By Holly Garza
August 26, 2011
Hey everyone, saludos (greetings), hola (hello), bendicíon y (Blessing and ) salam (Peace) Holly Garza checking in! I guess since I’m a contributing so-called-blogger here I may as well write something ya que no puedo dormír (since I can’t sleep) anyhow.
I laid in bed for over an hour with no sign of sleep and gave up. It’s Ramadan, y eso quiere decír (and that means) that I have to wake up to eat for my fasting in less than 3 hours to beat the sunrise; so I just got out of bed.
I decided to search around the apartment for piñata making arts and craft supplies- quietly as to not wake my daughter (they’re so cute when they sleep aren’t they?!). Then it dawned on me that I should wait until Eíd before we make that in our homeschool. This Eíd, like last years; I want to make sure que hay sabor Mexicana (Mexican flavor *a figure of speech meaning a Mexican twist/feel) in it. Yes, a piñata sounds perfect for it. I got so excited thinking about piñatas that I was wide awake, even more-so-now than before! My stomach started grumbling and thoughts of Churros floated in my head. Which led me to think that my daughter can learn about Churro making, piñata making; Spanish spelling, Islam and homeschool all at once. Sometimes I have a brain, no mas hay que usarlo (Just have to use it)!
You see, I’m a homeschooling Muslimah (female Muslim) Mommy. I’m also Latina. Mexican. To keep it short and sweet(never such a thing when I start rambling) Irish, “White”(more like beige) Native American, American born and somewhat raised woman (I was semi raised in Monterrey, Mexico on and off for about 6 years). Multiculturalism much? Yea, we got it. Holding onto the roots of who I am and passing that onto my daughter is very important to me. Islam is a part of us to our very core, it is our way of life (I hope) but so are tortillas, saludos;(greetings) Pedro Infante movies, Charreadas; besos y abrazos,(hugs and kisses) frijoles (beans) and speaking English everyday.
Some of you may be confused. Many people often confuse Culture, race and Islam as one. Even some Muslims are guilty of this. No… Arabic music, movies, food and clothing will NOT make you more Muslim anymore than Shelwar kamize, Desi culture, and Urdu will. Islam is a Religion not a race. To drive the point home better…you all have heard of “White” Catholics right? You need not be Mexican to be Catholic or vice versa. Same thing with Islam. Islamic tradition known as Hadith states that in his final sermon our last and final Prophet Muhammad (May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon Him, his family, and his followers) said:
“There is no superiority for an Arab over a non-Arab, nor for a non-Arab over an Arab. Neither is the white superior over the black, nor is the black superior over the white – except by piety.” Anyone can be a Muslim, and many of us are.
That said, I want my daughter to be raised in an open-multi-culturally aware and accepting environment. I think we are doing okay, I hope. Some of our best friends are Dominican, Puerto Rican, Black, White, Chinese. My daughter herself is a great mixture of Mexican, Puerto rican, Italian and White. My homeschool groups range from people of all backgrounds, races, religions (or none) to Islamic homeschool groups. Yes we will (very willingly might I add) eat Chinese food for lunch, Milanesa y frijoles (breaded fried sandwich steak and beans) for dinner and arroz dulce (sweet rice) for sahoor ( our breakfast before we fast for the day).
Previously this month, at an Iftar (dinner after the fasting of the day) gathering with some of the sisters, they talked of planning Eíd party as well. There was talk of renting a hall, different foods, even a piñata (gosh us Mexicans love beating things for rewards lol) – 😉
This is a group of Italian, Mexican, White, Chinese, Turkish and Pakistani women. I’m sure my little family and I will try our hardest to be there para comer, festejar, (to eat, celebrate) smile and say Eíd Mubarak (Happy/congrats on Eíd) Sí es que Díos quiere (God willing) InshaAllah.
Well, I guess I’ll go set the coffee stuff up, I’d like some cafe de ollÃ¡ before my fast. Have a wonderful weekend and remember you are beautiful just the way you are!
Holly Garza is a bilingual Mexican-American activist and Muslim mother that advocates homeschooling. She’s a college Advisor and community outreach member. Her interests are issues such as domestic violence, community development, Multiculturalism awareness, immigration reform, racism, feeding the poor, and religious tolerance.