I personally feel nothing close to the term Hispanic. And I think is wrong that our Native cultures are named "Pre-Hispanic" because it makes no reference to what existed before the Hispanic invasion of our continent, and because today we are not "Post-Hispanic" neither.
Although my first language is Spanish, and my last names has origins in Italy and Spain and I was baptized in a jewish-arab religion as a child without consent. But most of my ancestors are Native people and I think the most important part of my heritage comes from the original nations of this continent.
My grandparents had Muchik last names, my grandmother spoke Quechua language, my relatives are still live in the Andes mountains and some of them speak Quechua as well. Many of my traditions in food, religion, medicine, ways of living, language and cosmovision come from the Indigenous civilizations that existed in this continent long ago with influences from African, Asian, European and Arab cultures.
Being Hispanic means that your main cultural and ethnic roots are from Hispania (Spain and Portugal) and that is not the case for me as for most immigrants from Latin America who are either brown or black anyways.
Here are some extracts of that dialogue:
- "This is great news, our Indigenous heritage is being stole and sold all around the world, just as the last five centuries since the Hispanic invasion. I respect the work of Ambassador Kauffmann, a Peruvian of European origins who values or Native cultures more than many Indigenous Peruvians themselves. Now, please stop calling our Native cultures as "Pre-Hispanic" because Peru is not a Hispanic nation now, nor ever will be. Our ancestors had civilizations that deserve to be called by their own names.
[... ] Spain never conquered our continent, they invaded it. And it was with the help of Indigenous civilizations that thought they were allies, so they took over our ancestors land. Invasion not conquest.
Now, we are not Hispanics just because we speak Spanish (one of several languages spoken in Hispania) or because most people follow a jewish-middle eastern religion.
We also speak over 30 Indigenous languages and our catholicism fusions Native and African beliefs. Bottom line, we are not white, nor Arabic to be called Hispanics. Lots of people in Africa speak French and English, and they don't call themselves Britons nor Francos, or whatever name.
Our ancestors had a name, which the Hispanics intended to erase forever. Are you one going to do the same?
[... ] Over 900 Native nationalities remain alive and growing in our continent, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. Over 150 million brown people who claim proudly our Indigenous heritage, and the UN just adopted the Indigenous Peoples Rights Declaration.
Hispanic people who actually moved to this continent since their invasion never outnumbered brown people. And while is true that they imposed a language and a religion, but "their" language was an imposition of the Romans and their religion came from Judea. Spain itself was invaded by the Arabs for 800 years but the Spaniards don't call themselves Arabs.
Most Spanish-speaking people in Latin America are either brown Indigenous people (including mestizo Indigenous) or Afro descendants. It is false to pretend that no other culture flourished in our continent; for once we are the most African influenced land besides Africa. We have a strong Asian influence as well. We still speak our languages, we still celebrate our Native holidays and deities, covered up with Catholic rituals, we cherish our ancestors knowledge. We still believe in our traditions and respect of our Pachamama, we are still here.
And we are not pre/post Hispanic. We are Indigenous and our cultures deserve to be called that way.
[... ] Latin America is not a homogeneous region with one only Hispanic identity. It’s is rather naïve and arrogant for anyone to think that Spanish culture is more important that the Native cultures that were created in this land, or the African cultures we share in this land, or the Asian cultures we share in this land, even the rainbow of ethnic influences we even have among Indigenous peoples can't be denied. It is plain wrong when an outsider tries to define my history, my people, my ancestry, my land, and my culture.
[... ] Something that I have seeing while visiting Indigenous towns in the US and other countries of this continent, is the extreme similarity that exists among our cultures and ways of living, not to mention physical features. Place a Native American person in a street of Lima or Arequipa and people would think that person is another Peruvian. Take a Peruvian from Trujillo or Chiclayo in a street of Mexico, Alburqueque or Guatemala City and no one would notice is a "foreign" person. That is because we share a Native common culture and ethnic background.
But you can't the same thing if you take an Indigenous Peruvian to Buenos Aires, Curitiba or San Juan. Differences are huge and not just about looks. You can't say that a "paisa" from Medellin shares the same culture with a "kolla" from Potosi. A mulato farmer from Brazil doesn't share much with a Portuguese from Caracas or a Palestinian from Valparaiso. Latin America doesn't share a unique culture. I have never ate burritos (a Native dish actually) before coming to the US, nor I knew much about salsa or bachata music. I don't relate with Spanish traditions like bull fights, flamenco dances or the way the speak Spanish for example.
[... ] Yes Peru is a great museum, but what are we Peruvians of today doing that impress visitors? Who travels to Peru to stay in Lima. Our "museum" is all about our Native cultures that are terribly called "Pre-Hispanic" as to erase our presence or to demerit who created those works.
Bluue your comments are very important, because you have taken my point and noticed the tragic reality among Peruvians who live in urban areas, who are thought in schools and by the media that just because we speak Spanish, dress contemporary clothing instead of traditional regalia, or listen to reggaeton or metal rock, then that is enough to convert us into Europeans or "mestizos" as a synonymous of progress.
Also, some people base our "Hispanic" heritage on our last names. But most of Peruvians forget or ignore that we inherited those Spanish last names by imposition, as Native and African names were erased and slaves and servants were named after their slave masters.
Let me finish by saying that unfortunately colonization hasn't stopped in Latin America and today's education in that region is intended to exterminate our history, our identities, it is the worst crime that we have to face today beside unfair economic policies. Look at the content of media in Peru, what Peruvians see as the norm to accepted. They have to be racist, ignorant, selfish, conformist, lame and disrespectful. I as a Peruvian can't have access to the media and told my fellow countrymen to take pride on our heritage without being accused of being a terrorist or a racist pig. There is a lot of work to do in that sense.