An invitation to get to know one another’s cultures
Last Wednesday’s nooner “El Grito” was attributed to those of Hispanic heritage, in celebration of Mexican Independence Day. All students passing the Serna Plaza by the Union were able to enjoy traditional music by Mariachi los Versatiles and Tamborazo del Valle.
“We are in a diverse country and state, we need more cultural diversity exposed,” said senior engineering major Leopoldo Fajardo about the event.
Mariachi is a form of Mexican folk music originating from the center of Mexico. After the Mexican Revolution, mariachi music was heavily promoted through the radio by the government to help promote a unified Mexican identity.
El Grito has been an ongoing collaboration between UNIQUE and the fraternity Alpha Gamma Zeta. The El Grito celebration has been an annual celebration for nine years now, according to Vice President of Alpha Gamma Zeta Abraham Madrigal.
“We brought this together about 9 years ago, we initially started it and now we just collaborate together to make it bigger,” said Madrigal. “We do this for them [the community].”
Although Alpha Gamma Zeta celebrates Mexican Independence Day on campus, the day before they go to the Mexican Counsel in Downtown Sacramento and help raise the flag with Mexican officials. This year’s festivities were introduced with the presentation of a $500 scholarship to an incoming freshman. Alpha Gamma Zeta is a fraternity dedicated to celebrating Latino heritage through brotherhood and community service, said Madrigal.
“We give a $500 scholarship every year. For next year we are actually trying to get $2,000,” said Madrigal. “We are non-profit, we do a lot of fundraisers, we are small but we want to go big.”
The presentation was followed by one the main attractions, a performance by the band Mariachi los Versatiles. The band was dressed in traditional mariachi clothing. Their music rallied the crowd and many began to sing along to the first song performed, “Cielito Lindo”.
“I feel like mariachi is a symbol of our culture, it is the main type of music that stands out,” said third year criminal justice major Griselda Ayala.
Students like senior sociology major Vladimiro Naranjo, emphasized that the event was not just for those of Mexican American heritage, instead they wanted it to be known that everyone can come celebrate.
“Whites and Asians I see them all here. People get together and we appreciate each other’s culture,” said Naranjo.
Sac State’s diversity might make it easier for students to get involved on campus, meanwhile learning about people’s different traditions and cultures.
“They specifically chose this spot because it is really open and one could just be walking from one place to another, happen to hear this and might be interested and come by, they might learn new things,” said third year social work major Katia Sanchez.
Events like El Grito, to Sanchez are a useful way not only to have fun but also to celebrate one another’s cultures; all while learning what traditions make people who they are.
After the mariachi band, Tamborazo del Valle appeared on stage. Their music is a more modern version of mariachi music, a mix of trumpets, trombones and a bass drum.
It is even an opportunity of those who are of Mexican descent to take a moment to learn of and appreciate their culture.
“I still have a lot to learn about my own heritage, I think [El Grito)] is important,” said Fajardo.
With a more up-beat tempo, students could be seen dancing and swaying to the music.
“This is a whole different experience, I love this, seeing all the Latinos and Mexicans come together and celebrate,” said senior social science major Oscar Garibay.
El Grito only comes around once a year, it is a in honor of not only Mexican Independence but also of Hispanic Heritage and all those with a Hispanic of Latino background, said Madigal. The event is a way to appreciate one another’s heritage.