My heritage is something that I am immensely proud of. The origins of my heritage began along the Andean region of South America. The depth of my culture is represented through Ecuador’s musical and gastronomical roots. My family strictly follows a strong religious background which has influenced my life greatly. Besides cultural gastronomy and religion, the celebration of holidays is very important to my family as well. Therefore, there are many different factors that my heritage is composed of. One part of my heritage, that I particularly enjoy, is the music and cuisine which pertains to my culture. Ecuador has a wide variety of music ranging from Incan tribal music to current traditional Ecuadorian music. Every time a song is played, it tells a different story, allowing the listener to visualize and experience the rhythm first hand. Among the many plates Ecuador has to offer, a few in particular have been established as my favorites; one of them is called “Locro”, which is a thick soup made from potatoes, cheese, and meat. Locro is usually served with a light salad, topped off with cilantro and avocado.
The aroma emanating from this culinary concoction sends my mind into a state of euphoric tranquility. Therefore, the combination of these two can make any event a moment to savor. In addition to the music and the food, religion plays an important role in my heritage as well. Catholicism is the dominant religion in Ecuador, and the religion with which I was raised. The Roman based religion has a high influence amongst my people. I remember during my childhood how important it was to go through my religious sacraments. As a Catholic, going to church with my family every Sunday was a never broken tradition. Although I am respectful of all religions, my religion has played an important role and has allowed me to flourish. Among the many rituals that are practiced within the Catholic religion, we show a significant amount of respect to Catholic holidays. Holidays are a very important ceremonial event which is glorified amongst my family. Once a year, my family gathers together for a much acclaimed event, the birth of Jesus Christ.
To some, this day is known to be filled with folktales about a gift giving Santa Clause hidden in the North Pole. In my family, we are taught from childhood about the son of God, Jesus Christ, and the many miracles and sacrifices he had to endure for us. Another part of this tradition was attending midnight mass to show respect for the birth of baby Jesus. This religion and its holiday are not only pertinent to the country of my origin but also a large part of what I consider to be my heritage today. In conclusion, my heritage is drawn from different factors all of which depend on the types of influences that are present in a person’s life. The parts of my heritage which I consider important include the gastronomical and musical roots of Ecuador, Catholicism, and lastly the celebration of an important religious holiday. These combinations have had a substantially large influence on what I consider my heritage today.
I am a baby boomer and I grew up in the era of segregation, lynching, blatant discrimination, marches, race riots, sit ins, boycotts, fighting for the rights to be treated as human beings, fighting for the right to vote; as well as the right to be recognized as a female with the same rights granted to white females.
Our civil rights forefathers as well as our abolitionist forefathers have done a great deal to bring us out of slavery to where we are today, and for that I will be eternally grateful. If it was not for them I would not have gone to college and earned two master degrees, or own a home, or have a good job. They made this possible for me trough their sacrifice and tireless efforts. But what has happen to the “Black” race. The young people today do not share the same sense of unity and pride as my generation did and do.
I recently attended a 4th of July family function and I was struck by two nieces who was arguing about who was lighter in complexion. Another nephew stated that he did not want to be as “dark” as his dad. This thinking by black children is very disheartening. It is as if they are ashamed to be “Black”( AfroAmerican).
As a Black female I want the right to achieve, to be treated fairly, to be accepted based on my integrity, skills, and education; without being judged based on my skin color. Have Black Americans assimilated, so in the white culture so much until they have forgotten about the struggles and heritage of their own race? If so shame on them.