Reflections on Hispanic Heritage Month

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by Tania Leskovar-Owens

 

JLA Hispanic heritage banner

On this final day of Hispanic Heritage Month 2021, I wanted to share a few words about what Hispanic Heritage Month means to me and my family.

Tania and her family

I am originally from Argentina and while I have been living in the states for over 35 years, I continue to celebrate my culture in my daily life. It’s a time when my family and I reflect on our place of birth and our journey we took to arrive to the US. We share stories of landing at the Los Angeles airport while my then 10 year old brother translated for my mom (my dad had already moved a few months prior to start his masters). We talk about how my mom would stop us at the front door to remind us that she wanted us to only speak Spanish in the house and to this day we still do that! We take part in eating many of the culinary traditions from Argentina – including some of my favorites – empanadas, churros, dulce de leche, tartas, pastel de papa and of course Sunday asados.

Empanadas

We have traveled to Argentina many times and taken our children and friends to share our culture and way of life, which over the years has allowed them to better understand me and the way I live my life. One of the most important traditions we celebrate is around meals and birthdays – and for those that know me – know that to be true! They know the process of preparing homemade empanadas, the traditions around preparing for an “asado,” and the fact that meals go on for hours! We, like many Latin American cultures, share similar values of warmth, affection and passion. Ask my kids about besitos and mimitos. We live our life with great passion for family, work, friendships, and even our favorite sports teams! ⚽️🇦🇷😘🤗

Tania's children in Argentina soccer jerseys  Asado dinner

Fun Facts

#1: One of the differences from other Latin American countries is the Argentinian accent which usually other Latin cultures can easily identify and sometimes gets mistaken for Italian.
#2: There are over 20 Hispanic Countries.
#3: There are over 62 million Hispanics living in the US today.

JLA President on Instagram

Tania is the 2021-22 JLA President. To see more of her photos, and tag along in some of her JLA adventures, follow her on Instagram at jlaustin_president.