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Hispanic Culture Facts

Kundan Pandey Mar 9, 2020
The term 'Hispanic' refers to people who have a relationship with Spain. The traditions and heritage of these people, together form a very strong culture.

Did You Know?

That though the U.S. Census Bureau used the term 'Hispanic' for the first time in 1980, it was being used before that as well, that too for a decade.
It is believed that in 1970, the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare started using the term Hispanic, as initiated by Grace Flores-Hughes, a Hispanic Bureaucrat. While this isn't exactly validated, the U.S. Census Bureau started officially using the term from the Census of 1980.
'Hispanic', as a term, denotes people who have an association with the country of Spain; it is an ethnonym used for people from Spain and countries that were once colonized by Spain. Some definitions also state a possible relationship with ancient Hispania.
In the Roman Era, Hispania was a land that included what is today the Iberian Peninsula. This also includes modern states of Portugal, Andorra, British Crown Dependency of Gibraltar, and obviously Spain.
Before we understand the culture of Hispanics, there are a few important points we must note down. People of Spanish origin did not come to the Americas after their respective countries were colonized by Spain. Spanish people have been living in America since centuries, even before the 13 colonies were formed.
The term Hispanic, however, represents both these group of people. Latino is another term used for people of Spanish origin, but due to its ambiguous nature, 'Hispanic' is the preferred alternative.

Hispanic Culture: Facts

The family, is the most important social unit. The concept of nuclear families is not very common among Hispanics, and extended families are considered a part of the actual family unit.
The term used for this joint family unit, is familia. The father acts as the head of family, while the mother is expected to give priority to household matters. This scenario holds true for most Hispanic families, and not all of them.
Every individual is taught moral responsibility from a young age and this responsibility extends to everyone in the familia.

All the important events and festivals are celebrated together by the family. These festivals are sometimes given more importance than even family functions.
Hispanic communities think it's very important for children to learn qualities such as honor, good manners, etiquette in front of elders, etc. Children are pampered and hardly ever do parents resort to spanking.
Children are taught from a very early age, the importance of going to church and the binding with one's community. All these things help a child to identify with his ethnicity when he's growing up.
A very important aspect of the Hispanic culture, is the use of Spanish language. Communities speak in Spanish at home and at social gatherings as well. Preserving their language is of utmost importance to the Hispanics.
Hispanic communities, much like most communities in Spain, follow certain codes of conduct while socializing.
The men greet each other with a firm handshake while the women greet each other with a hug and a peck on the cheeks. The same etiquette is followed while taking leave.

While socializing, it is expected that you turn up in formal attire. This rule can be relaxed for certain events. However, it must be strictly followed when you're visiting the church.
Religion has always been taken seriously among Hispanics. It is said that more than 90% of Spanish-speaking people are Roman Catholics. Other faiths are now slowly taking roots in the Hispanic community.
Each local community will celebrate its respective Patron Saint's Day. Other important festivals (las fiestas) celebrated by Hispanics include Christmas, New Year's Day, Three Kings' Day and Easter. National holidays are called fiesta nacional. Apart from these, each country celebrates El Dia de Independencia, the day it gained independence.
Most Spanish-speaking countries follow similar eating habits. Lunch, called el almuerzo is a light meal.
Usually, this meal is had at home after which, the family indulges in la siesta, which is basically napping in the afternoon. A small meal of snacks called la merienda, is served again in the early hours of the evening. This might also include coffee or tea. The day's meals are concluded by la cena, dinner that is served late at night.
Gradually, eating habits got influenced by the country they have settled in. However, they follow this eating pattern as much as possible. If guests are visiting, the hosts might also indulge in sobremesa, which is an after-dinner conversation over drinks and dessert.
Hispanic students are usually brought up in an environment where 'a group' gains more priority than 'an individual'. It's okay to not share equally in responsibilities. It's okay to not be individualistic. Others more capable in the group, will happily make up for their teammate's inefficiency. Both perspectives have their negatives and positives. All we need to do, is keep these details in mind.
According to Literacynet, two Hispanic students were helping each other during an exam. Both were caught cheating and scolded. The students however, seemed surprised as they thought they were just helping each other. This is a very important point we must note.
Today, United States of America knows well the contributions made by the Hispanic community. Hispanics have been serving the country at important positions in Government, The Armed Forces and in Social Welfare.
To acknowledge this effort and support, Americans and Hispanics in America, celebrate the National Hispanic Heritage Month to honor Hispanics who have contributed to the society at large. Events and programs start on September 15 and end on October 15.
These facts about the Hispanic culture will introduce you to this ethnicity that exists everywhere around the world. We must also note that the race or gender of a person does not dictate whether s/he is Hispanic or not, his relationship with Spain does.