What is heritage? How much do students really know about their heritage? And how do they celebrate it? The population of Sacramento is 503,000 people, 32% of which is Caucasian. The city is also made up of multiple racial minorities such as Asian (18.9%), Black or African American (12.9%), Hispanic (11.2%) and Pacific Islander (1.62%). […]
What is heritage? How much do students really know about their heritage? And how do they celebrate it? The population of Sacramento is 503,000 people, 32% of which is Caucasian. The city is also made up of multiple racial minorities such as Asian (18.9%), Black or African American (12.9%), Hispanic (11.2%) and Pacific Islander (1.62%).
Sacramento is also home to many immigrants — 21.3% of the city’s citizens are foreign-born. CB is a school that is 40.7% Caucasian and made up of other minority students such as the Hispanic/Latino community that make up 21.8% of CB students, the 0.4% of students who are Native American, another 7.1% who are African American, the 11.8% that is Asian/Filipino/Pacific Islander, 16.6% multi-national and the 1.6% who are not specified. Although the school is full of diversity, how well do the students know the cultures that make up CB? Heritage looks different for everyone and especially at CB.
Eliza ”EJ” Lopez (‘23) is leader of the Pacific Islander Filipino American Association (PIFFA),
“Our culture originates in the Philippines. We are technically Asian, but a lot of people kind of tie Filipinos into being Pacific Islander or Asian”, EJ says. It was interesting to hear that these cultures mix with each other and cultivate large populations. “We are very proud of our culture and we take our traditions pretty seriously,” EJ says.
But why is it important to practice these traditions? “It’s important for everyone to celebrate their heritage, to remember your roots,” EJ says. “It’s really important that you understand the hard work that your family has gone through to get to where you are today and a culture is what makes you you.”
This made me realize how important one’s heritage is important to who they are. Although heritage is not a defining feature for some, it affects how someone is raised and can affect how someone may act.
“Your morals, your values, the way that you were grown up and raised — I believe that your culture has a strong impact on all of those things,” EJ says.
With this answer in mind I asked EJ how PIFFA celebrates the importance of culture. “We eat a lot of our cultural food, we come together and just kind of talk about it and try and learn the language a bit more. We definitely do the dance — for Filipinos it is tinikling and then for [Polynesians you have Tahitian and Hula.”
Every student has the ability to join clubs and cultural clubs at CB are open to everyone. EJ encourages anyone to join and voices her opinion on the importance of doing so.
“It is good to involve other people so they can become more culturally aware of not just our own cultures, but other peoples cultures. So it is really welcome to anybody as long as they have an open mind and are just willing to learn.”
This interview has made me want to look more into my own heritage and find pride in it. CB has a lot to offer for those in my shoes. Our school is full of rich culture and heritage that is waiting to be revealed. Multiple cultural clubs are offered at CB along with PIFAA. Clubs like La Raza, which celebrates Latin heritage, the Asian Cultural Alliance (ACA) who focuses on Asian culture, and Black Student Union (BSU), which showcases the rich of history of African-Americans. These clubs are meant to spread knowledge about the beauty of diversity and are meant to provide communities for those who need one.
Culture is meant to be shared, not hidden, and the CB community has a lot to offer for anyone looking to learn more. There is not one way for it to be celebrated and not one that is better than the other. Talking to EJ showed me how powerful heritage can be. It brings people together and creates joy, memories and strength. People come together to relate over a similar subject, but also to share with others the importance of being proud of where you have come from.
CB is a great way to expose yourself to new things. Besides the quality education that these new experience offer, there is much more to learn. With a variety of cultural clubs and a diverse population, there is no reason not to try something new. CB tries to have an inclusive community that attempts to showcase the culture of the community. Our school does this by offering clubs and creating days for them to present their heritage.
I urge students to take advantage of these resources and step outside of their comfort zone. There is much more to learn and the CB campus is a great way to start. It is an easy way to open someones mind to the incredible things that a diverse population can have.