By: Hayley Fick
While Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa are not the only holidays celebrated throughout the world, they are the top three that most students learn about in school every winter. Luckily, Austin is such a diverse place that you don’t have to learn about the holidays from afar. You can go out and experience them yourself.
Last year Austin celebrated Kwanzaa, a celebration of family, community and culture that is rooted in African traditions according to the official Kwanzaa website, in many festive ways. Florists prepared Kwanzaa arrangements that complimented the candles lit in Kwanzaa. The Austin Public Library held an event with storytelling, music, and art that brought Kwanzaa to life, and The Austin American Statesman even published a story that answered 10 Kwanzaa questions.
By: Monica Rodriguez
In the spirit of Cuento Navideño, here’s a look at a few other adaptations from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This piece of Christmas tradition has been adapted on stage, screen and even through Scrooge, but first let’s take a trip to the past and learn about Mr. Dickens’ original work. Charles Dickens first wrote A Christmas Carol in 1843. Dickens wrote the timed classic to lift spirits during the depression of the 1840s. The story takes audiences on a self-reflecting journey to the past, present and future where main character, Ebenezer Scrooge, turns a bitter, greedy life into a meaningful one. The story is a powerful classic because it reminds others what is really important in life. Read More
By: Amanda Leach
It’s time for Teatro Vivo’s Christmas tradition to take center stage! Above is a clip from last year’s production of Cuento Navideño, come join us this season to see what new surprises are in store and become a part of this festive tradition!
“Bah Humbug!” in El Barrio! Teatro Vivo gladly welcomes the return of their bilingual holiday comedy Cuento Navideño (A Christmas Story). The play is written and directed by Rupert Reyes and is based off the iconic holiday tale A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Read More
By Monica Rodriguez
Latinos love tradition, and Christmas is definitely one to celebrate con córazon y alma. Although some might say Christmas in Mexico is summed up by nativities, traditions and tamales; others might say it is all about the food, family and felicidad. Either way, a Mexican Christmas is definitely one to remember and it starts with the family traditions carried among all generations. My family is originally from Mexico and my childhood was filled with memorable Mexican traditions. I’d like to share a piece of my childhood Cuento Navideño, with you all today as we get ready highly anticipated Christmas season ahead.
While some grow up with chestnuts by the open fire I remember growing up with the smell of buñuelos frying in the pan while my abuela would have one eye on her sweets and the other on my cousins and me over by the presents under the tree. The three main Mexican Christmas traditions I always carry with me from my childhood are the poinsettia, la posada and the piñata. Read More
By Amanda Leach
Mariachi music is no stranger to Lesly Reynaga, member of University of Texas at Austin’s, student mariachi group, Mariachi Paredes. It was through her mariachi instructor Zeke Castro that she first heard about Teatro Vivo and the auditions for Mariachi Girl.
Photo of the Mariachi Girl cast with Lesly Reynaga on the far left.
By Marisol Canales
“A ball of fire!” This is how 20-year-old Aisha San Roman would describe her character Carmensita in “Mariachi Girl”. A theatre major at the University of Texas at Austin, San Roman proclaimed her role as the lead to be life changing.
“I had the opportunity to touch so many lives – from 4 and 5-year-olds to grandparents,” said San Roman. “It was amazing.”
Written with a bilingual twist, “Mariachi Girl” was successful in reaching a wide rage of audiences from both languages. All were able to fully engage in the play’s message without feeling turned off, and on the contrary, gave a closer connection to many.
By Marisol Canales
In honor of Mariachi Girl making its debut on the Austin stage, the blogging team presents you with an inside look at the development of Mariachi culture. We trace the development of the iconic style of music from its roots to how it’s bled into pop culture. Enjoy!
“Ay, ay, ay, ay! Canta y no llores!” Written back in 1882, the popular Mariachi song, “Cielito Lindo” has endured as a Mexican favorite for centuries. It carries the passion behind the origination of Mariachi music – love, triumphs, hardships, and happiness.
Modern Mariachi music traces back to Jalisco in the course of the Mexican War of Independence. Depicting a strong sense of pride for their country, Mexican peasants would gather at local haciendas to sing their people’s pain through the French invasion and celebrate their victories in the Mexican Revolution. Centuries later, the rural folk style of music has grown as a unifying representation of the strong Mexican identity and its culture.