Students, faculty and members of the International Student Organization gathered to discuss the culture, history and traditions of Mexico at the ISO’s lecture series, “Focus.”
Dia Romero, a junior international business and language major and member of ISO, gave a presentation about her home country to an intimate audience in the Campus Center April 12.
Romero began her lecture with a brief history about herself and shared that she is a first generation student.
“I am here representing my family by coming here,” Romero said. “I want to set a foundation for them.”
To begin the presentation, Romero played the Mexican national anthem, “Himno Nacional Mexicano,” which she said has been ranked among the top 10 anthems in the world due to its passion and beauty.
Lyrics such as, “We will shed our blood for you (Mexico),” are meant to show the nature of Mexican’s pride in their homeland and heritage.
Romero then explained the significance of the colors of the Mexican flag; green is for independence, white for the purity of the Catholic Church, and red for the blood of the million people who died in Mexico’s revolutionary war.
Misconceptions of Mexican history and culture were also significant topics in Romero’s lecture.
Romero discussed how people in Mexico do not celebrate Cinco de Mayo, and that Sept. 16 is the actual day of Mexican independence. May 5 marks a single battle that was won during the Mexican Revolution.
Romero also pointed out that contrary to popular belief; Mexicans do not wear ponchos or sombreros all the time then shocked them once more by stating that burritos do not exist in Mexico.
She also discussed the prominence of Catholicism to Mexico, explained the structure of their government, and focused on the importance of family, friends and helping those in need.
“We can be the absolute poorest we can be and we will still share with you what we have,” Romero said after she shared a story about how her father survived on frijoles and tortillas while still sharing what little he had with his neighbors.
When ISO co-president Sandra Koury announced the idea for the club’s “Focus” on a country lecture series, Romero said she jumped at the chance to speak about Mexico.
“There is this sense of pride in one’s own nation,” Romero said.
“I wanted to take the time to show others that we work, that we learn from our mistakes, and that we are proud, not arrogant,” she said.
Roxana Bautista, a freshman psychology major said she attended the lecture because she wanted to see if she learned anything new about her own Mexican heritage.
“I came to this meeting for the food and indulging in my culture with fellow students and Hispanics who want to learn about my culture,” Bautista said.
Tahil Sharma, a junior foreign languages major and ISO co-president, said he wants to continue with the “Focus” series which has already covered several countries from Asia, Europe and South America.
“It gives students the opportunity to be exposed to so many cultures,” said Sharma.
“Most of the time international students give the presentations so this allows them the opportunity to assimilate into the American lifestyle, is a way for them to practice English, and it is a cultural exchange of ideas.”
The ISO will hold its next lecture about China at 11 a.m. Thursday in the Campus Center Ballroom.
Katie Madden can be reached at email@example.com.