What’s Spanish in Old Spanish Days?

With Fiesta being canceled, I am reminded of what they truly mean to every local and tourist alike. I was born and raised here in Santa Barbara but briefly moved to New York. There I saw many festivals celebrating Italian culture, with music, food, clothing, games etc. commemorating Italian culture. Returning to Santa Barbara last year, I attended Fiesta, and the exact opposite rang true.

I am of Mexican descent, first-born in the United States from both sides of my parents. I am proud to be Mexican as I am equally proud to be an American. But the fiestas that we celebrate here in Santa Barbara are unjust and racist.

Locals and tourists attend wearing ponchos and sombreros, eating tacos, while listening to rock and roll celebrating “Spanish” heritage.

Why is our people’s name omitted from the title? Why not call it for what it truly is, Old Mexican Days (the name has a horrible ring to it I might add), for there is nothing Spanish about the celebrations. The eggshells that everyone loves is a tradition born and popularized in Mexico, as well.

I have made a petition to bring more awareness to this and have contacted the Santa Barbara City Council as well as sbfiesta.org. I am hoping I can get help in promoting this petition: https://www.change.org/santabarbarafiestas Fiesta is culturally insensitive and a little bit unfair. Our people can’t even play our music because the main act is a rock-and-roll band. Where is the Spanish tradition in Old Spanish Days?


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