No es lo mismo, pero es igual – the same, yet different.
This was the theme of this year’s 4th annual Latino Culture Show. The show, which was held Saturday in the Lydia Mendelssohn Theatre served to communicate and celebrate the range of differences and similarities fixed within the rich Latino culture, while attempting to break common stereotypes, according to the show’s organizers.
“The show did an excellent job of showing true Latino culture – not the stereotypical Mexican farmer image that we are constantly bombarded with,” LSA sophomore Oyin Olowokere said.
Hosted by Puerto Rican actress and teacher Encarnita Santiago, the show presented everything from a salute to the Aztecs, to performances of the Flamenco and Capoeira Angola to the ever-popular Salsa and Merengue dances.
“This whole show is an example of Latinos affirming their identity,” Puerto Rican Public Policy student Yanice Colon said. “It shows the people of this campus the power and creativity we as a people have, through our music, dance and other things,” Colon added.
The show featured performers from many different age groups – from young children to teenagers, to University students to older adults.
This variety contributed to much of the energy that was felt backstage.
“It was such a great experience working behind the scenes on the show. All of us come from different cultures and age groups,” LSA senior Antonette Whitehead said. “It added a different element for all of us to be involved.”
Many audience members agreed that the show accomplished its goal of promoting the theme.
“They hit the nail right on the head,” said Elizabeth Morales, who attended the show with her daughter. “My father is Puerto Rican and my mother is Mexican and those in the show represented to those in and outside of the Latino community exactly what things are like,” Morales added.
The show was originally a talent show that was transformed into a culture show three years ago by students ready to bring more Latino exposure to the campus community.
“This year’s Latino Culture Show has gone above and beyond to provide the U of M campus with an authentic and exhilarating show,” said Ricardo Ramos, one of the show’s coordinators.