Cinco de Mayo: Party, Dude!

5 May
Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

I have mixed feelings about Cinco de Mayo– is this the way the Irish feel on St. Patrick’s Day? For most of my young life I gleefully ate a Mexican dinner on this day, and wished everyone I knew a “Happy Cinco de Mayo”!. And yes, although I am Mexican, what can I say, I thought for a long time it was Mexican Independence Day.

So somewhere along the line, I caught wind of the real Cinco de Mayo story- the outnumbered Mexican forces, armed with nothing but sticks and rocks, beat the mighty French forces.  And then it was some time after learning this inspiring story that some know-it-all told me that in fact the Napoleonic forces were defeated by nothing more than a bad case of the runs.

So why the unease with a day to let out a grito of pride in my Mexican heritage? Maybe it’s the Cinco de Drinko. The white folks in sombreros, fake moustaches, and ponchos.  The caricatures bordering on offensive. I understand that today is an excuse for people to get trashed on tequila shots and margaritas at Chevy’s, and far be it from me to deny people an excuse to party. I just wish this holiday were an occasion to educate people a bit on Mexican history and culture in addition to the Taco Bell debauchery.  And let’s celebrate Mexican heritage every day (which is why I’m wearing my super cool Mexico t-shirt tomorrow).

Happy Cinco, everyone!

One Response to “Cinco de Mayo: Party, Dude!”

  1. Chantilly Patiño May 7, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Really great points…it’s a hard holiday to like with all the misrepresenting that goes on and the commercialized (and sterilized) celebrations. In our family, we really love cinco de mayo for what it can be (and has been for us). It’s not easy to find authentic celebrations, but when you do it’s definitely a great way to connect with culture. Great post amiga. 🙂

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