Monday, October 12, 2009

Rediscovering Columbus


I was trying to remember when Columbus Day (a.k.a Día de la Raza) was. According to wiki today is the day he made landfall on the Julian Calendar. It would be the 21st on the modern Gregorian Calendar. It is a holiday celebrated throughout the Americas, but I imagine with alot of mixed feelings in Latin American countries, especially among the indigenous population. Interesting to see that Chavez changed the name to Día de la Resistencia Indígena in Venezuela, commemorating Indigenous Resistance. I don't know how much native blood Chavez has in him but I guess it fits better with the socialist image he projects.

5 comments:

  1. A few years ago my wife and I were in Spain and we visited Cadiz, the port from which Columbus sailed to America on his second and fourth voyages. No statue or marker like there is in Barcelona, which he apparently spent some time in but never sailed from. Cadiz is a small unassuming city, remembered by Mark Twain fans because here is where his "Innocent Abroads" first made landfall in Europe. In 1492, Columbus had to work his schedule around the massive Jewish deportations taking place at the time,

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/jewish/1492-jews-spain1.html

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  2. I suppose this probably came as a bit of a shocker to Italian-Americans,

    "Alfonso Ensenat de Villalonga has disputed conventionally-accepted narratives on the explorer's origins - that he was the son of a weaver in Genoa, Italy, or that he was from Catalonia or Galicia in Spain.

    In fact, he was from Genoa, but he was "the son of shopkeepers not weavers and he was baptised Pedro not Christopher," Mr Villalonga told Spain's ABC newspaper on Sunday.

    And his family name was Scotto, and was not Italian but of Scottish origin.

    "He had light-coloured eyes and freckles. He also had blond hair even though it quickly turned white. That's how his contemporaries described him. Nothing like the traditional images (of him), which are totally invented," the historian said."

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/4959361/Christopher-Columbus-was-actually-a-Scotsman-called-Pedro-Scotto-historian-says.html

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  3. Here in Minnesota where there is a great deal of Native America activism, Columbus's name is dirt. He is rightfully viewed as an imperialist, genocidal murderer, and robber of gold and resources. History shows that this viewpoint is well justified.

    Isn't it kinda funny how just a few years ago his name was being considered for sainthood among certain right wing Catholics? Very strange, indeed.

    Luckily, we have historical forums such as this one to set the record straight.

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  4. Of course the funny part is that they can't even get the right day. I assume Italian Catholics don't go by the Julian Calendar.

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  5. Now the US federal holiday for Columbus is the 2nd Monday in October, which happened to fall on Oct. 12th this year, the date that was official before they got all gung-ho for Monday holidays.

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