Dec 11, 2008
A Latino Christmas
Posted in: Life & Culture
Yesterday was a big day for the news media, what with the automotive bailout drama, Obama appointments, riots in Greece, and hackers installing Linux on a potato. But last night in Next House, a very different kind of heraldry was underway.
This story begins on November 24, when a group of Latino students paraded through the halls of the dorm playing accordion and singing various indeterminate tunes. Next House traditionally being one of the more conservative halls on campus, people started asking questions about the spontaneous parade. The next day Roberto '12, who has since given himself the nickname "el Che", sent the following to the dorm email list:
"Apparently a lot of people are curious/furious about the parade yesterday, so actually we were celebrating the 'national latino appreciation day', which since yesterday is declared to be celebrated every year in the night of the 24th of November...(remember remember the 24th of November) it is designed to raise Latino pride in Next House and was designed by the executive committee of the Next Association of Latinos Giving Intense Satisfaccion (N.A.L.G.I.S)(3rd Floor Elevator Suite). btw the latino association does not appreciate someone describing a Latino pride celebration as 'people acting weird'."
I laughed out loud when I read it, and knowing that more stress-breaking hilarity would ensue I asked to join.* Since I already posses a Spanish nickname (a must-have for recognition as a member) I was immediately accepted as a full comrade of NALGIS with all rights and responsibilities thereof.
Fast forward to last night. NALGIS (whose name has been changed since creation) leadership had sent out songs to learn and had bought Santa hats and candies. It was time for a second parade, more organized, bigger than before, and with preselected music. Ron '12 had learned all the Christmas carols on trumpet and I learned some of them on harmonica. We met at about 10:00pm to practice, which ended up just being introductions because it was the first time we had met as a group. On the strike of 11:00, with no rehearsal under our belts, we decided it was time to get the show on the road. We started our off-key parade throughout every wing of every floor of Next House, singing such classics as Feliz Navidad (of course), Silent Night, Jingle Bells, O Christmas Tree, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. After all the stair climbing, walking, awkward stares, and singing, we weren't tired, so we did it all again, every wing of every floor, this time singing The '12 Days of Christmas, passing out candy along the way. Looking back, little of the parade had to do with Latino culture, but I don't think NALGIS was ever more than an excuse to have fun.
I'll let the pictures [mostly] speak for themselves. An awesome way to end the semester.
In other news, I still have no idea what is going on with the weather. Two days ago it was 15F and sunny, and parts of the Charles had frozen over; today it is 60F and drizzling, and the river has thawed. It is December. In Boston.
*Apparently I am a mix of about five different nationalities. Prefrosh have sent me messages with "As a fellow Irani..." or "...because I too am Indian" or "Since your name is Arab..." Well, no one has been correct so far, and I want to confuse you even more, so I will let this entry stand on its own without any mention of whether or not I am part Latino.
**Update: Next's House Director Marc Lo has officially thanked us for putting on the parade!
Thank you for spreading the holiday cheer last night and bringing even more spirit to Next House!