During this month, people celebrate the Christmas season. I have decided to research the Christmas culinary customs of different cultures in Latin-American countries, and I discovered that all have their respective characteristics and differences. This caused me to reflect on how people tend to group the Latinos/Hispanics in the United States in a homogenous group only because we speak the same language, but we don’t even “speak the same language.” Even though Spanish is common to everyone, there are many words that are so different in each country that there are many huge misinterpretations.
For example, in Mexico, the word for car is coche, which in Guatemala means pig. In Mexico, the word for bus is camion, and in Puerto Rico it is wawa. There are hundreds of words that differ in different countries in Latin America, and like the language, there are many shades also in customs, ways of dressing, music, festivities, literature, etc. All of these examples have different expressions according to where they come from. Those from Argentina, Colombia and Mexico know that they are different, so when they find themselves in this country, they unite for that which they have in common. But don’t let us forget who we are and what makes us be part of our country.
It is very important to express and spread the fact that each Latino in this country has a different country of origin, with their own yearnings and learning experiences. The tendency to group everyone together as Latinos makes us look homogenous and, as a consequence, lose our customs and roots that are so important for us.
This diversity represented in each one of our countries can be seen expressed in the food as a very clear example.
Christmas is celebrated in every Latin-American country, but each one has different things prepared.
I will name some of the representative Christmas dishes in some Latin-American countries. You can see that they are not only different, but also show an enormous culinary refinement. Countries reserve their best dishes for this Christmas season.
These are but some of the examples from different countries. In conclusion, I see that each country and culture has its own distinct customs and culinary expressions. I have not tasted a lot of these different dishes, and I don’t recognize some of the ingredients or terminology. It humbles me and opens my mind when I realize that there is so much to learn from other Latin-American countries, and it reminds me that we all have something to offer to enrich others. Happy holidays!