.

Marin said the celebration to honor Latin heritage month was to connect Latinos at UK to each other and also to the campus community.

“We not only wanted to respond to the needs of Latino students, staff and faculty on campus, we also wanted to find out ways to be proactive, to give back to the university,” Marin said.

Marin was surprised at the diversity in attendance and said the event received a “multicultural response.”

Kevin Malone, a geology sophomore, appreciated UK’s initiative.

“I think this is a culture that is underrepresented here because Latin America is just below us,” he said.

Malone, who spent a year in Spain, also made a suggestion.

“I wish they had incorporated the more modern culture and music, representing what’s going on in Latin America right now, rather than the more traditional,” he said, “but overall, I enjoyed it.”

A visitor from Ecuador, Dr. Luis Alberto Tuaza, is working on his postdoctoral at UK and also attended the event.

Tuaza said he met people from Colombia, Peru, Mexico and France and said that sharing culture is important.

“Here in the U.S. there is room for sharing, and that’s when life is more enjoyable, when we can share and be united,” he said.

Tuaza is staying for a month in the U.S. and is speaking at the Global Mountain Region Conference on Oct. 26 hosted by the UK Appalachian Center and Appalachian Studies Program.

Sneha Thapa, in her first year of graduate school in anthropology, was giving salsa lessons throughout the celebration.

Thapa learned how to salsa in Nepal, where she is from, and said she danced with about 10 people, including “a little girl, and she was so cute,” she said.

“I learned a lot about people,” she said, “I met people from Brazil, Mexico, Puerto Rico.”

The Latino heritage month celebration on campus wraps up Oct. 12 with the Politics of Latin American Migration in Student Center Room 230 from 2 to 3 p.m.

Professor David Cook-Martin from Grinnell College and professor Chirstian Zlolniski from the University of Texas will be speaking to discuss migration policies in the U.S. and Latin America.

Katelyn Mason says:

I’m not really sure you really understand that article. I think people were quite aware Columbus wasn’t the first to discover the Americas. The Vikings came here before him, which is pretty common knowledge. Now, you seemed to want to imply that White Americans were the first true settlers? Just because a person steps foot on a land, does not mean he/she settled there. Also, you seem to forget that ALL HUMANS started in Europe/Asia/Africa and walked over here on Bering Strait.

All the article says is that a group on primitive people from France came to America and settled there 15,000 year ago. Please explain to me how this changes anything? That culture was separated from the Europeans soon after and began a new culture. Their skin adapted to the new, harsh environment, and their features became less varied due to a lack of partner options. Eventually, they became the Native Americans.

So, please tell me how I am anti-white. Chances are far more certain that I am racist against minority groups because I am not a part of them. It’s a fact I won’t deny as a human raised in a culture filled with people like you. I was brain-washed to be racist, but I actively seek to not be. You, on the other hand, seem to have embraced it and have convinced yourself in your own stupidity that there is no way you are wrong. You have managed to create a straw man that you can use to argue your own ignorance, and you scramble to find articles that articulate history that has changed none of the facts I listed. If you love your white America so much, why not speak French like the first whites who apparently settled here? You have just as much as a right to be here and be ignorant as these people have to be here and encourage multiculturalism. In the end I guess we just have to deal with each other. :)

James Wilson says:

Katelyn, you might want to read this.

Stone-age Europeans ‘were the first to set foot on North America’
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/9110838/Stone-age-Europeans-were-the-first-to-set-foot-on-North-America.html

How does it feel being an anti-white racist?

Katelyn Mason says:

Yes. Let us go back to our roots and kick out all the whites so the Native Americans can have their country back, sir. You are an idiot if I ever saw one. The United States has people from every country within it’s borders. Despite many racist laws about who can enter (mostly Western European whites), we do often like to refer to ourself as THE FREAKING MELTING POT. White people SETTLED here just as did every other ethnicity or race.

Also, Your use of white completely ignores heritage. Yes, most of us are assimilated Americans (white and any other color), but we aren’t just “white”. We are Yugoslavian, German, French, Irish, South African even. It is you who are racist. Instead of seeing everyone as people with a background, you are limiting it to all races and white people, which it isn’t. I am as different to a German as I am to a Mexican.

Multiculturalism is appreciating your roots. Something us white people need to learn to do.

Gar5 says:

No one says that a Black country needs multiCULTuralism.

No one says that an Asian country needs multiCULTuralism.

Yet in ALL & ONLY White countries, anti-Whites posing as “anti-racists” demand those countries stop being White and become “multicultural”. This is genocide – the targeted destruction of a group.

MultiCULTuralism is a codeword for White genocide and anti-racist is a codeword for anti-White.