Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Hispanic Heritage Month

Established in 1988, Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15-October 15.  My first question was why these particular dates?  Why didn't it start on the first of the month?  

The answer is actually quite simple:  September 15 is the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. Mexico declared its independence on September 16, and Chile on September 18. 

My other question was:  is my family considered "Hispanic"?  I have had this debate about my Spanish husband for years--people generally seem to think that you must be of Latin American origin to be considered "Hispanic".  

My thoughts were that any advantages given to Hispanics (just as with African Americans) should be to counteract the stereotypes--in our case, Spanish as a first language and a latino name front and center on the resume.  Simply enough, aren't all Latinos "Spanish" in origin?

Turns out I'm correct (hurrah!)

The term Hispanic, as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, refers to Spanish-speaking people in the United States of any race. On the 2000 Census form, people of Spanish/Hispanic/Latino origin could identify themselves as Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, or "other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino." Click here to find Hispanic countries of origin.

Here are some events around the nation to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Unfortunately, it looks like Pittsburgh is lacking (to be fair, Atlanta--where we lived before was a "hot spot" of latinos and had a ton of events for adults and kiddies alike) but I could find this.  And, although it's not quite related to Hispanic Heritage month, there is a Spanish storytime this weekend at the main library that may work to get you into the spirit!

Here's a fun quiz by Brain Quest to see how much you know about Hispanic culture!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Will my babies stutter??

I just read an interesting article in the Washington Post that made me a bit nervous.  It spoke of kids who were taught more than one language before they started school (at 4 or 5) being more likely to stutter than kids that learned a second language after the age of 5.  

Interestingly enough, it seems that the stuttering tended to begin between ages 4 and 5, and several of the children only stuttered in one of the languages.  This often occurred when the children had problems with one language, or perhaps "refused" to speak one of the languages.

The good news is that children "outgrow" stuttering, and it seems that more children who speak one language exclusively at home "recovered" from stuttering than did children who (I can only imagine) had a family that used the OPOL method.