Things That Matter

Greta Thunberg Was Forced To Apologize For Speaking Multiple Languages For A Political Misunderstanding

Most recently, 16-year-old Greta Thunberg has been making headlines as Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. But before she earned this prestigious title, Thunberg occupied the media spotlight for months as an audacious environmental activist from Sweden—a young person infuriated by previous generations’ negligence and lack of accountability for the current climate crisis, which is, sin duda, the most urgent crisis our generation will face in our lifetime.

Thunberg rose to fame late in 2018, when she began skipping class to rally outside the Swedish parliament, calling for stronger action on climate change and more radical environmental policy. This act of protest seemed to instigate similar demonstrations from teens in their own communities, eventually culminating in a widespread school climate strike movement that manifested in weekly multi-city protests. Since her immediate emergence, Thunberg has won numerous awards and even earned a 2019 Nobel Peace Price nomination.

Although Thunberg has been lauded by folks all over the world, inspiring people of all ages and nationalities, she has also received ample criticism from politicians and media, alike.

Most criticism has come from conservative world leaders, many of whom either refute the existence of climate change or simply don’t seem to consider it a serious issue. One of her greatest antagonists, perhaps unsurprisingly, is Donald Trump, who has published several tweets that overtly mock the teenager and minimize her activism efforts.

Like the time Trump shared a video of Thunberg angrily addressing world leaders, sarcastically jabbing at her frustration.

Or the time Trump said Thunberg had an “anger management” problem and needed to “chill.”

Thunberg, in a display of cleverness and class, temporarily changed her Twitter bio to reflect Trump’s December tweet, calling herself “a teenager working on her anger management problem.” The bio also stated that she was “currently chilling and watching a good old fashioned movie with a friend.” She did something similar when Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro said: “Greta said that the Indians were dying because they were trying to protect the Amazon. It is impressive how the press gives voice to such a brat.” In response to Bolsonaro’s comment, Thunberg changed her Twitter bio to a single word: “pirralha,” the Portuguese word for “brat.”

Unfortunately, Thunberg’s quick rise to fame has put a high level of pressure on the teenager. Now that she serves as an ambassador for climate activists everywhere—in addition to being the new face of a generation—Thunberg is closely watched by the media, and she has to be especially careful about what she says and writes.

In a speech at the Fridays for Future Strike in Turin Italy last week, Thunberg said that world politicians should be “put against the wall” for their lack of climate action.

“World leaders are still trying to run away from their responsibilities, but we have to make sure they cannot do that,” she said. “We will make sure that we put them against the wall, and they will have to do their job to protect our futures.”

In English, the phrase “put them against the wall” carries certain connotations—and those connotations are actually quite violent. “Put them against the wall” often refers to “death by firing squad,” something that used to be a relatively common form of capital punishment in the United States, though it is now federally outlawed. This form of execution was also carried out in a military context, and it involved a prisoner standing against a wall, typically blindfolded, while a group of soldiers shot them dead.

After Thunberg made her speech, social media was electric with comments that attacked her use of this phrase, accusing her of using violent rhetoric to further her agenda.

Thunberg also took to Twitter to clarify what she meant. In Swedish, her first language, the phrase “put them against the wall” does not carry the same connotations as it does in English. She apologized for her misuse of the phrase and reiterated that she did not at all mean for it to suggest violence or aggression.

Of course, Twitter overflowed with an abundance of supportive messages from people around the world, discouraging Thunberg from letting the critics get under her skin and applauding her ability to communicate so eloquently in multiple languages.

Latinos are no stranger to the ups and downs of bilingualism—things getting lost in translation, only being able to express an idea in a mezcla of vocabulary, not being able to find the right words in either language. But to those Americans who only speak English, bilingualism is like a superpower:

Regardless, Thunberg handled the backlash with poise, and it’s clear that she is ready to take on criticism from anyone—be they adults, world leaders, or strangers on social media.

This Abuelita Had To Wait 64 Years But She Finally Made Her Quinceañera Dreams Come True


This Abuelita Had To Wait 64 Years But She Finally Made Her Quinceañera Dreams Come True

@tcsnoticias / Twitter

This abuelita always wanted to celebrate her quinces, and now at the age of 79, she finally did. Complete with the event’s classic necessities, a voluminous dress, tiered cake and chambelanes, this young-at-heart viejita made her dream come true. Gives new meaning to the phrase, ‘better late than never’ right?

The emotional story has social media shook—and naturally, it’s gone viral.

Facebook Yolanda Luna

The 79 year-old danced the traditional waltz with not-so-traditional chambelanes. Her dance partners were all her grandchildren. And what’s more; her own daughter planned the whole thing. 

“Lo más hermoso que te puede pasar en toda tu vida, es ver a tu mamá feliz”

Facebook Yolanda Luna

Okay so get the tissue ready. This woman knew that her mom’s life-long dream had been to have had celebrated her Quince años with a big party —and equally big dress. And although she’s not quite quince anymore, it’s never too late to make someone’s dream come true. So Yolanda Luna set out to make her mami happy.

79 year old Nina Silva is from La Plata, Argentina. 

Facebook Yolanda Luna

When she turned fifteen, her family wasn’t able to throw her the quinceañera party she always wanted, due to economic struggles, so she gave up hope of ever having one. But little did she know that she’d have to wait over 60 years to see her dream come true.

“Tu fiesta de quince años que no tuviste, hoy la estás viviendo como vos querías”

“The quince años party that you never had, you’re now experiencing the way you always wanted it,” read a post that Nina’s daughter Yolanda Luna posted on Facebook about the party. 

The abuelita wore a silver and pink dress, and completed the look with a silver tiara. 

Facebook Yolanda Luna

The party was made possible thanks to the help of family and friends. Many family members made food for the occasion, and everyone helped get the traditional cake. 

No quinceañera would be complete without the traditional waltz.

The quinceañera obviously had her dance, and in Nina’s case, the chambelanes who accompanied her in this dance were all her children and grandchildren —we’re not crying, you’re crying.

Her own children were perhaps happier than the quinceañera herself, who wouldn’t stop smiling all night long. 

Algunas fotos del cumple de mamá un orgullo para mi la mamá tan maravillosa q tengo a sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño…

Posted by Soledad Luna on Sunday, January 12, 2020

The family hired a venue, a DJ and got the whole town to come together to celebrate their viejita. “A sus 79 años le cumplimos su sueño de tener su cumple de 15 que no pudo tener,“ wrote another one of Nina’s children, Soledad  Luna. “At 79 we made her dream come true.”

Turning 15 is considered a momentous occasion, as it is the moment that they symbolically become young women. 

While the quinceañera celebrations may have more in common with a wedding than a birthday party, they’re a traditional and enduringly popular rite of passage for many young Latinas. The Quinceañera, which literally translates to “the girl who is 15,” signifies a young girl’s transition in becoming a woman, and a lot of the traditions and elements of the party symbolize her transition and growth into womanhood. 

For many, a quinceañera is seen simply as an excuse for a blow-out party with family and friends 

The actual significance of the tradition is tied into both Catholic and pre-Hispanic culture. Many years ago, this celebration was rather more literal than symbolic; in pre-Hispanic times, 15 was considered the appropriate age to begin childbearing, and in the 20th century the right time to be married. Luckily, this no longer tends to be the case, but even so the quinceañera tradition has endured.

Nina’s celebration is proof that you don’t have to be fifteen to celebrate your Quinces. Get yourself a puffy dress and some chambelanes, because you’re never too old to celebrate womanhood.

The Best And Worst National Anthem Performances Of All Time


The Best And Worst National Anthem Performances Of All Time

CavBuffaloSoldier /Youtube

Belting out any song in your best voice can be tough stuffings. But when it comes to performing the “Star-Spangled Banner” only singers in a completely different league of their own can actually do the national anthem justice. The songs poetic lyrics are notoriously difficult because of its wide range. So of course, naturally, in the decades of performances in which “Star-Spangled Banner” has been song at sporting events and the like, there have been some mishaps. 

This year, both Shakira and J.Lo are set to perform at the Super Bowl’s halftime show while Demi Lovato will make a career come back by singing the national anthem for millions of viewers. Here’s a look at all of the times singers have rocked and flubbed the national anthem.

That time the Dixie Chicks did a beautiful country rendition of the song.

Fans of the Dixie Chicks fell further in love with the country music stars when they stuck to the original lyrics and sentiment of the song when they performed at Super Bowl XXXVII in 2003. 

When Whitney Houston gave a GOAT performance back in the 90s.

The queen of pop reigned supreme back in the 90s and thanks to her outstanding vocal range she had the full anthem in the bag. During the 1991 Super Bowl XXV,  Houston sang and hit each and every note. Not only that, she recorded the song and released it as a single and when 9/11 happened she re-released the single and gave all of her earnings to charity. 

In 1983, when Marvin Gaye gave the national anthem a whirl and blew our minds.

Twenty years ago, the beloved “Aint No Mountain High Enough” singer took the anthem to the next level. The singer’s  1983 NBA All-Star performance had a traditional MoTown feel and to this day is celebrated. In fact, his rendition was used in a 2008 Nike commercial featuring the 2008 U.S. Olympic basketball team.

When Chloe and Halle gave the classic ballad a twist of their own.

Back in 2017, the sister duo stole breaths at the NFL Draft Kick Off when the two sang “America the Beautiful”.  Beyonce did us a solid by discovering them.

That time Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem in a fire pantsuit.

Lady Gaga rocked Stadiums at the 2016 Super Bowl. During her performance, the Lady of ladies hit all of her notes and reinvigorated both sides of the crowd. 

That time Fergie went for an eye-popping performance. 

Beloved singer Fergie did a rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner’ in 2018 that was one for the books. The strange performance went haywire when the singer attempted to go for a sultry version of the national anthem that just… did not slay. During her perfroamce, camera panned to find audience members stifling giggles and soon enough an internet meme was born. Poor Fergie.

When Roseanne Barr gave us a peek into just how problematic she was.

Back in 1990, Barr made an appearance at a Padres game and sang the national anthem. (Still no word on who booked her for this.) Barr’s cringeworthy performance, which was off-key and oddly high pitched, was made worse when fans realized she was attempting to make the patriotic song into a joke. The racist comedian dared to even spit on the pitcher’s mound as she was leaving the field. Yikes. 

When Christina Aguilera forgot the lyrics.

In 2011, Aguilera came out to sing the lyrics to our countries beloved anthem and pretty much bombed. The famous singer had been celebrated for nailing the song hundreds of times. Even when she was kid. Video of the singer proves that she started out of the gate spectacularly but ultimately, things took a turn for the worse when she skipped over lyrics and even began the song again. According to an interview with Aguilera on Elleh, the singer let her get the mood get to her so bad that she forgot most of the lyrics and tried to improve.