Hola Meltingpot Readers,
Happy Cinco de Mayo. Do you know why we celebrate this day? Hint, it's not about Mexican independence, that day is actually celebrated in September. It's actually a day to commemorate the battle of Puebla when the Mexican army fought against the French.
So why all the sombreros, tacos and tequila contests on this day Stateside? I heard on NPR this morning that the holiday has been co-opted by Americans to sell beer and tequila. From ABC News:
" For the average Mexican, today is just another Wednesday, wrote Oscar Casares, a professor at the University of Texas-Austin.
'The holiday, which has never really been much of one in Mexico, crossed over to this side of the border in the 1950s and 1960s, as civil rights activists were attempting to build harmony between the two countries and cultures,' Casares wrote.'" The article goes on, " "The date gained more attention in the 1980s when marketers, particularly beer companies, saw this as a perfect opportunity to capitalize on the celebratory nature of the holiday."
You can read the full story here.
So, my kids were told in honor of Cinco De Mayo they could wear a silly hat today to school. Hot lunch is enchiladas. There's a tequila festival at the local bowling alley. Is there anything wrong with this commercialization of a holiday? Especially when most people probably don't even know why they're celebrating?
What do you think? Are you doing anything to celebrate? My Mexican friends, do you celebrate on Cinco de Mayo? If so, how so?