Amber Mileski
Intro Interpersonal Communication
Professor Pantinas
23 February 2017

Intercultural Experience
I have neighbors down the road that are Hispanic, I am not familiar with that culture at all. Yes, I know people who are Hispanic but, that doesn't mean I know their culture. My neighbor's daughter rides the bus with my daughter. The first step I took to improve my intercultural experience was going down to my neighbor's house and asking to speak with them for a little bit. I explained that I was interested in learning about their culture and wanted a better understanding of their everyday lives.
The term Hispanic was first adopted by the United States government in the early 1970s, and has since been used in local and federal employment, mass media, academia, and business market research. It has been used in the U.S. Census since 1980. Because of the popularity of "Latino" in the western portion of the United States, the government adopted this term as well in 1997, and used it in the 2000 census. Religion plays a significant role in day-to-day life.  More than 90 percent of the Spanish-speaking world is Roman Catholic.
The first thing they started talking about was their cultural events. A couple of events they brought up was Day of the Dead , Hispanic Thanksgiving , and Cinco de Mayo. Celebrate Day of the Dead is one of the most mystical Hispanic holidays. It is a special occasion to celebrate life and to reunite with our deceased ones who are allowed to visit us on this day. Hispanic Thanksgiving is amongst Latinos in the U.S. is a celebration en Familia, like it is for many American families. They mix many of our foods with theirs to celebrate the holiday. Cinco de Mayo celebration includes eating Mexican food, toasting with margaritas, listening to Mariachis etc. Mr. Hernandez is my neighbor. He said when his daughter gets to a certain age they will throw her a Quinceanera. It's a celebration of a young girls coming of age- on her 15 th birthday. He said when they have a party, it's a very big party.
Mr. Hernandez is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, the rest of his family is from here in the United States. After he had finished telling me about his cultural events, he went on to tell me some of his history and art from back home. A prime example of Hispanic influence is found at historic Old Town, where adobe buildings surround a central plaza, a common feature of Spanish colonial towns . Another one of the long-held Hispanic traditions is setting up luminaires sometimes called farolitos, on Christmas Eve in Old Town Plaza followed by midnight mass at San Felipe de Neri  Church. A traditional luminaria is a brown paper bag, weighted by sand, with a lit votive candle inside. If you visit Albuquerque in December, don't miss the Luminaria Tour on Christmas Eve where hundreds of people wander through the golden glow of thousands of twinkling paper lanterns in Old Town and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Another major contribution of Hispanic culture and customs to our city is in a wide variety of arts and crafts . M any artworks were created primarily for the church. Santos, or sacred images of Roman Catholicism, are one of the most popular and enduring Hispanic art forms. When listening to music or enjoying dance performances in Albuquerque, you'll often find an unmistakable Hispanic and Latino influence. You'll find plenty of salsa, mariachi, flamenco and Spanish classical performances throughout the city.
Mr. Hernandez misses his family back home but is very grateful to be able to live here in the United States. I learned that their culture is very different from my culture. The Hispanic culture has parties for girls when they turn 15, my culture does not. We just celebrate each birthday every year. The communication is very different. They speak Spanish mostly in their home and in my home, we all speak English. I enjoyed sitting down and learning in depth of someone else's culture other than my own.