National Hispanic Heritage Month is celebrated September 15-October 15 each year, a time frame that is historically significant for the claiming of independence of many Latin American countries. This year's theme is "Many Backgrounds, Many Stories...One American Spirit." You can read more about the nationwide celebration from the Library of Congress web site. Here in the Youth Services Department, we will commemorate the occasion by offering a display of books, music, and other materials that celebrate language, culture, people, places, and history.
My favorite way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month is to cook (and eat). I have a great recipe for empanadas (stuffed pastry) with a filling ground beef, onions, red peppers, green olives, raisins, hard-boiled egg, and seasoning. I buy my dough in packages of what are called discos (pre-cut circles of dough) and I tuck the beef filling inside, bake, and...tan bueno! Empanadas with different fillings are traditional in many countries around the world.
I will be traveling to Mexico at the beginning of October, and I look forward to sharing stories in both English and Spanish with my young niece, now almost two years old. It gives me an opportunity to brush up on my Spanish language skills, something I find extremely useful as I prepare to perform our Drop-in Dual-Language Storytime in Spanish and English this fall. One of my favorite stories in English that we also happen to have in Spanish is Knuffle Bunny, by Mo Willems. It's Spanish counterpart is El Conejito Knuffle, which I like to pronouce El Conejito "Ke-new-flay" because I think Mo would find it funny.
I will be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month by sampling a variety of foods from different backgrounds, traveling to new places, and sharing many stories.
How will you be celebrating?