By Amarit Ubhi
Sports Layout Editor
Last Wednesday, the Spanish Club hosted the Fiesta Latina, a lively event that celebrated various Latinx cultures through food, music, dance and poetry.
It started off with food and raffles. Professors were serving food such as chicken tamales ,vegan tamales, frijoles refritos, rice, salsa, soda and water.
Following the feast was a collection of performances by various students and staff. For the opening act, an individual sang “Muerte en Hawaii” by a Puerto Rican band, Calle 13. Accompanying them was a guitarist. We then had an individual who performed the Bachata and Merengue.
There was also a professor who sang a song with his wife as another professor played the guitar.
Another individual presented a “Gregueria” by Ramon Gomez de la Serna, who is considered the father of Greguerias. Greguerias are roughly equivalent to one-line jokes in English, or metaphors that are presented in a witty way; they emerged in Spanish and Latin American literature around 1910.
Following this, we had an intermission and everyone had time to chat with professors, fellow students and other members of the Spanish Club. As students and staff ate cake, there was a raffle full of fun prizes such as soccer balls, waterproof backpacks and plush llama toys.
After the intermission, there was a student who performed the tango, a popular partner dance that originated in Argentina and Uruguay in the late 19th century.
We also had a singer perform two songs: one in Spanish and another by Alicia Keys.
Following this, there were two individuals who danced to Latinx songs, and they invited other individuals to join them in dance. This was particularly interesting to watch because the audience was very engaged for this entire part.
After this, we had a flautist play two songs, “Tres Estrelinhas” and “Doce De Coco” from the Choro genre of music. Choro emerged from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in the 18th century, and it is considered “ragtime” in Brazil; it is often played in a trio comprised of a flute, guitar and cavaquinho.
The last event before the grand finale was a 10-person choir comprised of Willamette students. They performed “Cuentame” by Formula V. This was a quite fitting way to end the talent show part of the event, as members of the student body, a large and important part of the Willamette Spanish Club, came together and partook in Latinx culture.
The Fiesta Latina ended with music, dance and breaking the candy-filled piñata.
“For the purpose of it: we wanted to create a fun event that would expose students to different aspects of culture like dance, music, food and poetry which students might not have the opportunity to experience in the classroom,” said Michelle Hicks, co-president of the Spanish Club.
What really spoke to me is how the Fiesta Latina was able to bring the Willamette community together in celebration of Latinx cultures. It was really exciting to see friends, classmates and professors support each other outside of the classroom. Seeing professors serving delicious tamales and frijoles while having students present the parts of Latinx culture that spoke to them was powerful and deeply appreciated by all.