National Hispanic Heritage Month begins September 15! We were excited to sit down and talk with PBT artist Christian García Campos to learn about some of her family’s cultural traditions and customs.
What is Hispanic Heritage Month? Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.
Can you share a bit about your culture with us?
I think Mexican culture is incredibly rich in every aspect, from the food to the architecture, from the music to the beautiful and varied sceneries. It’s so full of color and vibrancy, like the dresses worn for Mexican folklore, the incredibly elaborate mariachi suits, the “alebrijes” (imaginary creatures made up of a combination of animals), the “Voladores de Papantla” (Dance of the Flyers), the list is truly endless.
Do you feel like your identity is tied to your heritage?
It absolutely is. Latin people have this warmth about them, it’s probably one of the things I miss most from home. There is this carefree spirit that people carry. There’s never a lack of reasons to get together and celebrate, even if it’s just to be with each other. And I have to say, I’m definitely feisty.
What are some of your favorite memories growing up?
I want to say that my parents truly went above and beyond. They made everything special. In Mexico, the three wise men visit you just like Santa Claus does. Whenever they came to visit, our living room was turned upside down. Literally. There was hay all around and sometimes the horse would even leave a little present as well… a wall size letter was written outside, it was truly unbelievable. They made me believe it was all real.
What are your favorite family traditions?
I would have to say that our rituals during New Years Eve take the cake. As we ring in the new year, we have several tasks that need to be completed. There would be a suitcase, and someone would have to go around the block with it. This would be for future traveling. Someone would be throwing lentils outside for abundance. Someone would sweep the entrance to get rid of bad energies. All of this while someone rings a bell, eat your grapes and hug each other to receive the new year. I love my family.