‘Mordida, Mordida’: Hispanic Heritage Month Gets the Meme Treatment

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Young Hispanics on Twitter are sharing memes reminiscent of childhood, heritage and assimilation.

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A month often celebrated in parades, festivals and exhibitions, it is now also being recognized in a new way – with memes.


Many young Hispanics have recently used Twitter to honor their roots. Different tweets are the same. “Happy Hispanic Heritage Month,” they often read in all lowercase letters, accompanied by a video or photo reminiscent of growing up in a particular culture.

in a tweetA video shows a child smashing his face into the cake while his party members are shouting “bite bite“(Bite, chop). It was liked by thousands on Twitter, who probably also endured the Hispanic family tradition of cutting from their own cakes, only for a cousin or uncle to push their face in. .

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in another tweet, a Spanish-speaking man asks a radio station to request a song, “Are they Reebok or Nike?” The DJ, confused at first, asks if it could be “Rhythm of the Night”. As the song plays, the man recognizes him and the DJ shouts as he learns that the caller did not know the lyrics. The clip has been played over 1.8 million times.

Memes provide a new medium for a younger generation of Latinos to share part of their culture, in a way that can be shared more easily and to a wider audience than a parade or exhibition recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month.

“I find memes interesting because it’s an accessible mode,” said Frances Negron-Muntaner, professor of English at Columbia University. “We really don’t have a lot of opportunities for young Latinos to describe how they see themselves, what concerns them, how they see the country, how they see themselves in relation to the country. Memes There’s a little window in it.”

Dr. Negron-Muntaner, who was born in Puerto Rico and now lives in New York, said that memes are something that you understand right away – or you don’t get at all.

“Understanding this requires that you understand both what is being said and the context,” she said.

Many Hispanics understand certain tweets quickly. One Shows someone lifting their mattress to reveal what appear to be important documents hidden atop a box spring.

Eric Reyes said, “My mom used to hold her when she saw me.” reply.

Mr Reyes, 23, said he remembers asking his mother why she would keep documents under the mattress.

“She would just say that because the chances of the documents turning up are slim,” he said. “I think one folder was too much.”

Armando Sanchez said Twitter The mattress should be placed over the head, “which leaves both hands to search for important documents.”

Mr. Sanchez, 36, said he remembered being about 8 years old when his mother used to call him to her room to keep the mattress.

“His neck would start to hurt from being in that position for a while,” he said.

The memes weren’t all created for Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15. A radio caller confusing “Rhythm of the Night” for Reebok or Nike has gone viral before. (Sally Moon, 27, said Twitter That clip was “permanently branded” in his brain for more than 10 years.) But in a world dominated by Twitter, Instagram, TikTok and Facebook, where everything ends up online, memes took on a whole new meaning during the Hispanic legacy. Took month.

“For me, this means a time to appreciate where we all come from,” Mr Sanchez said. “It is also a time when we all feel and relate to each other. Even if we are from different places or countries, we all have the same customs and the same identity.”

Hispanic Heritage Month What initially began as a weeklong celebration after President Lyndon Johnson signed the National Hispanic Heritage Week bill into law in 1968. Twenty years later, President Ronald Reagan signed a law that extended the celebration to a full month.

“Hispanic Heritage Month also gives other races the opportunity to see that we are not too different from each other and appreciate the rich cultural diversity that we bring to the table,” said Mr. Sanchez, who was born in Nicaragua. And now lives in Virginia.

love business aim, T Mobile And this NFL. Taking their own steps to recognize the month. Target partnered with Hispanic creators and entrepreneurs to create a limited-time collection of shirts, coffee mugs and other accessories. T-Mobile, in collaboration with iHeartMedia, is committed to donating over $100,000 to the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. And the NFL put a tilde on top of the n its logo, among other efforts.

While corporate gestures and initiatives take steps towards recognizing the month and the people behind it, tweets are a way to honor your legacy with a laugh.

Still, some believe that a month is not enough to recognize a group of millions of people in the United States.

“We need a big change in this country, because of who the people are, how they relate to each other and what their history has been,” said Dr. Negron-Muntaner. “That’s a lot of work for a month.”

Meanwhile, there is still a lot of memes engagement on Twitter.

“They see something that comes from your childhood or is a practice that happens in your community, or your family, or your experience,” Dr. Negron-Muntaner said. “That is where engagement happens. Only then can people recognize each other as belonging to a group that has something in common.”

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