On Sunday, December 13, the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures hosts “Winter Celebrations around the World” as part of its Free Second Sunday programming. The event features exchange students from Academic Year in the United States of America – AYUSA – currently living in San Antonio. Through various displays, students will show their cultural customs and traditions.
“Winter Celebrations” will showcase our community’s arts and culture and provide a unique space for youth education. The event includes a performance of “Los Pastores,” or “The Shepherds.” For the third year in a row, the museum has called upon Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, just outside of downtown, to perform this longstanding traditional play. Their troupe has performed pastorela – morality plays – for generations, and grandchildren of the troupe’s founders now serve as the lead actors.
This event offers an opportunity to learn about other cultures and experience the customs from other lands that are woven into the fabric of Texan identity. All of this is carried out on an exhibit floor that displays stories from many people of diverse ethnicities that call Texas their home. Children have an opportunity to experience cultural traditions through hands-on crafts, including creating piñata garlands, paper lanterns, pop-up menorahs, and more.
Winter Celebrations around the World is for families, and it is particularly suited to the youth. It’s an opportunity for children to interact with students from other countries. It’s also a chance to see children and teens in the leading roles of a play – roles once performed by parents and grandparents. The next generation will see the importance of their culture and how people their own age are keeping that culture vibrant and alive.
As San Antonio looks toward its future, this new generation will be ready to live and work in a city that people from all over the world choose to make their home. Places like the UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures serve as reminders of all those things that make us who we are. It shows the beauty and importance of each culture and what they have brought to Texas.
The UTSA Institute of Texan Cultures is located at 801 E. Cesar E. Chavez Blvd., just steps from the Tower of the Americas and Hemisfair. Admission is free on the second Sunday of each month (except June, for the Texas Folklife Festival), and to Alamo Colleges and UTSA students, faculty and staff.