Heritage – 1)Property that is or may be inherited; an inheritance. 2) Valued objects and qualities such as historic buildings and cultural traditions that have been passed down from previous generations. 3) Denoting or relating to things of special architectural, historical, or natural value that are preserved for the nation. 4) Denoting a traditional brand or product regarded as emblematic of fine craftsmanship. 5) Denoting a breed of livestock or poultry that was once traditional to an area but is no longer farmed in large numbers. // Oxford Dictionary
Heritage is used a lot in our everyday lives. People pass on their heritage in different ways. One being when someone dies people will do what that person used to do, almost like a tradition. There are many ways to show heritage, it can be belongings passed down from someone, religious beliefs, traditions, statues,etc. People care about heritage because it is something that represents someone’s historical background and they don’t want to lose it.
The word heritage has several different meanings to communities that I am a part of. One in particular is the Mexican-American community. This community is when a person is born in the United States but one or two of their parents are fully Mexican. Growing up Mexican-American means having to learn about where your parents come from. People always say “ Too Mexican for the Americans and too American for the Mexicans.” This is extremely true because you try to stay close to your roots as well as being as American as it gets and people still do not see you as enough. I grew up learning English and Spanish. Language is a part of heritage because it is something that is being passed down generation to generation in order to be able to communicate with others. For example if the language of english would have never been passed on then we wouldn’t be speaking it right now and a huge part of our heritage would have been lost.
Another example of heritage in this community is celebrating a Quinceañera . A quinceañera is a big party that is thrown when a teenage girl turns 15. This is heritage because it is a tradition that has been passed on for centuries involving the growth of a young girl into a lady. This is important because having a quinceañera is a symbolic moment, it shows that you are no longer a little girl but a lady who is maturing. In the American heritage a sweet 16 is what it is called instead of a quinceañera and it is celebrated when a girl turns 16 instead of 15. Heritage is important because if heritage wouldn’t have been passed down we wouldn’t have these small things we have today.
The picture below is an example of heritage, the day of my quinceañera . It is traditional to wear a big puffy dress in the color of your choice. I chose ivory and gold. I wore this dress through my whole party. It was an amazing experience and I hope to one day have a daughter and pass on this tradition on to her.