Noche Buena en LatinoLA

Diversity and intermarriage improve La Cena on this special day

By Alberto Marrero Salas
Published on LatinoLA: December 21, 2002

Noche Buena en LatinoLA

Noche Buena is not like any other Holiday. First it is our Holiday and not a borrowed one such as Thanksgiving. We have not had to make up a name for it such as El dia de la Amistad o el Dia de Acci?n de Gracias

As Hispanics it sets us apart from the Anglo population who celebrate their version of Noche Buena on Christmas Day.

Noche Buena is celebrated by Hispanics from Tiera del Fuego, to the Islands to the Mexican Boder pretty much in the same way. The only real difference seems to be in the food that is served during la cena .

In Miami and later in Union City, New Jersey, la cena consisted pretty much of the same things. Lechon, congris, yucca con mojo, platano fritos and of course from the Mother Country of Spain, turrones, vino Marquis de Riscal y Vino Sanson. This was true even in cases where Cubans had married Puerto Ricans as both isle?os Cubanos and Puertorique?os are hard to tell apart and the foods are very much alike.

The music consisted of Beny Mor?, Celia Cruz and of course, el involvidable Tito Rodriguez.

Noche Buena in Los Angeles for many of us is extra special due to the diversity of the population and the intermarriage that occurs here in Los Angeles.

La Cena this year will feature of course all of the above from the Islands and from Spain (although we have to go easy on the lechon due to all of the Isle?o male silverbacks having had multiple bypasses).

Also included in la cena will be pupusas from El Salvador courtesy of my wife , tamales navide?os from Guatemala (a son-in-law) and mole de pollo Poblano from Mexico (a son and daughter-in-law) Making its first appearance at La Cena will be turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce (German American son-in-law).

The music will also vary. Cumbias by los Hermanos Flores, Selena, Alvaro Torres and maybe a little bit of the Eagles and Smokey Robinson. All of this washed down with Bacardi, Corona, Venado Especial and yes, and a little bit of Jack Daniels.

Besides bettering the gene pool, diversity also has other side benefits like turning Noche Buena into Noche Buenisima! God bless you all. And hey! Who hid the Alka Seltzer?

About Alberto Marrero Salas:
Alberto R. Marrero Salas was born in Cuba 1953 and exiled to the US in 1959. Administrator Nacara2000/ Estamos Unidos (Wilshire) Immigration Service. Eight children, married to Olivia Rodriguez from La Libertad El Salvador

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