WSC Spanish Club celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month

Hayley Ortmeier, News Writer

National Hispanic Heritage Month is upon us and Wayne State College’s Spanish Club knows just the way to celebrate: authentic Spanish dancing!

Hispanic Heritage Month starts annually on Sept. 15 and ends on Oct.15. It honors the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. To celebrate, the Spanish Club will be hosting an event teaching traditional Hispanic dances on October 4 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Frey Conference Room. A past professor who taught Spanish class and held Spanish dance lessons at Wayne, Catherine Rudin, will be teaching the dance class.

The president of the Spanish Club, Megan Phillips, touched base on the importance of learning about Hispanic Heritage and celebrations.

“I think it’s important because it’s a culture that is in the United States,” Phillips said. “Just to recognize that there are other cultures aside from, I guess, traditional white-American cultures. It just broadens your horizons, it makes you more aware of what’s going on in the world and it helps you realize that there is more to the world and to society than just our way of thinking. Recognizing these cultures and Hispanic Heritage Month, it helps people just, like, understand that other things can be beautiful and other cultures can be just as equally beautiful as ours.”

When thinking about National Hispanic Heritage Month, it is important to realize the troublesome Hispanics go through while trying to embrace their culture. Emily Montenegro, a member of the Spanish Club, has personally dealt with being treated differently because of the color of her skin. She has also noticed a difference in how she was treated in her hometown of West Point, Nebraska compared to how she is treated at Wayne State College.

“I’ve been treated differently at work, at school and, like, a bunch of other times,” Montenegro said. “People are very close-minded in our town, and they don’t realize that it isn’t a bad thing to come from a different culture. It’s just little things you notice, and then overtime it becomes normal to be treated badly.”

Montenegro shared her positive experiences at WSC meeting others and sharing her culture with them.

“ There’s definitely a difference between here [Wayne] and West Point,” Montenegro said. “Here, people are educated and they want to learn. I mean, we’re at college. There’s so many different people here with different cultures, so it’s more understanding and accepting. I have found a lot of friends and groups that I share my culture with, and it’s nice to relate to them.”