|Oaxacan embroidery by RR|
Growing up in Mexico I don't remember celebrating Cinco de Mayo.
So when I moved to the States I found it very puzzling that it is the ultimate Gringo-Mexican celebration and, frankly, it used to irritate me (just search for images about it on line and you will find tons of incredibly offensive stereotypes). Even more annoying was that people attribute the date to the Mexican Independence, which is wrong.
Why celebrate so excessibly such a random date? That I know of, maybe just Puebla celebrates cinco de Mayo, but for the rest of Mexico it is just the anniversary of an 1862 battle against the French mentioned in passing at school.
The best explanation I have heard about the randomness of the holiday is that the American government did not feel right to celebrate any of the major Mexican Holidays like Febuary 24th (Flag Day), September 16th (Independence Day) and November 20th (Revolution Day) because they commemorate Mexico's sovereignty and thus observing any of those dates could give all the mexican immigrants a reason to up raise.
Their solution was to choose an "innocuous" date (but is it realy?).
Voilá, Cinco de Mayo!
As time has gone by I have come to embrace the holiday (as well as burritos, something else that was completely new to me when I immigrated to the States).
After all, any excuse is a good excuse for a party.
And a Mexican party? Even better!
Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!
|Tequila image from here|