It is a common misconception that all Latin cultures are the same. People from Mexico don't share the same historical and cultural heritage as someone from Panama or Chile. It just doesn’t work that way. However, one common thread among those countries is the Spanish influence. It brings the countries of Latin America together with a common language and religion, although it is a very loose influence which can vary from country to country, and even region to region.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a 30 day celebration when people are invited to learn about the different cultures in Latin America. Visit the South Irving Library at 2 p.m. Sept. 9 for Fiesta, a celebration which highlights Central and South American countries with a Mariachi band, puppet show, face painting, refreshments and a crafts station to make your own mini-piñata, guitar and maracas. South Irving Library is located at 601 Schulze Drive.
While it is true that Spain, through conquest and colonization, has put its stamp on much of the Americas, it is equally true that Spain has been influenced by its own conquerors. Being almost fully accessible by water, the land of Spain was a temptation to sea faring tribes in addition to being close to major historical players along the Mediterranean and African coasts. If Spain seems like an anomaly culturally, that’s because it can credit the Celts, Romans, Germanic tribes and Muslims, just to name a few, for contributing to its music, art, architecture and cuisine.
So, what exactly is Spanish culture, you might ask? It is not something you can easily describe, but you can hear it in the music of the vibrant classical guitar. See it in the breathtaking monuments of Gaudi and in Picasso’s masterpieces. You can hold fast to it through the iconography of the Catholic Church. You can even taste it in a simple bowl of arroz con leche.
Discover Spain for yourself at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at the East Branch Library, 440 S. Nursery Road with a visit from the Daniel de Córdoba Dance Studio. The Dallas-based troupe will perform the ancient tradition of flamenco in authentic colorful costumes. Following the performance, participants can indulge in tapas and make unique Spanish crafts.
For more information, call (972) 721-4612.