Cinco de Mayo - Estoy decepcionado

For quite some time I have been under the impression that the Cinco de Mayo is Mexico's Independence Day ( previous to that I was oblivious to the significance of May 5 other than it was the day after my sister's birthday). Not that I'm devastated but estoy decepcionado to learn that Mexicans celebrate their Independence Day on September 16. May 5 marks the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla. So why the fuss over the fifth of May in the United states?

 According to Wikipedia, the Cinco de Mayo celebration in this country "originated with Mexican-American communities in the American West as a way to commemorate the cause of freedom and democracy during the first years of the American Civil War, and today the date is observed in the United States as a celebration of Mexican heritage and pride". I guess the connection to the American Civil War ties in with the defeat of the French Army at the Battle of Puebla. Be that as it may ( code for I'm confused and too lazy to research the subject in greater depth), the celebration of Mexican heritage and pride is as good a reason as any for hoisting a few on the Cinco de Mayo. Mexican-Americans have as much right to a day on the calendar as Irish-Americans. I wonder - if all Hyphenated- Americans had their special day on the calendar to celebrate their heritage we could have a party lasting all year long. As for me, I'll skip the tacos tonight in favor of a hoagie.

Speaking of hoagies, I would like to suggest that we have a day to celebrate Garibaldi's role in the unification of Italy. I herby proclaim that along with America's Indepedence Day,we shall celebrate Il Quarto di Luglio (Garibaldi's birthday). A few birra and pizzas along with the traditional beer and hot dogs would create all sorts of gastronomical fireworks. Until then, Happy Cinco de Mayo!

1 comment:

Charles Leck said...

As usual, good writing and delightful wittiness.