I arguably have as many cousins living in Mexico as I do in the United States. My father is a proud American by choice, but a 4th generation Mexican by blood.
You would think that they would be cracking out the guacamole and Mexican beer today and toasting to Cinco de Mayo.
But they aren't.
Because it's virtually a non-event in Mexico. Sure, there are local festivities. But nothing like here in America. It isn't even a federal holiday in Mexico.
You would think it's Mexican Independence Day the way it's celebrated here in the States. Actually if you ask most people why they are sipping their margaritas today, they will erroneously state it's Mexican Independence Day. That date is actually the 16th of September for those keeping track. Although I would argue that even that date should mean little to Americans or even Americans of Mexican ancestry like my father and myself and my kids.
I have seen some community events that rival Independence Day celebrations (OUR independence, I mean). They are NOWHERE near as significant as to deserve even a MILD comparison.
Even President Obama botched his greeting in his overexcitement to commemorate it. He called it "Cinco de Cuatro" which means..."Five of Four". I bet even our President doesn't understand how underwhelming this supposed holiday is.
The reason for the hoopla today is the commemoration of the Battle of Puebla. It was a battle in which Mexican forces defeated the ill prepared French forces who clumsily attacked Puebla based on stupidity.
And contrary to popular myth, the Mexicans were indeed Mexican forces, not peasants armed only with their fists and pitchforks.
What they DON'T teach kids today as they chomp down their tacos and tamales (what idiocy, sorry) in class today is that the French regrouped and ultimately annihilated Mexican forces and took over Mexico City and sending the Mexican government into exile. That fact would be too damaging to the self esteem of children?
So count me out of the phony celebrations. No Mexican beer for me. No two for one margaritas and bottomless chips.
I will leave that to those for are more interested in partying then history.
Cinco de Mayonnaise is an excuse for people to get smashed. But worse. It's an excuse to instill self esteem on Mexican children in the United States who have so much more to be proud of with the history of this great nation of ours.
My kids are being made to learn "taco" and "tamale" as vocabulary words this week and my youngest son is making quesadillas in class.
At least they will get the real history and the truth at home. Sometimes, one of the only places left where you can find it.