Two Important Elements of Utah Culture

On Sundays, I like to eat at the “El Mexsal” restaurant in Provo.  It is a great place to eat.  The food is inexpensive and tasty, and the service is friendly.  I like Sundays, because the customers are mostly Hispanics and I get the mistaken feeling that Provo has a diverse culture.

El Mexsal, a Mexican and Salvadorian Restaurant on Freedom Blvd

El Mexsal, a Mexican and Salvadorian Restaurant on Freedom Blvd

On days other than Sunday, at lunch anyway, the restaurant attracts Anglo blue-collar customers, and the place just doesn’t have the same south-of-the-border atmosphere.  During one of my luncheon meals at El Mexsal, Jason Chaffetz, our conservative representative in Washington DC, and his posse came in to eat.  I hope he got the correct impression that the vast majority of Hispanics are the U.S. with the sole purpose of providing a better life for their families, and are in no way a threat.

Last Friday, I attended a water planning meeting at the Navajo Mountain Chapter, located northeast of Page AZ.  The area served by the Chapter is the most remote in the Navajo Nation.  It also has some of the reservation’s best scenery:  deep arid canyons, expansive red-rock arches, archaeological ruins, abandoned and forlorn hogans, and of course, the domed-shaped mountain.

Hawkeye Natural Bridge Located North of Navajo Mountain

Hawkeye Natural Bridge Located North of Navajo Mountain

Most of the meeting I attended was conducted in Navajo, a language I do not speak.  But it was great to see that the language is still very much alive and vibrant.  During World War II, it was used as a code to send important military messages.  One of the last code-talkers, who was a Chapter resident, recently died.  The Navajos are very proud of their veterans.  Even though you have to enter the Navajo Mountain area from Arizona, the chapterhouse and the majority of its residents live in Utah.

Entry to a Hogan in Piute Canyon near Navajo Mountain

Entry to a Hogan in Piute Canyon near Navajo Mountain

Knowing that the El Mexsal restaurant and the Navajo Mountain Chapter exist makes me feel a whole lot better about Utah and the United States.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Navajoland, Personal Essays, Social Justice, utah and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s