Let’t talk about Cinco de Mayo. A few days ago I started seeing what were supposed to be mexican decorations everywhere. Apparently people here were getting ready to celebrate Cinco Mayo Which, in someone’s mind, was Mexico’s Independence Day.
Now, without further ado on the inherent contradiction of these festivities in a country with an alarming number of Trump voters, we should do justice to our beloved Mexican cousins. I start with a mea culpa, because ignorance in this world is so much and nobody’s free (well except for Google maybe) and too often we take for true things that are told around, without elaborating, but in my defense I had never heard of the Cinco de Mayo until I came here in New York.
I was going to write about how they really celebrate in Mexico unlike the stereotypes that we can find represented in the various bars and restaurants here but then I asked to my Mexican friend Dalia and his answer was “let me send you a picture” . (What you see on the side is what she sent me).
So, except for the city of Puebla in southern Mexico, apparently the only ones to celebrate Cinco de Mayo is the United States. Interesting. But let’s go a bit more in depth.
To put it simply I would translate in an open letter to the US those two images sent to me by my friend Dalia.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Indipendence Day which is actually on September 16.
Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico Day which doesn’t even exist as a celebration. Piñata is not Mexican, as a matter of fact it is originally from China, then imported in Italy (I remember we were hitting a lot of pinatas when I was a kid) and Spain by Marco Polo apparently and then became popular in Latin America for different kind of celebrations. Apparently in Chile there’s no birthday without piñata. So no, it’s not Mexican but I guess it’s not wrong to say that it’s now kind of popular in Mexico as in many other latin cultures.
Cinco de Mayo is the celebration of the unexpected Mexican army’s victory over “the premier army in the world” by that time, the French forces, in the Battle of Pueblo in May 5, 1862.
So, except for Puebla, the location of the battle where they have a parade and all sort of celebrations , Mexicans don’t usually celebrate Cinco the Mayo, most of them actually work while you are drinking tequila and margaritas in their name.
So thank you for your simpathy, they’re happy to get you drunk, you better enjoy it because they don’t.
We hope we were helpful or at least interesting so now we all can keep drinking celebrating Mexican culture knowing a little bit more of it.