Category Archives: celebration
While shopping at “Wally World” – I spotted a display of really pretty, shiny, unique-looking piñatas, so of course I wanted to check them out. The tag said they’re “Authentic Mexican Piñatas” made by Aztec Imports, Inc. in El Paso, Texas.
This style of piñata was called “jumbo satellite” according to the tag.
My older son, (who is holding the piñata up for me in the photo), peeked inside, (probably looking for candy), and gasped.
Soup? In the piñata? What in the world could he be talking about? At our house “sopita” is the word we use to refer to Ramen Noodles so I had no clue what he could be seeing until I peeked into the piñata myself.
Hola! Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments! English translation in italics!
Aquí está mi esposo, Carlos, graduando de secundaria en El Salvador, con su diploma en mano. (1995)
Here is my husband, Carlos, graduating from high school in El Salvador, with his diploma in hand. (1995)
Y aquí está Carlos anoche con su certificado de Asistente Dental. Recibió un B+ en su examen final.
And here is Carlos last night with his Dental Assisting certificate. He received a B+ on the final exam.
¿Mencioné que él vino a Los Estados Unidos hablando casi nada de inglés? Qué orgullo para sus hijos americanos – y ahora ellos no tienen excusas de no hacer su mejor en la escuela. Si su papá puede hacerlo, ellos pueden hacerlo también.
Did I mention that he came to the United States speaking almost no English? How proud his American children are – and now they have no excuses not to do their best in school. If their Daddy can do it, they can do it, too.
I hope everyone celebrated National Pupusa Day along with El Salvador. We did!
I ordered una de loroco, una de queso y una revuelta … (con una “ESprite” por tomar.)
Earlier in the day when we told the boys we would be eating pupusas for dinner because it was National Pupusa Day, our oldest son asked, “What exactly do they do on Pupusa Day in El Salvador?”
Before I could answer, our younger son piped up, rolling his eyes at his big brother’s ignorance, “On Pupusa Day they worship pupusas!”
Don’t worry – I straightened our cipote out after having a good laugh.
¡Feliz Día de la Pupusa, guanacos!
Links to check out:
Feliz Día Nacional de la Pupusa! (Latinaish.com Post from 2010)
As most of you know, we’re trying to raise our boys to be English/Spanish bilingual. This is not an easy task for anyone, but even more challenging for me for a number of reasons.
#1. I’m not a native Spanish speaker and I still make mistakes.
#2. My husband, Carlos, only recently got “on board” with speaking Spanish to the kids. (He still isn’t consistent.)
#3. I wasn’t confident enough in my Spanish to speak it much to the boys when they were babies, so many lost opportunities there.
#4. We are not able to send the boys to a dual immersion school and we can’t afford to visit El Salvador often enough.
#5. We do not live in a community with a large Spanish-speaking population, nor are we surrounded by Spanish-speaking family.
Even with the odds stacked against us, I’ve been determined to raise the boys bilingual and I try to speak in Spanish to them as much as possible. Now, at ages 13 and 10, they comprehend spoken Spanish almost fluently, they speak conversationally, (though not on grade level with fluent speakers), and they can both read and write at a basic level.
I think this is a pretty common result of raising children bilingually — that they excel at comprehending spoken Spanish but aren’t quite fluent in other areas. I haven’t given up on them being 100% fluent, but that’s where we’re at right now.
While we were at the National Aquarium in Baltimore last weekend, the boys learned all kinds of ocean vocabulary. (Although we had to Google the word for “jellyfish” [medusa] – since neither Carlos or I could remember it.)
At one point while I was taking video of the sharks, my 10 year old son started peppering me with questions about when family would be getting together for his birthday. (His birthday had already passed and we had already celebrated, but he wanted another party.)
I later realized that my “ruined” video of the sharks, (because of all the talking), was actually something interesting. On the video you can hear how many of the conversations in our household go — with me stubbornly speaking Spanish even as my children respond in English. (Notice at the end how he mixes in Spanish without even realizing it!)
I just wanted to share this video to encourage other parents raising bilingual children who may feel frustrated or discouraged. Keep stubbornly speaking Spanish, (or whatever other language it is you’re teaching your kids.)
Vale la pena. It’s worth it.
Last year I made what I ended up calling our “First and last ofrenda.” … Eager to start a new tradition on a holiday as beautiful as Día de los Muertos, I made an altar for Carlos’s father without realizing that Carlos grew up in a country, (El Salvador), that, for the most part, doesn’t take part in the type of Day of the Dead festivities you usually think of when you think about November 2nd.
In El Salvador, Carlos explained, Day of the Dead, or “Día de los Difuntos” as I hear his family call it, is a somber day to go to the cemetery, clean the graves of loved ones, decorate the graves with flowers, have names repainted on the tombstone, and maybe stick around for a quiet picnic. Unlike Mexico, or neighboring Guatemala, El Salvador doesn’t really celebrate Day of the Dead with fun parties.
Being that Carlos wasn’t comfortable having an altar for his father, I thought this was one tradition that just wasn’t meant to be for our family, but my boys had other ideas.
“Aren’t you going to make an ofrenda this year? I liked that tradition,” my older son asked.
“I liked it too but it made Daddy unhappy to have an altar for his father so we shouldn’t make one this year.”
“But we can make a different one. I’d like to have one for Ginger,” he said, referring to the family dog we put down over the summer.
“Can you have an ofrenda for a dog?” he asked, “Cause they have spirits, too.”
I agreed, and so that is why I made an ofrenda for Ginger this evening, instead of working on various other things I was supposed to be doing.
Ginger liked to chase rabbits that would slip under the fence right before she caught them – though I would bet money that had she ever caught one, she wouldn’t have known what to do with it – I think she just wanted to play. She was a tall German Shepherd mix who played gentle with all creatures smaller than herself – from other dogs, to cats, and even babies.
We adopted her from the Humane Society and it seemed like she always remembered that and thanked us for it. She didn’t know any fancy tricks – just the basics – but she was bilingual – responding to commands in both English and Spanish. We jokingly called her “Jengibre” since “Ginger” is the name she came with and I wanted to give her a Spanish name. Suegra found it disturbing that the dog’s name tag said “Ginger López” – she had never met a dog with a last name before.
Ginger loved to be wherever I was. Even if she was comfortable laying on the other side of the room, all I had to do was make eye contact and she’d get up to come closer to me. She refused to catch a frisbee or play fetch but she loved to play chase, especially if you had a pocketful of breakfast cereal. Her only sin was climbing up on the sofa when no one was home, but she had enough respect to climb down when she heard the keys in the door.
We miss Ginger. She was described by family and neighbors as “a sweetheart.” We hope she’s chasing rabbits in a better place.
[Today is Spanish Friday so this post will be in Spanish. For an English translation, please scroll down. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, please leave your link in comments!]
Anoche fui a una celebracion por el aniversario de la independencia de México. El evento estaba en un edificio bien bonito cerca del Washington Monument en Washington, D.C., que se llama The Organization of American States.
Primero, comímos. (¡Claro!) Había…
Ceviche y burrititos.
Tamalitos, chiles rellenos con atún cubiertos en semillas de granada, y diferentes tipos de empanaditas.
De tomar había…
Un montón de cerveza, tragitos de tequila y más – pero mi esposo Carlos (quién no fue al evento), me dijo que tengo que portarme bien. Entonces, sólo tome unos vasos de horchata.
Tuve el placer de conocer a el embajador de México y su esposa.
También tuve una charla con la madre del embajador involuntariamente. La manera en cómo paso fue que había una dama cerca de mí, que se parecía mucho a mi maestra de español en la escuela. Como Washington D.C. no es muy lejos de mi antigua escuela y este evento era sobre México y en español, yo pense que era posible podria se mi maestra.
Bueno, busque el coraje de preguntarle y la tocque en el brazo.
“Disculpe,” dije, “Su apellido no es S———, verdad?”
“No,” me dijo la dama, sonriendo amablemente.
“Oh, perdón. Usted parece a una maestra que tenía yo.”
“No pasa nada,” ella dijo graciosamente, tocando mi brazo, “Soy la mamá de el embajador.”
Casi me muero allí mismo. De todas las personas en esa gran sala, me encontré con la madre de el embajador!
“Oh!” dije yo, cuando encontré mi voz otra vez, “Mucho gusto.”
Ella seguía sonriendo y dijo “pero, soy maestra también.”
“Entonces,” dije, “Yo no estaba totalmente equivocada!”
En cuanto el evento, fue muy divertido.
Había música del “Trío Anaya.”
Me encanta la canción Cielito Lindo.
y había música de Mariachi – “Los Amigos.”
Aquí estoy portandome bien, aunque había tequila y mariachi. (Si no lo crees preguntale a mi amiga bloguera, Mariana. Ella estaba conmigo todo el tiempo! También conocí a Kety Esquivel y otra bloguera que se llama Julie. Todas eran muy amables!)
Miramos este video sobre México que era super bello:
Y claro, había la ceremonia del Grito.
“Entre los individuos, como entre las naciones, el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.” – Benito Juárez
Mi agradecimiento especial a: The Ambassador of Mexico, Arturo Sarukhan and Mrs. Veronica Valencia-Sarukhan, The Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS Joel Hernández and Mrs. Socorro Flores, The Mexican Embassy, The Organization of American States, and Kety Esquivel for the invitation.
Last night I went to the celebration of the Anniversary of the Independence of Mexico. The event was at a really beautiful building near the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C. that is called The Organization of American States.
First we ate. (Of course!) There was…
Ceviche and little burritos.
Little tamales, chiles stuffed with tuna and covered in pomegranate seeds, and different kinds of little empanadas.
To drink there was…
A whole lot of beer, shots of tequila and more – but Carlos told me I had to behave so I only drank horchata.
I had the pleasure of meeting the ambassador to Mexico and his wife.
I also involuntarily had a chat with the ambassador’s mother. What happened was that there was a lady standing near me and she looked a lot like my high school Spanish teacher. Since Washington DC isn’t very far from my old school and this was an event about Mexico and in Spanish, I thought it could very possibly be my teacher.
Well, I found the courage to ask and touched the woman on her arm.
“Excuse me,” I said, “Your surname isn’t S———, is it?”
“No,” the lady said, smiling kindly.
“Oh, pardon me. You look like a teacher I had.”
“No harm done,” she said graciously, touching my arm, “I’m the mother of the ambassador.”
I almost died right there. Of all the people in that big hall, I found the ambassador’s mother!
“Oh!” I said, when I found my voice again, “Nice to meet you.”
She kept smiling, “But, I’m also a teacher.”
“Well then,” I said, “I wasn’t totally wrong!”
As for the event, it was really fun.
There was music by “Trío Anaya.”
I love the song Cielito Lindo.
And there was Mariachi music by “Los Amigos.”
Here I am behaving very well, even though there was tequila and mariachi. (If you don’t believe it, ask my blogger friend, Mariana. She was with me the whole time! I also got to meet Kety Esquivel and another blogger named Julie. All were very nice!)
We watched this video about Mexico that was super pretty.
And of course there was the ceremony for El Grito.
“Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace.” – Benito Juárez
A special thanks to The Ambassador of Mexico, Arturo Sarukhan and Mrs. Veronica Valencia-Sarukhan, The Permanent Representative of Mexico to the OAS Joel Hernández and Mrs. Socorro Flores, The Mexican Embassy, The Organization of American States, and Kety Esquivel for the invitation.
BY TRACY LÓPEZ
(Originally published on CafeMagazine.com on June 21, 2010 as part of their World Cup coverage.)
In a world divided by borders and intolerance, there are rare moments to be savored which bring people together, and inspire an outpouring of love and unity. Often times it’s a natural disaster like an earthquake, such as the one that shook Haiti earlier this year. Other times we’re brought together by a political event, the death of someone loved around the world, or by a religious celebration – but sometimes we are unified by an amazing triumph, such as Mexico’s historic 2-0 win over France.
When East Germany erected a wall, then-President John F. Kennedy stood on the steps of the Rathaus Schöneberg in 1963 and, declaring his support for a free and united Germany, said “Ich bin ein Berliner” – or in English: “I am a Berliner.” In the shadow of the 9/11 attacks against the United States in 2001, as the entire world stood in disbelief and grief, many countries declared in solidarity, “On this day, we are all Americans.”
And on June 17, 2010, as “El Chicharito” Hernández scored the first goal and led “El Tri” to victory, it felt as if, for a brief moment as we shared in their pride and glory, that on this day, we were all Mexicans. In the words of the English singer Morrissey, “I wish I was born Mexican, but it’s too late for that now.”
From Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane, South Africa, to El Ángel de la Independencia in Mexico City, fans cried tears of joy and sang “Cielito Lindo.” Mexican-Americans, Latinos of all nationalities, (and believe it or not, a few gringos too), couldn’t help but be swept up in the moment, and maybe – just maybe – we shed a tear or two as well as we watched the triumphant band of brothers, their jerseys stuck to their bodies with sweat, embrace each other as the song, “One Day” by Matisyahu echoed over the pitch.
“…All my life I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been praying for
for the people to say
that we don’t wanna fight no more
they’ll be no more wars
and our children will play
-One Day by Matisyahu
I’ve now had two days to recover from the Copa Oro games we went to on Sunday, pero todavia estoy completamente rendida.
The night before, I couldn’t sleep, half from excitement and half from anxiety about the tickets. Following the wise advice of a friend, we arrived hours early at the stadium. (Gracias to Rudy, who we actually got to meet briefly at the game.)
We went straight to the “Will Call” window and I gave them my I.D. I watched them shuffle around and come up empty-handed. I watched them check and re-check. I knew this would happen. They apologized that they didn’t have tickets for me under my name. I called the number of the on-site manager that State Farm had given me in case I ran into problems – he assured me he had the tickets on him. When we met him in the parking lot where State Farm had set up, true to his word, he had the tickets. I resisted kissing him and instead let him tell me about some of the fun things they were doing there.
I talked with someone about the sOccket ball and she showed me how it worked. I also got to check out the State Farm iPhone app, Kick4ACause which allows you to donate electricity just by playing the game. [See video of me playing]
As Carlos and I decided what to do next, a mini-Salvadoran pride parade broke out. Of course we joined in.
The parade went around the parking lot making all kinds of noise. At one point we clashed with a group of panameños, but after dancing with them for awhile, the parade continued on, much to the bewilderment of gringos trying to tailgate in peace.
When gringos tried to interact with Salvadorans though, the Salvadoran response always made me smile. When gringos shouted “U.S.A.!” – the Salvadorans didn’t feel threatened – they joined them in chants for the red, white and blue. I wonder if this made an impression on anyone in that parking lot who had expected a different reaction – to realize that it’s possible to have enough love for the place of your birth, language or culture – but feel equally proud of the country you now live in.
After the mini-parade we sought shade and a late [very expensive] lunch inside the stadium. We found our seats and waited.
While waiting, I observed a lot of Salvadorans who came prepared to not only cheer on El Salvador, but the United States as well. Many wore La Selecta T-shirts, but carried American flags. The “U.S.A.!” chant was alive and well in sections full of Salvadorans during the U.S. vs. Jamaica game.
The game itself was great, but the sky was so cloudy that I wasn’t able to access Twitter on my phone which was frustrating.
After the United States won, we were all full of happiness and hope for El Salvador.
Hearing the crowd sing the Himno Nacional de El Salvador made me tear up a little. To look around and know that all these Salvadorans were here together even though many, like Carlos, were far from their homeland… It’s difficult for me to put in words.
Being at the actual game instead of watching it on television is a unique experience. I’ve watched a lot of Salvadoran fútbol games on T.V. but never heard the crowd whistling in unison. Salvadorans have a unique way of whistling, (I wish I had caught it on video), but when you have thousands of people doing this, it sounds sort of like a forest full of parrots.
Speaking of whistling, at one point in the game, a Salvadoran player fell on top of a Panamanian player in a position that looked somewhat compromising. This got some funny responses from the crowd which I won’t repeat, but you definitely don’t get that on T.V. either.
As for the game – La Selecta missed a lot of opportunities on the field, but they did get this penalty shot which was very exciting.
Another highlight for me was seeing a guy run across the field with the Salvadoran flag. I know that’s frowned upon but it amused me, (and he was really fast. Maybe La Selecta should draft him?)
(You can’t see on my video, but you can see in others that the Panamanian goalie threw the U.S. flag out of the goal. That’s what the booing was about at the end of the video.)
El Salvador was ready to win… and then Panama scored a goal in the last minute… at least they say they scored a goal. I’ve watched the replay two dozen times and can’t decide if it was good or not. If only there was video of it from the other side – pero ni modo, what’s done is done. There’s no use being bitter about it.
Okay…maybe a little.
Here are some of my favorite photos I took during the game:
As you see, some guys had a banner that proclaimed Zelaya to be better than Chicharito. While I was there to support La Selecta with all my heart, I’m not so sure I agree. My Pitbull didn’t do much better. The game was full of excitement, tense moments, joy, disappointment – the poor Salvadorans around me went from elated to crushed over and over again. One guy often took his frustration out on the empty stadium seat in front of him. By the end of the game I was kind of surprised he hadn’t managed to rip it out as he repeatedly pounded on it screaming “P*TA! P*TA! P*TA! HIJUEP*TA!”
Carlos was calmer than that though I heard him say a few choice words under his breath after the final penalty shot shoot-out decided our fate.
Win or lose, it was an amazing experience. I know it was particularly special for Carlos. I asked him what it felt like being in the stadium surrounded by so many Salvadorans. He said it reminded him of home and the games he used to go to with his friends. The good thing about Salvadorans is that even though Carlos didn’t have his old friends with him, the guys seated around us were more than willing to fill-in for the day. I know Carlos to be a mostly quiet guy, but when he’s with other salvadoreños he opens up and is actually quite talkative. I love to see him uninhibited like that. [ Read Carlos's post about the day here.]
The game came to an end, but the brotherly love was far from over. On the way out of the stadium I was nearly crushed, (this panicked me for a minute but I knew Carlos would throw people left and right if I were in any danger.) … Then we missed the first Metro train because it was impossible to fit anymore people on it. We waited twenty more minutes for the pleasure of being crushed on the next train. Besides myself, I think there was only one other woman on the train – it was packed with young men wearing blue, and all of us, (myself included), were in serious need of some deodorant after a long day in the sun.
Despite the heat, lack of personal space, exhaustion and loss of the game, the group on the train remained in good spirits.
“Yo soy salvadoreño!” shouted one man still full of pride and warrior spirit, “Soy guerilla!”
A man from the other side of the train answered him back,
“Guerilla mi c*lo!”
(Don’t ask me to translate it to English. Somehow, it’s not as funny like that.)
Disclosure: I attended the Gold Cup games at the invitation of State Farm. All opinions are my own.
[Don't speak Spanish? Scroll down for the English Translation!]
Hoy es “Spanish Friday” y mañana es “El Día E” – un día para celebrar el idioma español. Para celebrar, gente (incluyendo Isabel Allende, Alejandro Sanz, Shakira, Gael Garcia Bernal y otros), están haciendo videos hablando de sus palabras favoritas en español. Mucha gente han elegidos palabras como “amor”, “cariño”, “alegría” – palabras que, sí, son bien bonitas en sentimiento — pero, he elegido mi palabra favorita como suena – El resultado es que todos ustedes van a reir de mí, pero no puedo negar que esta es mi palabra favorita.
Lagartija – Me encanta como la palabra comienza en la boca, cae por la garganta, salta de nuevo a la lengua y termina con un aliento exhalado. Es una palabra muy sexy. Qué pena que significa “lizard” – pero a pesar de todo, me gusta.
¿Quieres más? Haz click aquí por ver más videos de palabras favoritas en español! (Gracias a Carla por la idea para que las blogueras participan en “El Día E” de esta manera!) Participaste en Spanish Friday? Deja tu link en comentarios!
Haz click aquí por ver más videos de palabras favoritas en español!
(Gracias a Carla por la idea para que las blogueras participan en “El Día E” de esta manera!)
Participaste en Spanish Friday? Deja tu link en comentarios!
Today is Spanish Friday and tomorrow is “El Día E” – a day to celebrate the Spanish language. To celebrate, people, (including celebrities such as Isabel Allende, Alejandro Sanz, Shakira, and Gael Garcia Bernal), are making videos talking about their favorite word in Spanish. Many people chose words like “amor”, “cariño”, “alegría” – Words which, yes, are beautiful in meaning — but I chose my favorite word based on how it sounds – the result is that you are all going to laugh at me, but I can’t deny that this is my favorite word.
Lagartija – I love the way the word begins in the mouth, falls into the throat, jumps back up to the tongue and ends in an exhaled breath. The word is incredibly sexy. It’s too bad it means “lizard” – but I like it anyway.
Want more? Click here to check out other blogueras who made videos of their favorite words in Spanish! (Shout out to Carla for coming up with the idea for the blogueras to participate in “El Día E” this way!) Did you participate in Spanish Friday?
Leave your link in comments!
Click here to check out other blogueras who made videos of their favorite words in Spanish!
(Shout out to Carla for coming up with the idea for the blogueras to participate in “El Día E” this way!)
Did you participate in Spanish Friday?