Día de la Raza -- National Holiday

Perhaps no holiday is more controversial than that of October 12. It is the day where we celebrate the collision of 2 worlds, which had tragic consequences among the native peoples of America, while creating a New World and a new RAZA (race). This is what is celebrated today.

The word RACE in English insufficiently communicates what the word RAZA means in Spanish. When we think of race in English we think of skin color. Raza in Spanish refers to the entire sum of the collision of cultures -- a new kind of race RAZA is what the people have become as a result of the fusion of religion -- culture -- philosophy -- language -- -- etc.

Here is a link to some children's songs -- in Spanish -- that celebrate the Día de la RAZA.

Many native peoples see this holiday as a celebration of their ultimate cultural destruction. In fact, as we saw last week with a discussion of just 4 of the 87 native peoples of Colombia, the cultural and linguistic diversity that exists in the world is at risk of continued decline.

Here are some interesting statistics which show the threat that global cultural diversity faces in today's society.

1. Information and power is dominated by only a few languages
  • between 50% and 95% of the world’s approximately 6,800 languages face extinction
  • 90% of the world’s languages are not represented on the Internet

2. Trade in cultural products - from books to television to Internet - is heavily imbalanced in favour of the developed countries.

  • 5 countries monopolize the world’s
  • nearly half of the world’s countries have never made their own film

3. There is a growing Literacy gap between developed and under developed countries.

  • 2/3 of humanity is excluded from building the global knowledge base

It is important to learn about Colombia, its culture, its people, its languages, its food, and teach your child/ren about the same.

Mahatma Gandhi, Indian philosopher and Statesman once wrote:

‘I do not want my house to be walled in on all sides and my windows to be stuffed. I want the culture of all the lands to be blown about my house as freely as possible. But I refuse to be blown off my feet by any.’


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