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October 12 Today: The Day of Indigenous Resistance, celebration or time for reflection?


Every year, October 12 is a date that generates reflections and debates in Venezuela and Latin America. While some consider it a celebration of Christopher Columbus' arrival in America, others reflect on the historical and current impacts of colonization on the American continent, this day is an opportunity to reflect, and question our practices and their origin.


Today, October 12, is a day of reflection and recognition. Instead of celebrating Columbus Day or Columbus Day, I would like to invite you to join in the commemoration of Indigenous Resistance Day.


It is essential to recognize the history and struggle of indigenous peoples, who have faced challenges and adversity over the centuries. This day provides us with an opportunity to learn, reflect and stand in solidarity with indigenous communities. In this paper, we will explore in a general way how October 12 is commemorated in Venezuela today and the different perspectives that exist on this date.


The Traditional Celebration


In the past, October 12 used to be a date of celebration in Venezuela, with parades, festivals and cultural events commemorating Columbus' arrival in America. It was taught in schools as "Día de la Raza" or "Día de la Hispanidad". In recent years, however, this perspective has lost steam as greater recognition of the negative aspects of European colonization has emerged.



Historical Reflection


In contrast, many people in Venezuela and the rest of the world now see October 12 as an opportunity to reflect on the history of colonization and its consequences. It is recognized that the arrival of Columbus marked the beginning of a period of exploitation, oppression and suffering for the indigenous populations that had inhabited these lands long before the arrival of Europeans. Indigenous struggles and resistance throughout history are also highlighted in this perspective.



The Day of Indigenous Resistance


In 2002, Venezuela officially changed the name of the day to "Indigenous Resistance Day" in recognition of the struggles and resistances of indigenous communities in the face of colonization. This decision marked a significant change in the way the date is viewed in the country. Now, October 12 is used to highlight the importance of protecting the rights of indigenous peoples and preserving their cultures.



Indigenous Resistance Day Activities and Events


Today, October 12 is commemorated in Venezuela with a series of activities and events that promote reflection and awareness of the country's ethnic and cultural diversity. Conferences, exhibitions, cultural events and acts of solidarity with indigenous communities are held. In addition, education on indigenous history is promoted and the contributions of these communities to Venezuelan identity are highlighted.


Conclusion


October 12 in Venezuela is no longer simply a day of celebration. It has evolved into a date of reflection and recognition of the country's ethnic and cultural diversity, as well as the importance of protecting the rights of indigenous communities. The transformation of this date reflects a change in public awareness and an effort to understand and value the history and multicultural heritage of Venezuela as a whole. The celebration of October 12 has evolved over time and has generated a profound debate about its meaning. From its origin as the meeting of two worlds to its redefinition as the Day of Indigenous Resistance, this date represents both challenges and opportunities to recognize diversity and build more inclusive and respectful societies. It is a constant reminder of the importance of understanding and valuing the history, cultures and rights of indigenous peoples in the Americas and in the world.

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