by Bianca Perez. This post originally appeared on the NHCOA blog.
Celebrating Latino heritage means rejoicing in our culture and its differences, commemorating our traditions, and applauding our accomplishments. It means feeling proud of our background and exposing others to the beauty that surrounds our lives. For many Latinos who have migrated to the United States, Latino Heritage Month is a way to maintain our connection with our roots and to showcase the beauty that makes up our Latino culture. For those who were born here it is a way to keep the memories of our ancestors alive and to explore the depths of our heritage.
Older adults — our abuelitos and abuelitas or, for some, our parents — are the ones.... Read More
The Power of Generations, Part II: Legacies Across Time
Living in a four-generation family allows me to experience the waxing and waning of life. From my perspective as Obaasan (grandmother), I can observe our family’s generational inhaling and exhaling — a rising and falling that feels like a force of Nature.
Waxing/Enlarging My grandson is learning to wave at people. His hands go up and bend at the wrist in a whole hand greeting. He also greets trees, the sky, and the mobiles hanging in his room. His waving has recently become beckoning – as in “let’s go closer,” “please bring that to me,” “I want that!” In this way he draws more of the world toward.... Read More
Memories of my maternal grandma will always be with me. We called her “Ma’sani’ “(translated from my language it means — “Elder Mother.”) Our tribe is matrilineal so my four clans come to me through the female lineage of my parents ancestors. When I was a child I remember traveling to the deep frontier country in the back of our pickup truck to visit Grandma. The roads were dirt – not paved. The air was fresh and my hair would blow wild in the breeze. I was so excited because we were going to grandma’s house. My maternal grandmother lived about 35 miles off the main roadway. On rainy days the dirt roads were hard to maneuver because of the.... Read More
Honoring the Families’ Treasures: Our Grandparents
In just a few short decades, one in five U.S. residents will be an older adult. This is an incredible demographic shift for U.S. society and it has implications for every aspect of U.S. life. As advocates for, and experts of, the senior community, we discuss a lot of those implications. We talk about needed services for our nation’s seniors and the current lack of quality, affordable, senior appropriate housing stock. We talk about the unacceptable levels of hunger among U.S. seniors and lack of access to transportation and quality medical care. We talk about the importance of educating a slimming workforce so that our elders can be supported and the critical importance of Social Security and Medicare. And for.... Read More
Golden Girls: Growing Old, Growing Up, and Growing Asian American
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the debut of “The Golden Girls” on NBC. From modest beginnings, the show would become a huge success, garnering top ratings for NBC and accolades for the show, its cast, and crew. But more importantly, from a cultural perspective, it has had a much larger impact. As the first network broadcast show to focus on older women, The Golden Girls changed the way we looked at them and broke many stereotypes. From water cooler chatter to professionally refereed academic journals, much has been made of what their groundbreaking portrayals mean for how we understand women and aging.
Sunday, September 13th is Grandparents Day, and at the Diverse Elders Coalition, we are so grateful for our grandparents: whether you say grandmother, grandfather, abuela, abuelo, oba-chan, ojisan, lola, lolo, yeay, taa, tutu, halmoni, halapoji, bibi, babu, awa, tata, pog, yawg, yéyé, nǎinai, or another term of endearment, the elders in our lives have served as role models, supporters and caregivers.
Grandparents are more than just pinched cheeks and comfort food, though. The grandparents in our lives can be a valuable resource as we figure out how to make the world a better place. I love this quote from Janet Mock’s book Redefining Realness, in which she talks about the struggles her relatives have faced, and the role.... Read More
Grandparents: Our Guides to the Past, Present and Future
Note: This post is lovingly submitted in recognition of Native American Heritage Month
It’s so a matter of fact when English Americans speak about American History. It becomes focused on the “Discovery” of America and the influx of immigrants from across the world and their founding of a “new” world. It is the reality of the conquerors to believe that North America was void of culture and intelligence, as if America were a blank slate. This is a version of a momentous story and it is celebrated by many every year as Columbus Day, or Founders Day, but many Americans have a different story.
American Indians and Alaska Natives have a dissimilar story that is equally as momentous and certainly.... Read More
Recognizing and caring for our grandparents (National Grandparents Day) with a view towards the 2015 White House Conference on Aging
Sunday, September 7, 2014 is National Grandparents Day. What a great opportunity to recognize those that have given so much love and support! Grandparents Day was established as a national holiday in 1978 as a way to recognize and value the contributions of our nation’s seniors. Our elders have often done much to support our families in economic, emotional and spiritual ways and yet these contributions are often overlooked and unappreciated.
In the years since the establishment of National Grandparents Day, there has been a grandparents boom with the numbers rising from 40 million in 1980 to 65 million in 2011 and an estimated 80 million in 2020. This “Elder Boom” is not a crisis but.... Read More