Latino Heritage Celebration

The annual Latino Heritage celebration that took place on Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, promoting educational and cultural awareness to DMAE students and faculty, was even more deafening with enthusiasm for native countries the year.

Spanish teachers Saadia Gil and Fina Flores organized the event along with students from Latin Dance Club, Spanish National Honor Society, and Spanish Heritage and language classes.

Music filled the auditorium as flags from different Hispanic countries were carried down by students from Spanish II classes. As the parade of flags went by, students in the audience excitedly searched for their culture’s flags and cheered loudly.

Once the flag bearers reached the stage, they moved into a large dance performance that for some students was a new and awkward experience.

“I wasn’t really very enthusiastic when I found out that we were required to dance on stage,” said Daewon Lee, one of the performing sophomores. “In the end, I guess it turned out to be pretty fun. It was kind of embarrassing, but afterward a lot of people were pointing me out in the halls and cheering for our class.”

In addition to customary Latin dance performances, there were also videos about Latinos in America and the influence of the Spanish language on DMAE students. The first video presented facts about the prevalence of Latinos and Spanish-speaking Americans in various states, particularly Texas and California, and was set to upbeat Latino music. The DMAE Spanish classes added to this with presentations on Latino culture and performances.

“I learned that Spanish music is diverse because there are numerous tempos,” said Radha Tumalapenta, a sophomore in the celebration. “Doing the Macarena portrayed a really fun and easy aspect of Spanish music, but the other dances were more formal and difficult.”

Another video, presented by the Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS), showed members responding to the question, “What do you like about learning Spanish in school?”

The SNHS students explained their various reasons for why they enjoyed learning a second language, often having to do with learning about different cultures, being versatile, and even being able to converse with native speakers.

“I enjoy studying Spanish because it’s really neat to communicate with people who have Spanish as their first language, and we just love the language,” said Jill Royal, a junior SNHS member.

The Latino Heritage celebration is an annual tradition at DMAE, and the record number of underclassmen involved in this year’s assembly as well as the exciting performances displayed point to an even greater show next year.