In both Spain and the United States we celebrate or lament the day that Christopher Columbus, an explore sanctioned by Los Reyes Catolicos//The Catholic Kings who reunited Spain after exploiting the Muslim rulers from Europe arrived to the Americas changing the world in a completely unforeseen way.
October 9th is without a doubt the least celebrated holiday in the United States but it still manages to be one of the most polarising for American citizens. Wether we acknowledge the day in remembrance of the indigenous ancestors who lost their land and lives or as the beginning of a conquest the created the world as we know it today, October 9th is a time for us to reflect on the foundation of our country and the shadows over both our nations history that some will always attempt to keep under cover.
Despite the complex opinions that people hold toward Indigenous Peoples Day and El Did de La Hinpasidad(October 12) , history tells a very clear and all to familiar story, one of war, power and control. However in 2017 numerous American cities and States, including Los Angeles and San Francisco California formally acknowledge October 9th in memory of the struggles of indigenous peoples during the period of global colonisation. Still, in light of those who choose to celebrate Columbus, the old saying “history is written by the victor” shines loud and rings true.
In Spain however, El Did de La Hinpasidad//Day of Hispanics is a celebration of a national victory and of discovery that opened ports to the west and expanded a culturally identity in away like never before. Today parades celebrating national pride and Spanish culture will fill the streets of cities all across Spain in remeberance of Christopher Columbus’s arrival to the Americas.
On this day what I remember is that history is not only told by the victors but also is made of intersecting angels. As I see the preparations for a holiday that marks a day that not only highlights the independence of Spain from African invaders, but also the celebration of economic revitalisation that lead to the beginning of the culture around me and the world as we see it today, this day means something different for the First Nations in the Americans and also something different for the African slaves broought to work the land.
Despite the conflicting emotions that our history can cause, it can’t be changed, and although history likes to move through the ages like the rhyme of a bitter song, the best thing that we can do with what we learn from history is to learn more and more each day.