Category Archives: holiday
One of the first places I brought Carlos when he was my boyfriend was to a pumpkin patch, and one of the first things I showed him was how to to carve a jack-o-lantern. I’ve always been interested in other cultures and traditions, but there was also something exciting about showing Carlos my own.
Fifteen years later, going to the pumpkin patch as a family each October is one of our favorite things.
The pumpkin patch we usually go to has goats and you can buy food pellets for them from a bubble gum style machine for a quarter. Over the years, Carlos has come to be more of an animal lover. He looks so happy petting the goat here.
After feeding the goats we considered giving the corn maze a try but it takes 45 minutes to go through, (maybe an hour given my sense of direction) – so we decided we’ll come back another day to do it.
Into the pumpkin patch.
My boys are getting bigger, (The oldest is taller than Carlos), but they haven’t outgrown the pumpkin patch.
There’s a type of squash in El Salvador called Pipián. We aren’t sure if this squash here is related but when you’re accustomed to their palm-sized Latin American cousins, these are kind of hilarious.
Now that we’ve picked our pumpkins and brought them home, we’ll soon carve them into jack-o-lanterns. When we clean out the inside of the pumpkin we always reserve the seeds for roasting and eating. Roasted pumpkin seeds, funnily enough, remind Carlos of El Salvador.
I’ve got a backpack full of links for you to check out for Día de Los Muertos (also known as “Day of the Dead” or “Día de los Difuntos”.)
SpanglishBaby.com had the genius idea of creating this collection of Day of the Dead links which includes everything from altars/ofrendas, crafts for adults and kids alike, themed products available for purchase from around the internet, recipes, history, culture, photos, videos, and personal stories. The collection of links includes all my Día de los Muertos posts too in case you missed them in previous years.
Click the image below to go to the SpanglishBaby post which includes not only all their awesome links within their own site, but links to all our fellow amigas’ great content which continues to be added!
Like many other people out there, I’ve come to love using the online image editor PicMonkey to edit my photos. It has every awesome feature you could want, plus some – and it’s free. I didn’t think I could love PicMonkey more than I already do, but I just came upon a super chévere seasonal addition. Not only have Halloween features been added, but there is now a Día de los Muertos theme!
Although I’ve never had a desire to paint my face like a sugar skull before, PicMonkey made this idea very tempting. Carlos came into the room while I was in the middle of creating this.
Carlos asked me, first, what in the world I was doing, and second, “I thought you said you were busy writing?”
(Thanks a lot, PicMonkey, for distracting me and getting me into trouble!) … I’ll go back to writing now, the rest of you, go have fun!
I wanted to do something special for El Salvador’s Independence Day, so I decided to make a few regalitos for all my cheros guanacos.
First, here is free desktop wallpaper for your computer!
To use it:
• Click the image to enlarge
• Right click and select “Set as Desktop Background”
• Customize it to your desktop as you wish (I think “Tiled” looks best)
• Click “Set Desktop Background”
I also created some fun worksheets for you and your cipotes. Choose the one you like, click the link or image, click “Download” over on Box.com, and then once you have it on your computer, open the PDF and print.
Click here for the EL SALVADOR CROSSWORD PUZZLE
Click here for the EL SALVADOR WORD SEARCH PUZZLE
Feliz Día de la Independencia a El Salvador! (Happy Independence Day to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua as well, también a nuestros amigos en México who will celebrate tomorrow.)
On Independence Day I always think of the Langston Hughes poem, “Let America Be America Again.” Hughes is one of my favorite poets – a visionary writer who was ahead of his time and created works that still resonate more than 50 years later.
This poem is often controversial and has been called unpatriotic by some – but I think that it reflects reality, told in an unapologetic, honest way. We are a nation that values chest thumping patriotism and fosters an attitude of superiority – a belief that we are the favored children of God and our nation is uniquely blessed as a result. I don’t subscribe to that school of thought. I believe that we can love the United States and be thankful for the freedoms we have while being truthful and vocal about its imperfections at the same time.
On this day I am thankful to live in a country that allows me to say this without fear of repercussions and I am hopeful that we will continue to create high expectations for ourselves, as individual citizens, and as a nation. May we all do our part to live up to the dream.
Let America Be America Again
by Langston Hughes
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
It’s almost the 4th of July, gente. You know what that means, right?
Time to stock up on fireworks so you have cuetes to set off later this year on Noche Buena.
It’s birthday party season again and one of the more popular posts on Latinaish is Latino vs. Anglo Birthday Party. A Spanish version of this post was even published in the June/July 2010 issue of SerPadres Magazine after being discovered on Tiki Tiki Blog. So here it is for those of you who are new here or who might have missed it!
The Differences Between an Anglo Kid’s Birthday Party and a Latino Kid’s Birthday Party
#1. Who gets to come?
Anglo – Those whose names are written on the invitation.
Latino – Those whose names are written on the invitation, plus their uncles, cousins, and sometimes random neighbors who had nothing better to do that day.
#2. What time should we come?
Anglo – The time is right there on the invitation.
Latino – An hour late, or else the hosts won’t be ready when you arrive.
#3. Food Etiquette
Anglo – Eat only what is given to you. Don’t ask for seconds even if you’re really hungry.
Latino – Eat as much as you want and then ask for plates to take home leftovers for eating later or to bring to family members who didn’t feel like coming.
#4. Singing, dancing, music
Anglo – The only music heard is when the kids sing “Happy Birthday” at cake time. Dancing is rare, but when it happens, it is usually the “Hokey Pokey”.
Latino – WHAT?! I CAN’T HEAR YOU! THE MUSIC IS TOO LOUD! … Adults dance Perreo in front of the kids, no importa.
Anglo – Of course not! What’s wrong with you?! It’s a CHILDREN’S birthday party!
Latino- Claro que sí! … The cerveza is there in the cooler, hermano!
Anglo – A strict schedule of organized activities and games for the children.
Latino – Niños, go play in the street or something. Stop bothering the grown ups! We’ll do the piñata later! Híjole!
#7. What’re we eating?
Anglo – Probably pizza.
Latino – Steak, chicken, rice, beans, salad, tortillas, etc. Load your styrofoam plate up until it’s ready to crack under the weight.
#8. When does the party end?
Anglo – Refer to your invitation. Thank your hosts and excuse yourself on the dot. Clear out!
Latino – Party until everyone’s tired and/or Tío Eduardo passes out on the couch while watching a fútbol game.
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 at the bottom!
Hola gringos! Listos para celebrar cinco de mayo este fin de semana? Bueno, por los que no son gringos, les explico por qué celebramos el aniversario de una batalla en Puebla, México. La mayoría de la gente celebra cinco de mayo en los Estados Unidos no más por tener excusa tomar cerveza, margaritas, y tequila, disfrutar de música mariachi, vestirnos en sombreros y sarapes y comer comida “mexicana” (estilo estado unidense, todo cubierto en queso y salsa.) Eso es!
Y sí, sabemos que somos un poco ridículos – hasta podemos reírnos de nosotros mismos!
Hola gringos! Ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo this weekend? Well, for those of you who aren’t gingos, let me explain to you why we celebrate the anniversary of a battle in Puebla, Mexico. The majority of the people in the United States celebrate Cinco de Mayo just to have an excuse to drink beer, margaritas and tequila, enjoy mariachi music, get dressed up in sombreros and sarapes, and eat “Mexican” food (American-style, all covered in cheese and salsa.) That’s it!
And yes, we know we’re a little ridiculous – we can even laugh at ourselves.
The first year we made cascarones, I didn’t have any dye so I tried to decorate the entire egg with colored tissue paper and glue. It was messy and they didn’t turn out very pretty, so this year I decided to do it the right way and dye the eggs. I bought your typical $1 kit with colored tablets for egg-dyeing at Easter time – a package that is familiar to me from childhood. However, because these kits are meant for American-style Easter eggs, they come with additional items you don’t need for cascarones which apparently perplexed my 10 year old.
Him: What are these for? [picking up stickers and cardboard egg holders]
Me: We don’t need those. Those are for making American Easter eggs.
Him: You put stickers and these thingies on them before you break them on someone’s head?
Me: No, [laughing] You leave the egg in the shell and cook them – you know hard boiled eggs?
Me: Then you dye them, put stickers on them, and these little cardboard thingies are so you can display them until you eat them.
Him: You eat them?! That’s weird!
It kind of boggles my mind that my 10 year old couldn’t remember what regular Easter eggs are – I mean, I made them with them before? When they were little? In the past? Didn’t I?… I don’t remember anymore. Apparently, in recent years I’ve done such a good job of teaching the boys Latin American culture that I now need to step it up with showing them Anglo-American traditions from my own childhood.
Did your novio forget your flowers? (Or in my case, did you wake up too late to sneak a note into your macho’s lunch box?) … No te preocupes! Here is a Valentine’s Day gift from Latinaish.com that all of you procrastinators are free to re-gift. Put them on your valentine’s Facebook wall, E-mail them to friends, Pin them to Pinterest, or print them to hang up on the door for when the kids get home from school. The posibilidades are endless. Feliz Día de San Valentín!
Update: Here’s an extra one added by request.
Thanks to Kate Pullen for making the blank conversation heart clipart available for use.