Sunday, May 10, 2009

Here’s a question that I have been wondering about more and more lately.
Why are more and more white people (European-Americans, Anglos, gringos, gabachos, gueros… feel free to pick one and apply it) celebrating Cinco de Mayo?
I have in-laws in Michigan and North Carolina who were recently on Facebook announcing that they were in the midst of gearing up to get tore up for Cinco de Mayo. I read this and wondered aloud, “why?”
You see, none of my in-laws are Mexican, Mexican-American, Chicano, Latino, and Hispanic (feel free to pick one and apply it). In fact, some of them have never been to Mexico. There are even a couple who are overtly anti-Mexican and feel that Latinos are “taking over the country.” Funny, I’m the ONLY Mexican-American (I like to refer to myself as Chicano) that they have ever come in contact with at any time. Maybe they are anti- me!? I digress.
By-the-way, In May 5, 1862 the Mexican army along with other Mexican troops defeated the French near the town of Puebla and defeated that stumpy punk-ass Napoleon III and sent what few French that were still standing packing. It is said that Napoleon claimed that once the French were successful in capturing Mexico that they would, in-turn help the Confederacy defeat the Union army in the then raging American civil war.
That didn’t quite pan out.
Also, Cinco de Mayo is NOT the Mexican Independence day. That would be September 16. It was also won 52 years earlier (1810) freeing Mexico from Spain.
Still the question remains. Hmmmm.... Well, my thought is this; Non-Latinos like to celebrate Cinco de Mayo because they are drunks.

1 comment:

Janine said...

I think you are missing the point. Americans typically love to assimilate other cultural celebrations into our own, it's part of our American culture that we have so many different cultural experiences. Should people not celebrate St.Patrick's that are not Irish? It's more that we celebrate the person, event or culture and what contributions to our "greater whole" culture were made. Chinese New Year is growing in popularity. No doubt, before long, people will be handing out little red envelopes and will have adopted other expressions of that holiday. All three of our daughters went to a Christian pre-school yet they celebrated Hanukkah every year, why? In the greater "melting pot", we add spices of many different cultures. If you still want to grow your chilies yourself and eat them raw or even roasted on your grill, that's fine. But you cannot fault the rest of the country from chopping up those same chilies and adding them in our stew. We can get some new flavors and have some appreciation from where they came but we won't be constrained to eat them only one way. You don't have to be Mexican to enjoy carne asada and mariachis. You don't have to be Australian to play rugby. You don't have to be Japanese to study karate. You don't have to be a Veteran to celebrate Veterans day either. And, you don't have to be black to sing the blues. Is it just Christians who get December 25th off?

Having said all that, I understand it can be frustrating when the true meaning of a holiday doesn't seem to connect with the people celebrating. I often feel this way about Christmas but I take solace that regardless,it brings people together,family, friends etc..we touch hearts through giving and hopefully remembering what is really important. Perhaps you can find some brighter side to the whole thing..

And no we are not all drunks..