“El Dia de La Raza”, the controversial new public and bank holiday, is now “Indigenous Peoples’ Resistance Day,” according to the latest Public and Bank Holiday notice from the Government of Belize (GOB).
This change comes after overwhelming criticism from the public, and while the name of the day has changed, it still holds much of the same historical and cultural significance as “El Dia de la Raza” (which translates Day of the Race).
One of the most vocal criticism came from the United Democratic Party (UDP), who, via a press statement, described in inclusion of “Dia de La Raza” on Belize’s holiday calendar as “an affront to the sensitivity of the history between Spain and Indigenous Peoples.”
The UDP had proceeded to propose “Indigenous People’s Day” as an alternative name, which the party opines provides a truer reflection of the values upheld by a modern, civilized world and a fitting cause for celebration by all Belizeans.
The Opposition’s release had also noted that in Venezuela the holiday is observed as “Dia de la Resistancia Indigena” or “The Day of Indigenous Resistance,” which appears to be the name that the government has opted to utilize.
The Indigenous-led non-government organization (NGO) Cultural Survival explained that Venezuela, since 2002, had broken with “the traditional celebrations of October 12 of Columbus’s so-called ‘discovery’ and began celebrating instead ‘Indigenous Resistance Day’ as homage to the country’s indigenous populations, their history, cultures, and struggles to maintain their identity.”