Grambling Hall was crowded with students on Friday, Oct. 6 in order to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month. Grambling State University’s Foreign Languages Department and Cross Cultural Club came together to put on a program to acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month.
Dr. Encarna Abella opened the event with words of encouragement for students studying Spanish and anyone hoping to see more Hispanic students at GSU. In an attempt to get everyone involved Dr. Abella’s Spanish 101 class preformed the poem Canto a Pamplona which honors a weeklong festival in Navarre, Spain known by its most popular event the running of the bulls.
El encierro or the running of the bulls involves running in front of the bulls that have been let loose on a course of sectioned-off parts of the town’s streets. Many people think its good luck to touch these bulls others just want to get as close to the animal as possible.
The highlight of the show to many students was the Mexican Dance preformed by Spanish tutor Marykarmen Duque. Marykarmen graced the stage as if moving around a sombrero. Many students looked in awe excited to see something so wonderful, "the dancing was the most fun part," said Laticie Joseph of St. Lucia. Although two people normally perform this dance Marykarmen made it look natural with just one person performing.
Following this graceful dance was a brief history of the poet Leon Felipe as well as a performance by Dr. Slone’s Spanish 101 class. Leon Felipe Camino Galicia was one of the best known contemporary poets of Spanish literature who lived his late years in Mexico. His poetry touched on the fact he feared after the Spanish Civil War that history may repeat itself.
This poem was followed by Dr. Abella’s Spanish 102 that preformed the Afro- Cuban poem Sensemaya. This is a poem by Nicolas Guillen one of the best known representatives of "poesia negra" (black poetry) and law graduate of the University of Havana.
The poem Sensemaya had the rhythm of an African chant and many of the students caught the flow of the poem very easily.
"We want to bring in more students to study Spanish in order to broaden the program that’s what activities like this do," said Dr. Keith Grufting one of the directors in the department.
Finally the students arose to perform one of the best known dances in the world which is rooted in Hispanic culture La Macarena. Many students jumped up dancing and singing along with song. The history of the song was well-informed to the audience as well. La Macarena didn’t even have a dance and was associated with a Catholic virgin until a Venezuelan Flamenco instructor called for a dance and the Bayside Boys added some English words.
Many students echoed the thoughts of Nelissa Simon from Dominica when she said "We need more activities to honor Hispanic Heritage month and a little bit more organizations." Most students felt the program was muy bueno!