Senior Thalia Montilla reflects on her favorite cultural traditions, addresses stereotypes


Bailey Stover

As the fourth installment in an ongoing series about students’ cultures, senior Thalia Montilla reflects on her favorite cultural traditions and addresses inaccurate stereotypes. Montilla shares her favorite Global Village memories and speaks about the importance of cross-cultural empathy and understanding.

She said her mom is Mexican and her dad is Puerto Rican. She describes her own hispanic culture as flamboyant and family-centered. Shared meals are important, and she talked about her dad’s weekend get-togethers. She enjoys hispanic music that gets her hips moving, and she said the food has plenty of flavor, even if there is sometimes too a little too much spice for her liking.

Montilla goes on to talk about one of her favorite traditions, the quinceañera. She described the differences between hers and her cousin’s and provided a detailed picture of the dresses and customs associated with the celebration. Montilla said she wishes people would ask questions rather than relying on untrue or offensive stereotypes to understand people of hispanic culture. Through open and honest conversations, she hopes to be able to further cultural acceptance and create a more open society.

How did Montilla’s story change your understanding of hispanic culture? Let us know in the comments below.